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Alexa Ray Corriea

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Last night, the 10th annual Games for Change conference wound to a close with two keynote speeches discussing how games affect us mentally and emotionally.

In his talk, game designer and academic Eric Zimmerman proposed that there is a problem in the way our field handles educational games and games about social change. As we move into what Zimmerman calls a "ludic century" — an era of spontaneous playfulness and playful technologies — he believes there needs to be a drastic shift in how we think about these types of games.

"We make games and integrate them into our lives," he said. "I think it's possible we're mistreating them, and not treating them with respect."

Zimmerman called attention to the fact that many research...

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Alan Turing slate statue at Bletchley Park museum

Flickr user Duane Wessels

June 23 marks the 100th birthday of Alan Turing. If I had to name five people whose personal efforts led to the defeat of Nazi Germany, the English mathematician would surely be on my list. Turing's genius played a key role in helping the Allies win the Battle of the Atlantic—a naval blockade against the Third Reich that depended for success on the cracking and re-cracking of Germany's Enigma cipher. That single espionage victory gave the United States control of the Atlantic shipping lanes, eventually setting the stage for the 1944 invasion of Normandy.

Alan Turing's Year

2012 is billed as the "Alan Turing Year," and a lengthy compendium of past and future Alan Turing events can be found at the Centenary site hosted by the United Kingdom's Mathematics Trust. The big gathering taking place right now is the Alan Turing Centenary Conference in Manchester.

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