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  1. Yep, exactly this. The research - and conversation around games in general - needs to have a better understanding of the types of benefit: the shared-experience type socialising you've described here, the online socialising that's going to become more prevalent as the world changes, direct learning (eg maths skills, learning facts), indirect learning (creative skills from Minecraft, problem solving, etc), relaxation and mood benefits, etc. The Speedball 2 case is probably crucial as well! Frustration and anger as a negative outcome. Should we shield younger players from those? Obviously they're a core part of the Fortnite experience and I think that's where a lot of parents' worry about it comes from.
  2. So a couple of things here: with my interests coming from working in health and cognitive psych, and more recently working as a UX researcher in games. I've recently done some work that was focused on kids gaming activities during lockdown. If I had to comment on the general body of research on screen time, I'd say two main things: the negative effects they are showing are small (and I mean that formally - as in, the effect sizes are small. Way too much focus on showing significance at the moment without considering the practical impact, but that's early days research for you), and the quality of the body of research itself is low (I don't mean that as a slight: again, it's partly a result of an immature research field. Not enough studies, poor replicability, little ability to generalise, few good systematic reviews and meta-analyses) Here's the other thing with the research, from talking to researchers and attending conferences: too many of them have low digital literacy themselves. They barely differentiate between using devices to do different activities - watching videos vs playing games for example - and certainly are not at the level of differentiating between the nuances of various games. If I asked you 'are games good for you' - you'd ask "which games?" The same questions should be applied to screen time. When Times Table Rockstars and PUBG are both falling under the same metric, something is going very wrong. But again, all understandable. Researchers - psychologists especially - need simple metrics to start out with, and a screen time is easy to obtain on a mass scale. As time goes on, I think the direction of travel is that we will begin to tease it out: we will break down and classify device activities better. And we will begin to address covariates, moderators and mediators, which are just barely addressed in the current research. Eg: household income - this impacts access to devices but also then impacts access to quality of apps and games available. With less money available for purchases children are shuttled towards FTP games, which are often a mess of dark patterns, microtransactions, pushy notifications, and terrible ethical practices overall. There are issues around underlying conditions - some studies do not even account for increased device use in children with limited mobility, which could be enough to create the very modest effects shown. Attention also: be wary of blaming attention issues on prior use of screen time, when even the most negative of studies have not been willing to establish causality/direction of cause here. The evidence is extremely weak on attention, cognition , etc. And lots of other similar issues. The other big consideration that I think changes the screen time debate is relative risk. How much more risky is greater screen time than other activities? One comparison I saw was that it's about as increased a risk as having a diet that included potatoes. Although any nuanced discussion of relative risk needs to look at the combined risk of eating potatoes AND screen time, of course.. but the message is that screen time (and games) are best managed as part of an overall pattern of risk and behaviour, with no good evidence that it has a worse impact on children's lives than many of the other behaviours we encourage without even thinking about it. We have to look at how things like Fortnite and Roblox have been used in the last few months: for some children they've been their main channel for socialising with their friends. But anyway, to get off the academic stuff, many of the parents I spoke to were coming around to the view that if they could find apps and software that they felt confident about, they would probably lift screen time restrictions. This is a good direction to move in I think: things like Osmo and the Namco-Bandai one (have forgotten the name) are learning tools that children view as primarily enjoyable games, and that's great. More digital literacy in parents, in educators, in researchers will be what helps them to make better choices and guidance about what devices and apps children use.
  3. Thanks! I went for the path of least resistance with an RG350. Looking forward to getting it!
  4. I'm taking myself in circles here: I'd like a small, comfy little handheld to play pre-ps1 era games. But whenever I find one that seems about right I spot some drawback - tiny battery, terrible d-pad, etc. (And then end up looking at more expensive ones that pack more power then I might need) Is there any any one device that's well regarded for 16-bit and earlier and not too expensive?
  5. Just popping in if that's okay! Will leave a little something-something behind Nook's..
  6. This is even better considering it appears to be happening at Terminator Leia and Tricolour's Space Wedding, replete with stormtrooper ushers and a floating Space Vicar with no legs
  7. Maybe a better approach to that plea would be to not use idiotic terms like 'the woke-as-fuck brigade'.
  8. Yep, same on both. Great fun in the cinema, feeling less sure the second I stepped out of there. We should give JJ credit here, because there's definitively an art to making film that can maintain breakneck exposition and action in the way that he can. That's not a small thing, and it's one reason that there's no question that the sequels are better overall than the prequels, which just draaaaag. But I'm feeling less and less satisfied with it as time goes on.
  9. At least we got confirmation on one important thing: Apart from lots of the other issues, something that raised an eyebrow: I had a great time watching it, but I had a great time watching Star Trek Into Darkness as well.
  10. I think they get a bit of a pass for this one given that electric cars were introduced much earlier in the Watchmen world - I think even by the time the original comic is set - due to Dr. M's speeding up of tech. I'm almost certain it's covered in the original run.
  11. Holy cow K, read the stuff about Fogdancing, you'll fucking love it.
  12. Finished Reach on the One S yesterday - some scattered thoughts.. First time round on the 360 I thought that the invincible allies broke the Halo formula - this time, no issues with it at all. Most of the time, I hardly noticed. Elites having armour lock negates one of my favourite tools - the needler burst. Bit odd, when.. The needle rifle is Brute poison. Wipes the floor with them! I can't handle Legendary any more. That's gone. Even heroic had me stumped a few times. Speaking of which, there were a few too many choke-points where I felt I was funnelled into a very small through-area against a lot of enemies. Found myself banging my head off these for a while. The space bits are visually impressive, but not fun. Ditto for the Falcon level, but the on foot bits of the level are AMAZING. Heroic is a lovely sweet spot in this because of the increased focus on having a marine fire team. Mercifully few tank bits. It's nice to have the shoot-them-in-the-orange-bits up close dance with the Hunters back. Did they work like this in 3 and ODST? The story is still a mixed bag, but the military bombast works better with the general sense of melancholy. A really effective feeling of everything going downhill very fast. I cannot use the grenade launcher to save my life. Lone Wolf is still probably the best story moment in the whole series (I haven't played 4 or 5 but from word of mouth I don't think they'll trouble it). I saw a post on Reddit saying it has 'aged like a fine wine.' Yep!
  13. Shit, I just rewatched and realised the significance of Eli saying "close your eyes, honey."
  14. I went a bit mad and did the buy-2-years-of-live-and-convert-into-GP thing yesterday, despite not owning an XB1. Ended up with a subscription that runs out in April 2022 for £65 - so thanks to everyone on here who posted the method! Any good console-only deals likely to pop up for Black Friday? I don't have a 4k TV, so am guessing that the S is the best option given that the all digital seems to be weirdly overpriced..
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