The deadline for a chance to access the closed beta of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall on XBox One and PC is fast approaching. Registration ends on Friday, 2/14 at 4 pm PST. Founded by the guys responsible for Infanity Ward’s Call of Duty titles, this will be Respawn Entertainment’s first game and will compete for market share with established shooters such as the aforementioned CoD and EA’s Battlefield series. Head here to sign-up before it ends.
Slated for a March 11th release, Titanfall is a 6v6 first person shooter with the added element of giant robots (titans) that each player can jump in and pilot. The beta will include 2 maps (Angel City and Fracture) and 3 game modes. Attrition is Titanfall‘s version of team deathmatch but with AI controlled cannon fodder running around. Hardpoint Domination is basically Battlefield‘s Conquest mode where teams fight to maintain three capture points. Finally, Last Titan Standing starts all players in a titan and only one life. Check out the following videos that were recently released for more info.
Beta codes will be emailed to a select number of people beginning tonight and until February 17th. I’ll be furiously hitting the ‘F5’ key through the weekend…
Dr. Daphne Bavelier is a cognitive researcher who gave an informative and surprising TED talk about how video games can positively affect the brain. From sensational news stories equating video games to violent behavior, to parents chastising their kids for playing games, it is refreshing to know that this hobby I hold dear can produce cognitive benefits according to recent scientific studies.
The central type of game she focuses on during her talk are what she calls “action games” or FPS (first person shooter) games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. Highlights include debunking the myth that increased screen time makes your eyesight worse. People that play action games actually scored better than non-gamers in two distinct categories: ability to resolve small detail in the context of clutter and ability to resolve different levels of gray. Dr. Bavelier states that the former is utilized when reading fine print on a prescription bottle while the latter is helpful when driving in fog.
Another interesting finding is that gamers have a better ability to track things around the world. A typical normal young adult can have up to three to four objects of attention while gamers double that to six or seven objects of attention. This makes sense as fast paced games task the player with continuous monitoring of their surroundings, whether it is checking for nearby threats or keeping an eye on the mini-map and their health.
Using brain imaging, it has been discovered that video games cause positive changes to areas of the brain that control attention such as the parietal cortex (orientation of attention), frontal lobe (sustaining attention), and anterior cingulate (allocation/regulation of attention and conflict resolution). Imaging has shown that these areas are more efficient in gamers.
I highly recommend watching her entire 18 minute presentation at the top of this post. Dr. Bavelier isn’t telling people to play 10 hours of ‘Call of Duty’ daily, as moderation is still a key component. In addition, she advocates for the creation of games that are geared specifically towards training and rehabbing the brain while still being fun. Until then, I’ll continue to play Battlefield and call it my “brain workout”, knowing it might be slightly less of a waste of time!