70 research outputs found

    Girls, Guys and Games: How News Media Perpetuate Stereotypes of Male and Female Gamers

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    Despite the sheer popularity of gaming, stereotypes of gamers are persistent and often ill-informed. The average age of an Australian gamer, for example, is 33 and nearly half of gamers are female. Yet, few mainstream and gaming news articles seem to acknowledge this diversity. Because news media and public perception are intertwined, such misrepresentation may affect the way gamers are perceived by the public and, in turn, how gamers negotiate their identities.This paper, through a primarily qualitative analysis of 75 online news articles, explores many examples of simplistic and distorted portrayals of gamers that characterise news coverage. In particular, it examines three gendered tropes—‘not real’ female gamers, women as the victims and oppressors of gamers, and toxic male gamers—that news media use to frame the narratives that misrepresent gaming in social life.Ultimately, this article argues that two prevailing themes underlie many news stories about gaming: the perpetuation of male technocratic privilege and moral panic. Both of these phenomena have relevance to the #GamerGate controversy of 2014, which news media portrayed as a ‘culture war’ between these inaccurate notions of male and female gamers. Thus, this indicates that the media blame game and alienation of gaming culture, as a multibillion-dollar international industry of increasing social importance, must be acknowledged and addressed

    The Importance of Moderately Priced Rental Housing to Continued Economic Growth (Or, Portland’s Rental Housing Plight)

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    Currently, the Greater Portland, Maine area is experiencing a significant shortage in both subsidized rental housing and moderately priced, market-rate rental housing. According to Erin MacLean, the problem is that even with heightened demand, historically low interest rates, and historically high rents, developers are finding that new, market-rate housing is too expensive to build in Portland. The lack of moderately priced housing has affected local business owners as well, who report they are finding it difficult to hire workers in the 8to8 to 15 range. Their efforts to recruit and retain workers place an upward pressure on wages, which can act as a deterrent to economic growth. In this article, MacLean discusses the circumstances that have led to Portland’s current shortage in rental housing and concludes with a discussion about reducing the costs of construction. She strongly urges local officials to help control costs, and suggests that communities with a clear vision and sensible permitting processes will be more successful in attracting the type of development they desire

    Exploring the performance-controlling tablet disintegration mechanisms for direct compression formulations

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    The design and manufacture of tablets is a challenging process due to the complex interrelationships between raw material properties, the manufacturing settings and the tablet properties. An important factor in formulation and process design is the fact that raw material and tablet properties drive the disintegration and dissolution performance of the final drug product. This study aimed to identify the mechanisms which control tablet disintegration for 16 different immediate-release placebo formulations based on raw material and tablet properties. Each formulation consisted of two fillers (47% each), one disintegrant and a lubricant. Tablets were manufactured by direct compression using four different combinations of the fillers microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), mannitol, lactose and dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous (DCPA). The disintegration mechanism was primarily driven by the filler combination, where MCC/lactose tablets were identified as wettability controlled, MCC/mannitol tablets as dissolution controlled and DCPA-based tablets (MCC/DCPA and lactose/DCPA) as swelling controlled. A change of 2% in porosity for the wettability controlled tablets (MCC/lactose) caused a significant acceleration of the disintegration process (77% reduction of disintegration time), whereas for swelling controlled tablets (MCC/DCPA) the same porosity change did not considerably impact the disintegration process (3% change in disintegration time). By classifying these formulations, critical formulation and manufacturing properties can be identified to allow tablet performance to be optimised


