Could Your Next Job Interview Include Playing a Video Game?

Could Your Next Job Interview Include Playing a Video Game?

New York Time is reporting an increase in the number of companies using video games to screen potential employees for their creativity, problem solving ability, multitasking ability, and more. Does this mean playing Double Dragon will be an key part of your next job interview?

One such game being used to screen potential candidates is Wasabi Waiter (Pictured above), a game that makes candidates figure out which sushi dishes to serve to which customers.  While this sounds like a strange scheme that a 1st grader would concoct, some big name companies have been utilizing games like Wasabi Waiter to make the hiring process more efficient, cost-saving, and unique. However, the Times’ piece raises question as to how effective and fair these methods of screening candidates are. As the author mentions, they run the risk of unfairly screening out entire classes of workers in favor of those with more affluent higher education and means. Likewise, it’s unknown how effective these games are measuring employees’ capabilities and the level of match for a certain company. As the author to the Times’ piece mentions, in this job climate many jobs’ responsibilities and skills can change over the course of one’s employment, meaning that these games may only be able to test for the skills required at hire, if those.

Before you claim vindication over your parents saying video games were a waste of time, we have to ask: should you expect to play a gimmicky video game on your next job interview? Probably not. Very few companies have adapted this means of screening candidates, and most seem to be within the sphere of the video game industry. The greater question is whether this means of screening candidates is a valuable one, and that remains to be seen. For better or worse, video games are becoming more and more apart of our social world in ways we probably didn’t foresee, and sooner or later sociologist may have to examine how their influence are effecting our daily lives.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead Being Used To Teach Ethics in Norwegian School

A highschool in Norway is using Telltale’s acclaimed “The Walking Dead”  series to teach their students about ethics. Will these kids learn actual ethical insight, or will they only learn that Zombies = bad news?

The school was brought to attention by NRK, a media outlet in Norway that reported on the class. A video of the report can be seen here (Warning, it’s in Norweigin, but you can hit the translate button if you don’t speak the language).

According to the report, the game is being used to give student ethical dilemmas that they may not otherwise be given. Before you assume these ethical decisions are “Be a zombie murder or not?”, bear in mind that the series has been acclaimed for making players actually feel for their characters and feel the weight of their decisions. Unfortunately I personally have not had a chance to play the series, but I’ve heard they’re very well respected and well developed in character design and progression.

The report also claims that students have had positive results using the game to teach students ethics, as the game has spawned lively discussion of many of the ethical dilemmas that are presented in the game. Likewise, the students are reported to be much more engaged in this form of teaching than in traditional forms of teaching ethics.

Such a report begs the question: should video games be incorporated into more classrooms? Certainly there has been evidence to suggest that video games help engage students in school, but are they more successful in teaching than traditional means? That remains to be seen, and anecdotal evidence like this can only be applied to the situation. Certainly The Walking Dead wouldn’t be appropriate outside ethics and philosophy classes, but perhaps other games can help bridge the gap between education and video games. Similarly, one must ask: are using video games in the classroom any different than using television or movies?

Can Playing Video Games Cause Hallucinations?

Can Playing Video Games Cause Hallucinations?

A Recent study out of Nottingham Trent University, and reported on by Gamespot, claims that playing video games for may cause hallucinations. Should we be worried, or should we just forget about it and continue to try and get Donkey Kong out of my backyard?

The study is based on experience compiled by  gamers collected on online gaming forums. The fact that the study is relying on personal experience from internet testimonial is already questionable, but we’ll just go ahead and move on.  Gamers reported seeing distorted versions of reality that included aspects of games after playing for extended periods of times. This could include things like seeing gaming menus, signs, or even options in the real world. This phenomenon the research team calls “Game Transfer Phenomena”is  what they describe as “how playing games can affect a person’s sense of sight, sound, and touch after they are done playing”.  These experiences were mixed, with some gamers having uncomfortable experiences in which they were unable to concentrate, confused, or even worried about the perceived objects they saw.

From personal experience: One night, after a particularly long session of playing the 2001 title “Super Monkey Ball” the game seeped into my reality. Day was night, light was dark, balls were filled with monkeys.  Had my loved ones been trapped in spherical cages, or was it all in my mind? As I navigated the mazes of my mind, and the ones manifested into my reality I began to laugh at the comedy of it all; for aren’t we all monkeys in our own balls? Trapped in our own spheres of lies and desperation? What a world to live we in; It’s Bananas.

…Where was I? Back to the article: Should we stop playing video games excessively for fear that Mario will sneak into our reality? Who knows. The research study team admits that relying on personal experience from an internet pool of respondents means that we can’t say that the group represents a majority of gamers. Further research needs to be done to see what type of gamers are more likely to have GTP occur and to see how and when GTP manifest, if it does. Regardless, it doesn’t seem like GTP is anything gamers should fear, as the majority of gamers didn’t seem to respond to having it. However, if true, GTP does mean that video games and media effect our brains in ways we haven’t quite figured out. Then again, is it just video games and other media that have this effect? One could argue that doing any activity for an extended amount of time can have adverse effects on one’s mental state and lead to sensations of that activity in normal life. We’ll have to keep an eye on the phenomena to further see how video games and media are effecting our social world.

If this sensation has ever happened to you (And not like the ridiculous lie I told) please share!

For more photos of Video games in Real Life!

http://kotaku.com/real-life-photos-mixed-with-16-bit-video-games-are-amaz-476024420

Do We Cheat in Video Games Because We Assume Everyone Else Is?

Do We Cheat in Video Games Because We Assume Everyone Else Is?

We’re back in 2014, with an article that looks into a study conducted by a research team coming out of Singapore. This specific study looks into why we cheat in video games.

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I won’t go into the specifics of the study, as the wired article does that quite well, but it is worth discussing the findings of the study. The article reevaluates the belief that it’s anonymity that makes gamers cheat in online communities, and instead finds that gamer’s responded that they more often resorted to cheating because they believed others were cheating as well. Not only that, but they also responded that if one doesn’t cheat in online communities then they are at a disadvantage. Essentially, we’re all cheating because we assume everyone is cheating, and if you’re honest you’re probably losing. What an online world we live in.

Take some time and check out the article, and the study if you have the ability to. It’s worth a view.

I know this post is a bit on the sparse side, but I promise: more content and new articles in the future! Until then, happy new years and good gaming.