Computer Games


Sizing the U.S. Student Cohort for Computer Science

Communications of the ACM

Alan Kay, Cathie Norris, Elliot Soloway, and I had an article in the September 2019 issue of Communications called "Computational Thinking Should Just Be Good Thinking" (access the article at http://bit.ly/2P7RYEV). Our argument is that "computational thinking" is already here--students use computing every day, and that computing is undoubtedly influencing their thinking. What we really care about is effective, critical, "expanded" thinking, where computing helps us think. To do that, we need better computing. Ken Kahn engaged with our article in the comments section (thank you, Ken!), and he made a provocative comment: There are have been many successful attempts to add programming to games: Rocky's Boots (1982), Robot Odyssey (1984), RoboSport (1991), Minecraft (multiple extensions), and probably many more.


As Esports Take Off, High School Leagues Get In The Game

NPR Technology

Assistant Principal Miles Carey oversees a Rocket League practice at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Va. Assistant Principal Miles Carey oversees a Rocket League practice at Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington, Va. Nowadays, if you're a teenager who's good at video games there's a lot more to be had than just a pot of virtual gold. Today, more than 170 colleges and universities participate. Naturally, high schools have followed suit.


Turn Your Customers into Your Community

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In the early 2000s, facing growing competition from video games and the internet, LEGO found itself on the brink of bankruptcy. The company continued to struggle before staging a remarkable turnaround and surpassing Mattel to become the world's largest toy maker. Central to that transformation was a fundamental shift in how LEGO approached their customers. For more than 75 years of its history, LEGO made toys exclusively for customers in a closed innovation process. But over the last decade, LEGO learned how to build with their fan community.


Will the success of The Witcher herald a golden age of game-to-TV adaptations?

The Guardian

It is a truth, universally accepted, that video games do not translate well to the big screen. From Assassin's Creed to the Super Mario Bros movie, the result is usually a compromised monstrosity, ignorant of the source material and quickly disowned by the studios, directors and actors responsible for it. There have been exceptions – Detective Pikachu was weird but fine and the Resident Evil films have their fans. But films based on games are usually a mess. Have licensing managers been looking at the wrong screen the whole time?


Google boss gives warning about future of artificial intelligence

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Artificial intelligence must be regulated to save humanity from being hit by its dangers, Google's boss has said. The potential damage the technology could do means it is "too important" not to be constrained, according to Sundar Pichai. While it has the potential to save and improve lives, it could also cause damage through misleading videos and the "nefarious uses of facial recognition", he wrote in the New York Times, calling on the world to work together to define what the future of AI should look like. Regulation would be required to prevent AI being influenced by bias, as well as protect public safety and privacy, he said. "Growing up in India, I was fascinated by technology. Each new invention changed my family's life in meaningful ways. The telephone saved us long trips to the hospital for test results. The refrigerator meant we could spend less time preparing meals, and television allowed us to see the world news and cricket matches we had only imagined while listening to the short-wave radio," he said.


Wild ideas in science: Robots will never think like us

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Today's AI systems are superhuman. Computer models based loosely on the neural networks in our brains are trained on vast amounts of data using huge clusters of processors. They can now classify objects in images better than we can. And as IBM and Google's DeepMind have demonstrated, they can beat us at games such as chess and Go, and even achieve the highest rank in the computer game StarCraft II. But at the same time, AI systems are inhuman.


Math for Programmers! - KDnuggets

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Math is an essential tool for programmers, playing an integral role in game development, computer graphics and animation, image and signal processing, pricing engines, and even stock market analysis. When you've got expert math skills, you've got the tools you need to get stuff done. Math for Programmers is your guide to solving all sorts of mathematical problems in code. Written by Paul Orland, the CEO of Silicon Valley startup Tachyus, you'll learn to enjoy thinking about math like a programmer. With accessible examples, scenarios, and exercises perfect for the working developer, you'll start by exploring functions and geometry in 2D and 3D.


Would You Let An AI Read Your Mind?

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The 38 years old Finnish science fiction author, along with data scientist friend Samuel Halliday, got his hands on a simple wearable brain scanner and started wondering how he could use the technology to tell more engaging stories. So in 2012, they came up with a story that could be read wearing the wireless headset, and branch and change depending on whether the reader showed more affinity for life or death imagery. Think of it as a modern version of the text-only interactive games of the late 70's, or a Choose Your Own Adventure eBook, but where your brain's electrical activity determines the choices. The project has been open-sourced to encourage innovation, meaning with a $400 piece of hardware, some machine learning and writing skills, everyone can venture into the depths of the design space created by emerging brain-computer interface technologies. While there is a lot of fuss these days around whether we can make artificial intelligence (or AI) truly intelligent, giving'brains' to machines might not always be enough.


The Touryst is a bite-sized, open-world vacation game

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It can be difficult to find time to finish a video game, especially if you only have a few hours a week to play. In our biweekly column Short Play we suggest video games that can be started and finished in a weekend. I was really into playing open-world games when the genre was still new. While I didn't complete everything in those early Assassin's Creed games, or in the original Crackdown or Infamous, I did spend a lot of time doing pretty much everything the games had to offer. These days, however, I find it pretty difficult to devote enough time to finish the main quest line of an open-world game, never mind the additional stuff.


Understanding the Elements of Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. The development of AI is speeding up on a daily basis. Only recently, Google's DeepMind created the AI AlphaStar that secured a decisive victory against two grandmaster players of the game of StarCraft II. In a series of test matches they played, the algorithm won 5-0. This victory is a decisive moment for artificial intelligence, as the game of StarCraft II is fundamentally more difficult than the other games where Deepmind's algorithm already claimed victory.