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    Over the past year, we’ve had a change of hands from our founder, Matt Barr, to our new editor-in-chief, Mahli-Ann Butt. We’ve taken some extra time to put together this issue with great pride and care. Through a friendly double-open peer-reviewing process, for this open-call issue we’ve published 7 excellent game studies student articles: Dennis Jansen’s ‘The Environment at Play: Confronting Nature in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and the “Frostfall” Mod,’ argues that the natural environment in the base game of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011) is devoid of agency and power in the face of the player’s colonialist endeavours to explore, conquer and master that environment. Jansen thus discusses how the “Frostfall” counteracts the destructive and oppositional relationship between the player and nature in Skyrim. Brianna Dym’s ‘The Burden of Queer Love,’ explores attempts by game development studio Bioware to create video games that are inclusive of gay, lesbian, and bisexual players by writing in queer romantic narrative subplots into their games. While Bioware’s attempts are certainly not malicious, they fail time and time again, game after game, to break free of the hypermasculine and heterocentric culture dominant in the gaming industry. Instead, Bioware appropriates queer experiences and construes them as a burden to the player so as not to displace the fantasies of male, heterosexual gamers. Chris Alton’s ‘Aya of the Beholder: An Examination of the Construction of Real-World Locations in Parasite Eve,’ uses the foundational example of Square’s Parasite Eve (1997) to examine the ways in which real-world locations and approximations of such are represented within video game worlds. Alton examines the methods through which videogames can create spaces which evoke the conceptual idea of a given place, both through audio/visual and interactive means, without constructing a one-to-one simulacrum of the location. Thus, the player actively contributes in the transformation of an actionable virtual space into an actualized lived place. Anna Maria Kalinowski’s ‘Silent Halls: P.T., Freud, and Psychological Horror,’ draws from Sigmund Freud’s concept of the uncanny to address how the psychological concepts surface within the never-ending hallway of P.T. (2014) and create a deeply psychologically horrifying experience. Sean Pellegrini’s ‘And How Does That Make You Feel?: A Psychological Approach to a Classic Game Studies Debate – Violent Video Games and Aggression,’ investigates the claim that violent video games can cause aggression. The findings of this study suggest that people highly correlated with the Dark Triad of personality are a high-risk group for aggression, but that this aggression is unrelated to video games. Daniel Odin Shaw’s ‘Ideology in BioShock: A Critical Analysis,’ analyses the Bioshock series, with a particular focus on the treatment of ideology. By examining the games, with a particular reference the use of procedural rhetoric, this paper argues that this series presents a critique of extreme ideology itself. Hayley McCullough’s ‘“Hey! Listen!”: Video Game Dialogue, Integrative Complexity and the Perception of Quality,’ explores potential complexity differences between winning and losing video games at the Spike Video Game Awards. It compared the integrative complexity of a sample of video game dialogue for three categories (Best Shooter, Best RPG and Best Action/Adventure). Across all analyses a consistent mean pattern emerged: The winning games averaged lower complexity scores than the losing games. These findings suggest a general association between simplistic dialogue and high-quality video games, providing keen insight into the underlying psychology of video games, and establishes a strong foundation for future research. As this issue demonstrates, Press Start is always delighted to be publishing the best new work by early career researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary fields. The Press Start Journal team also welcomed many new members to our editorial board. During this transition period, we’ve begun a mentoring program for our senior members to share their knowledge of the editorial process. This spirit of mentorship, guidance, and support is something we hope to continue into our journal’s future as it reflects our larger goal of encouraging game studies students to share their work and take part in a lively, academic community. Once again, we’re seeking new members to replace our outgoing board, who are graduating and moving on to other things. Board members of Press Start serve as key stakeholders and decision-makers for developing the journal and actively work to support student scholarship in game studies. Current students and graduates within one year of their graduation date are eligible to apply. Our deadline to apply to be on the editorial board this year has just past, but if you are interested in working with Press Start in the future, you can find more information on the responsibilities of an editor here. In 2018, we saw some of our editors present on a panel at DiGRA in Turin, Italy. This was an exciting opportunity for our new members to sit down with established members and discuss our hopes, expectations, and advice regarding the publishing process in general, and with Press Start in particular. While everyone has a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, some commonalities emerged. Fostering an open, supportive, caring – in other words, overtly feminist – atmosphere for editors, reviewers, and contributors has been our most important goal. Reaching out to, and encouraging, junior scholars, new graduate students, upper year undergraduate students, and scholars whose first language is not English are also central goals for Press Start. Given the often intimidating, daunting, and confusing process of academic publishing, we hope to make Press Start an appealing home for exciting, innovative, unusual, and social justice-oriented games research. As students and emerging academics, we believe Press Start should embody the kinds of practices that we want to see become standards for academia. Thus, in order to see a greater diversity in game studies scholarship, we have introduced an initiative to translate our calls for papers into as many languages as we can find volunteers: http://tinyurl.com/yblfxkk4. Press Startencourages submissions from ESL writers, especially if they are not yet fully confident of their ability to write academically in English but want to learn and improve. Press Start Journal is a labour of love and we thank you for your continued support of our journal. Best wishes from the Press Start editorial board, Mahli-Ann Butt, Landon Kyle Berry, Sarah Stang, Alicia Copeland, Leandro Augusto Borges Lima, Erin MacLean, Reece Thomson, and Dennis Wilson

    Procalcitonin Is Not a Reliable Biomarker of Bacterial Coinfection in People With Coronavirus Disease 2019 Undergoing Microbiological Investigation at the Time of Hospital Admission

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    Abstract Admission procalcitonin measurements and microbiology results were available for 1040 hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (from 48 902 included in the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infections Consortium World Health Organization Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK study). Although procalcitonin was higher in bacterial coinfection, this was neither clinically significant (median [IQR], 0.33 [0.11–1.70] ng/mL vs 0.24 [0.10–0.90] ng/mL) nor diagnostically useful (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.56 [95% confidence interval, .51–.60]).</jats:p

    Implementation of corticosteroids in treating COVID-19 in the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK:prospective observational cohort study

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    BACKGROUND: Dexamethasone was the first intervention proven to reduce mortality in patients with COVID-19 being treated in hospital. We aimed to evaluate the adoption of corticosteroids in the treatment of COVID-19 in the UK after the RECOVERY trial publication on June 16, 2020, and to identify discrepancies in care. METHODS: We did an audit of clinical implementation of corticosteroids in a prospective, observational, cohort study in 237 UK acute care hospitals between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2021, restricted to patients aged 18 years or older with proven or high likelihood of COVID-19, who received supplementary oxygen. The primary outcome was administration of dexamethasone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, or methylprednisolone. This study is registered with ISRCTN, ISRCTN66726260. FINDINGS: Between June 17, 2020, and April 14, 2021, 47 795 (75·2%) of 63 525 of patients on supplementary oxygen received corticosteroids, higher among patients requiring critical care than in those who received ward care (11 185 [86·6%] of 12 909 vs 36 415 [72·4%] of 50 278). Patients 50 years or older were significantly less likely to receive corticosteroids than those younger than 50 years (adjusted odds ratio 0·79 [95% CI 0·70–0·89], p=0·0001, for 70–79 years; 0·52 [0·46–0·58], p80 years), independent of patient demographics and illness severity. 84 (54·2%) of 155 pregnant women received corticosteroids. Rates of corticosteroid administration increased from 27·5% in the week before June 16, 2020, to 75–80% in January, 2021. INTERPRETATION: Implementation of corticosteroids into clinical practice in the UK for patients with COVID-19 has been successful, but not universal. Patients older than 70 years, independent of illness severity, chronic neurological disease, and dementia, were less likely to receive corticosteroids than those who were younger, as were pregnant women. This could reflect appropriate clinical decision making, but the possibility of inequitable access to life-saving care should be considered. FUNDING: UK National Institute for Health Research and UK Medical Research Council