Posted on June 18th, 2011 No comments
What is the “average gamer?” What factors go into calculating what “average” means in terms of gaming? In “Average Gamers Please Step Forward,” A. B. Harris says that he is the “poster child for gaming,” according to the Entertainment Software Association: he is a male, head-of-household working professional in his early thirties (465). One concept Harris never addresses—thus seemingly inflicted with incorrect perceptions himself—is that the average gamer, by the ESA standards, cannot be so easily defined. A quick trip to the ESA’s webpage on “Industry Facts” seems to conflict Harris’ definition of “average.” There, the organization claims 40 percent of all gamers are female. This number is statistically significant enough to say that one cannot declare the average gamer as either male or female. However, just like Harris, many game developers make the same mistake, creating and marketing games strictly to males, causing an imbalance based on perceived notions that should not exist. Recently, developers have started researching the female gamer, and found that it has nothing to do with the fact that females do not game but rather that there are few games developed with females in mind. There very well could be more than those 40 percent out there if there were games to cater to them. With such an unknown, how can the typical gamer truly be defined?
Game developers want to answer this question. Studies and interpretations have formed as psychological researchers delve into the differences between male and female gaming. One of these studies in particular found that “spatial performance was significantly better among fifth-grade boys than among fifth-grade girls on a video game assessment of mental rotation” (Blumberg 152). The problem with these analyses is that researchers are not considering other key pieces of information that influence the outcome. According to Fran Blumberg and Lori Sokol of Fordham University, a study released two years later determined that boys tend to have “more overall video game experience than did girls, which may have contributed to their superior video game performance” (152). Blumberg and Sokol tried to alleviate that problem by studying not so much the performance, but how boys and girls taught themselves to play. In the end, they found that while boys seemed, as predicted, to have more previous video game experience, “gender was not implicated in our findings concerning either citation of internally or externally based video game strategies or game performance” (Blumberg 157). Simply put, the researchers could not attribute any differences in how children approached new games to gender: males are not inherently “better gamers.”
Posted on July 1st, 2010 No comments
While demonstrating things for a customer today, here’s the final creation, in Microsoft Office Excel 2007, that resulted. It amused me and I decided to keep it as a wallpaper.
Posted on May 5th, 2010 No comments
This week, Intel announced the availability of technology made especially for digital signage. The new platform, based on Windows Embedded Standard 7 and running on Intel Core i5/i7 processors, along with technology such as touch screens to allow interactivity from a passerby.
Posted on April 22nd, 2010 No comments
Yesterday, McAfee pushed out a DAT file for its Enterprise virus-scanning software that tracked down a core Windows XP system file and quarantined it as malware. Thousands, if not tens of thousands, of computer systems were damaged as a result. Windows XP cannot run without the quarantined file, SVCHOST.EXE, and as a result, automatically shut itself down. Other weird settings and symptoms were evident, such as taskbars disappearing, blue-screens-of-death, and other crash-related symptoms.
On one hand, relief simply did not come fast enough. On the other…what more could McAfee have done to repair the damage? McAfee rolled back the virus definition as quickly as it found out, and released an addendum file that could be manually applied to infected PCs. The servers hosting the offered file were strained by the demand, resulting in disconnect errors and failures to update the McAfee software.
“We believe that this incident has impacted less than one half of one percent of our enterprise accounts globally, and a fraction of that within the consumer base,” said Barry McPherson, on McAfee’s blog Wednesday. He goes on to identify the error in the update, stating that it was an attempt to detect a potentially damaging virus, and the update “clearly did more harm than good.”
Posted on October 15th, 2009 No comments
Excited that I finally figured this out, here is a step-by-step how-to that will enable you to put your OneNote notebook online with Office Live, allowing for Live sync and sharing amongst multiple computers.
DISCLAIMER: At this time, Office Live Small Business gives free webspace in the amount of 50 MB. If your books are smaller than this, then you will be fine. If you choose to upgrade your server space, you can do so by purchasing additional space. $4.95 a month plus taxes gets you 1GB of space.
If you are only using Windows Vista or 7 machines, you will NOT want to use this method because there are free WebDAV providers out there that OneNote will be compatible with. Only use this method if you are looking for a free or cheap way to sync with multiple computers that include Windows XP computers.
If you want me to explain how I set up my personal Vista machine to sync via WebDAV with a public provider, let me know.
Let’s get started.
Posted on April 9th, 2009 3 comments
Email for the common user is increasingly web-based. Gone are the days where a mail ISP just dropped your mail in a box somewhere, and the preferred (only?) method of doing anything nice with it was to have a client installed on your machine. Gone are the days where web-based email was a horrible thing to have to navigate, used only in the emergency where you had no choice but to check it online.
But, Windows has yet to truly acknowledge this. Send To | Mail Recipient is limited to the client you have installed on your computer. Every one of us has done it: right click a file, choose Send To | Mail Recipient, and then moan in displeasure as some client we never use (read: Outlook Express) would pop up and declare that you need to set up your account!
This has been driving me crazy. I use Google Apps for my email, and I was trying to find some solution around this. There are some odd registry hacks out there that can jimmy-rig it for sending emails and handling some mailto links, but then you run into the problem of sending attachments (read: having to do it manually). I found relief in the form of Affixa.
Relief, at least, for Gmail and Yahoo! Mail users. As Affixa’s website puts it: “It’s 2009, and email is web-based. So why is Windows still partying like it’s 1999?” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on February 20th, 2009 1 comment
I love Google. They’re a great company. I have Google Apps on my website, Google everything on my BlackBerry, and I hopped onto Google Chrome as soon as it came out.
Knowing it was in the introductory phase, I dealt with certain facts of Chrome, such as the inability to use plug-ins or extensions. Chrome is a fast little beast, and I enjoy it immensely.
But recently, I have had need to open Firefox once or twice during my work, and I see some of the extensions that I used to use that I no longer do. I started getting frustrated with the lack of synchronization of bookmarks (Delicious), the inability to check out advanced details of CSS when working with web design (CSSViewer), and my popups. notifications and other various tweaks (FaviconizeTab, Google Reader Watcher, to name a couple.)
Google Chrome is nice and clean, but the bottom line is starting to dawn on me: It is less functional, in its current form, than Firefox, and even Internet Explorer. The amount of time I’m spending on bookmarks and dealing with CSS in Chrome is far outweighing the time I’m saving in the fast streamlined browsing experience I get from it.
My opinion: Google Chrome can’t compete unless it gets with the program.
And getting with the program it seems to be. The net is abound with rumors and such that Chrome is getting extensions eventually. According to Chromeplugins.org, and confirmed by Google, there seems to be a session dedicated to the development of extensions for the upcoming Google I/O Developer Conference, scheduled for May.
It’s just a few months away, but my patience is wearing thin. I’m tempted to jump back to Firefox for now, and come revisit Chrome after the conference. If extensions start getting coded.