All That Gore Gets in the Way of Gameplay | GameLife | Wired.com
And to round out the day's links… here's an article about some research that found (surprise, surprise) that graphic violence does not increase players enjoyment of a video game: "violence doesn’t contribute much to how well a game plays. What gamers most demand from a game, the researchers found, is awesome play mechanics. Their subjects liked it when a game gave them a sense of “autonomy” and “competence” — such as when the game had well-crafted controls, an environment that wasn’t frustrating and nicely balanced combat and puzzles." The author of the post asks some good questions about why so many games are so violent despite the results of this research.
This also looks like an awesome step in the right direction from the new administration: "The purpose of Data.gov is to increase public access to high value, machine readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal Government. Although the initial launch of Data.gov provides a limited portion of the rich variety of Federal datasets presently available, we invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of Data.gov by suggesting additional datasets and site enhancements to provide seamless access and use of your Federal data. Visit today with us, but come back often. With your help, Data.gov will continue to grow and change in the weeks, months, and years ahead."
Open Government Initiative
This is awesome… perhaps more for the coming change it represents than the actual implementation thus far, but awesome none the less. The federal government wants your participation: "Consistent with the President’s mandate, we want to be fully transparent in our work, participatory in soliciting your ideas and expertise, and collaborative in how we experiment together to use new tools and techniques for developing open government policy."