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Collaborative Research Post
 When I found this article on collaborative research I found it to be very interesting, as it give insight to a class that is using collaborative research on a daily basis. This inside look allows for a direct link to the benefits and shortcomings of collaborative research. In this class, that participated during 2003-2004, the faculty forced students to collaborate with in-field researchers to collaborate on research and findings. They would share experimental design, preparation, and data between many classrooms to speed up the process. This class is looking at the collaborative efforts between two neuroscience classes, and reveals how through such research, much more can be accomplished in a much shorter time.

When looking at key points for this research, I believe it is essential to look at the classroom size. In this article the author is focusing on two classrooms with less than 20 participants. This is crucial in understanding how the collaborative works can be maintained with relative ease and clarity. The students are paired up and given a strict set of directions to help guide them through this process, and then are grouped into research teams that must then work with professors, professionals, and other students which "helps to improve the likelihood of publishable data by increasing the number of available subjects included in data analysis, thereby counteracting the variability that arises from multiple investigators/surgeons/histologists working on a single project." This article points out how beneficial this process is, while showing real world examples of how it can work in a professional and collegiate setting.

When looking at the Nintendo Wii video game system, it is immediately clear that the system sports a revolutionary control system. While wireless controllers have been an affluent trend over the past few game systems, the Wii takes the technology to new heights. Users are forced to use their entire bodies to control the characters on screen. Gone are the days of complex control schemes and in with intuitive controls that allow for anyone who can hold a controller to play. There are the standard white wireless controllers that can be used to mimic real life motion, but there are also a number of controllers that can be used to change gameplay. Some of these include a more traditional wired controller that involves buttons and joysticks. There are also plug ins to the white wireless controller themselves. These can extend the functions of the standard controller and also give a greater range of motion and provide more precise movement.

When I got to play the Wii for myself we played a sports game that had our avatars doing a multitude of different activities including baseball, tennis, boxing, golf, and bowling. The simple controller was able to control each of these games with great detail mimicking both a pitcher and bat, tennis racket, boxing glove, golf club, and bowling ball. It was incredible how the simple stick like controller was often forgotten about and instead it felt that I was using a real club or bat to perform the actions. This transition was easy for me and others in the room, including, girls and adults. This was the first time I had ever seen a room full of so many different categories of people pick up the same controller and play the same game. 

When looking at the Wii and its basic functions within these sorts of games, it became clear that other games could utilize this technology to immerse users into the game with greater depth and intensity. Immediately, light-saber battles seemed imminent along with gun controllers to control first person shooters. I also felt that the diversity the controller had would be great for adventure games where it could double as a flashlight in one scene, switch to a gun the next, and maybe a sword in the next. Suddenly I imagined a world where adventure games, even the most complex and deep games, wound up in the hands of adults and children alike.

When looking at future additions to the controller I felt that censors that connected to the feet would be next or possibly glasses that detected where the player was looking. These additions would allow the console to be controlled by all four appendages rather than just the hands. This would allow for more sports games to utilize this technology (including football, futbol, and running games.) As a developer I would use these new input types to bring in those who love sports games such as these, but go for the other systems that push graphics and processing power.

Research Analyzing
When looking at the many different resources provided for mapping the cultural landscape of MMO gamers, it was clear that they all would contribute to the conversation, however, a few really stood out. Kotaku, Gamer Widow, and The Noob. Their clear strategic goal of spreading information to a multitude of countries, combined with dedication at keeping the sites clear and concise, without losing detail and focus, leads to these three really standing out as credible sources.

First when looking at Kotaku.com there was immediately content that could contribute to mapping out the landscape of MMO gamers. The site covers a range of topics, all dealing with video game content. The site is presented in english, however its coverage far exceeds the boundaries of the United States and other English speaking countries. The front page reveals stories of a Giant Gundam in tokyo then follows it with a story on Paul Mccartney and then finishes with a story on censorship in Japan. When looking for an even narrower topic (here I looked at PS3 coverage) the front page alone had content on the release of the PS3 slim from the U.K. to Tokyo, Japan. Providing this global coverage provided unity, and it showed how likes and dislikes within gaming can be unanimous and collective. The site also talked directly about Dungeons and Dragons Online revealing its early triumphs and its early falls. The site was directly liked with Toyota Prius, and pushed the Hybrid concept and also advertising for Pepsi Max was apparent throughout.

The second source, Gamer Widow, gives an honest look at the lives of those who have loved ones addicted to MMO's. This site specifically looks at MMO's rather than just video games. This site seems to target those who are in similar situations, as it provides blog space for those who have encountered problems and provide solutions. They recently have addressed the importance of creating MMO's that are non-addictive. This provides a unique look at the conflict between game creators and game users. It is easy to find topics within this site as you can search the topics and archives with ease and precision. This site did not have many signs of advertising, however it did have a merchandise section.

The third source, Grand Text Auto, provides a unique look into video game research. It covers many different topics from why girls don't play 1st person shooters, to what impacts games have on mental and physical health, this site looks into all corners of game research. This source targets those interested in gaming research, not necessarily those who are interested in games in general. This site looks at transnational play by looking at gamers as a whole rather than by region. This targets individuals and games as a collective rather than as pieces of national culture. The site little advertising however it is hosted by Baskin Engeneering. The site has had many pieces on Free Realms including an interesting piece on game Referees.

All three of these sources add a unique perspective on the conversation and can be used as credible views into the world of video games. They cover topics such as research, support groups, addiction, world gaming and many other aspects of the gaming world.

Hi Class!
Hi Games for the Web class! My name is Hugh Handcox and I am a Junior. I am majoring in Political Science and Communications with the intent to go to law school. I come from Lago Vista, TX a town of about 5,000 just north of Austin. My exposure to the gaming world is very limited, for growing up, video games were frowned upon by my family, as well as most forms of media (television, movies, internet, etc.) When I came to college I became fascinated with the many different forms of games and media that were out there. This intrigue provided the fuel for what would eventually shape the course of my life (majoring in communications) as well as my hobbies and interests. I look forward to meeting everyone from class and Games for the Web seems like the perfect class to keep propelling our curiosities and fascinations.

Hugh Handcox-

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