Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games

Games, Left Field

This video series is created by Anita Sarkeesian and the project was funded by 6968 awesome backers on Kickstarter.com

The Tropes vs Women in Video Games project aims to examine the plot devices and patterns most often associated with female characters in gaming from a systemic, big picture perspective. This series will include critical analysis of many beloved games and characters, but remember that it is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of it’s more problematic or pernicious aspects.

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Starcraft 2 – A Citizen Ccience Colonisation Model for the Koprulu Sector

Games, Left Field


Two research astronomers, as part of a public outreach project to increase the understanding of the scientific method, have used the outcomes of online player vs. player matches in the Blizzard Entertainment computer game StarCraft 2 to develop models of interstellar colonisation. Despite the fictitious nature of these data, the strategies developed by human players provide an excellent test case for the development of numerical models.

This science outreach project certainly does not represent any development in our understanding of possible extra-terrestrial life. However, we hope to highlight the increasing scientific potential of the rapidly expanding video-game industry, while also increasing public understanding of the scientific method. To this end, we demonstrate how to translate parameters from the StarCraft 2 universe into a numerical simulation, which are then explored in a setting based upon real-world physics. It is our hope that this study will demonstrate the core properties of a research paper, and provide a greater understanding to how data are collected and analysed in scientific research.

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So This Happened…..

Left Field, Movies/TV

A school in Pennsylvania shut down last week when a receptionist on the school doctor’s office misheard a student’s ringtone on a cell phone. It was the catchy theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air TV show. The lyrics “shooting some B-ball outside of the school” were misheard as “shooting some people outside of the school” and thus the panic and reaction of shutting down.