For one thing, they can be designed to be highly interactive and, because of the level of complexity which can be pro- grammed into them — which is to say challenge to the player — they do have value far exceeding anything yet designed for the arcades. Computer games can be divided into three classes. Such games require almost no skill except good hand-eye coordination.
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The third class is adventure games — and the line separating sim- ulation from adventure is a fine one. Adventure games transport the play- er to a fantasy world, one without any basis in known reality. The current controversy over games is generally hinged to the first classification — arcade games — and if those with such questionable learn- ing benefits as Pac Man were all that was at stake, debate would be point- less. But in fact there is a growing body of evidence which strongly sug- gests some computer games really do you some good.
For example, they may help you learn. They may chal- lenge you to seek solutions in the face of situations which seem impossible to solve. They may encourage you to think through a problem before any action is taken. They may force you to find new ways to see a problem in order to find even a hint of a pathway toward solving it. The net result may well be that you are forced to think differently, more creatively, and smarter. If that in fact proves to be the case — and there is as yet no hard evidence to support that notion — computer games have a good deal more going for them than even their defenders know.
Playing to learn Playing, as a tool for learning, is not a new teaching tactic. Researchers and teachers have known for years that educational material presented in game format can be a powerful motivation to learn. And, it is clearly a tool which has broad implications for learning by computer. In fact, simulation games are now being de- signed specifically for educational purposes. It teaches history students something about the hardships pioneer families endured in their trek from the Mississippi River to the Oregon Territory by placing the student within a simulation of that time and place, and then asking him to take actions based on the problems presented by the program.
The center serves as the continuing edu- cation ceriter for the university. He points out that the quality of the sim- ulation is very important, and adds that a good one allows students to teach themselves. Self teaching through game simu- lation is, however, one kettle of fish. Carryover of lessons learned into life situations is another, as those who de- vise military simulations are fond of pointing out after carefully planned tactics based on combat situations fall through the cracks. Nevertheless, a friend of ours re- counts how his son, then a senior in high school, and struggling with trig- onometry, actually began to make progress after he found out he could use trigonometry to help him play a simulation about submarines and destroyers.
Still, the question of carryover in- to life remains. One researcher exam- ining the phenomenon is Larry Wood, a cognitive psychologist at Brigham Young University. Wood currently teaches a course called Cognitive Processes and Computers. When I first played a board game called Master- mind, I saw that it was just logic. A chal- lenger tries to guess the pattern of the colored pegs.
The challenger registers a guess by placing pegs in the board in the sequence he thinks his op- ponent has chosen. The player must then state how many of the colors in the pattern are correct. Play con- tinues with new guesses until the challenger has found the correct pat- tern. Wood modified Mastermind to run on an Apple computer by using digits instead of colored pegs.
He then con- ducted an experiment in learning us- ing his modified Mastermind. To succeed, Wood realized, a play- er has to keep track of a lot of facts. Using a standardized test, he was able to show that students were better able to retain information in situ- ations unrelated to the game after they had played Mastermind on the computer. He is now conducting fur- ther experiments to determine the ex- tent to which skills learned in game playing are carried over to real life situations. Serial interface Parallel interface 9. The Franklin ACE — the most extraordinary value on the market today.
Call or write today for the name of your local authorized Franklin dealer. Apple is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc. VisiCalc is a registered trademark of Visi Corp. I review them all the time. It makes you think in different ways. It makes you keep looking for the solution, be- cause you know there is one. Typically, clients call me in when things are terrible. Then they give me about 10 percent of the in- formation needed to solve the prob- lem, and they expect a solution right away. You know very little when you start. The play's the thing Psychologists and sociologists say playing is good for us.
Indeed, recent best seller lists have included books dealing with stress relief and its bene- fits, and the best of those books are heavily endorsed by the medical pro- fession. And for oth- ers, the excitement generated by an arcade game would send them along to intensive care. Computer games do just that — they involve the player to a degree which leaves the problems and pres- sures of super-heated jobs behind. The report due yesterday, the meet- ing tomorrow, the current family crisis — all disappear for the length of time it takes to play the game.
And, if there is not at this writing any con- sensus about the benefits of playing computer games to relieve tension and relax, there is certainly plenty of evidence that a grass roots movement is under way in that direction. Re- ports of people playing adventure games into the small hours of the morning, for example, are now common. Roe Adams is one who believes games are fun as well as challenging. He also sees computer games as a way in which people can accomplish things not possible in their real-life roles.
And accomplishment, at least to most of us, is one very important measure of self worth. He also claims to be the national champion Wizardry Player, a title that is clearly important, at least to him. Adams says he was the first one to solve the game and defeat the evil wizard Werdna Andrew spelled backwards , making him the national champion. On a recent visit with Adams, I asked him to provide a demonstration of Wizardry, which he claims is unique among games for the Apple; no one else has been able to achieve the level of sophistication that Wiz- ardry has.
It was also a way to test first hand the hypothesis that playing games can be good for something be- sides enjoyment and relaxation. Adams booted the disk on his Apple II Plus personal computer. Our first stop in the game was the Training Ground where a player can specify the types of characters he wants by making a list of traits — strength, piety, agility, and the like. He chose our party from it and we were on our way.
Men at arms stood sharing a pint with mages and thieves, priests and ninjas — and the look in each eye was cold and suspicious. Hawkwind addressed the group. Who will join me? And you, ninja, you can slay dragons with a single blow. Can you not come and find some adventure? Shamed, a few moved forward and our party was formed.
Transend Software lets your Apple do the walking. Transpak 1 connects your Apple to other r Apples, to mainframe systems, or to public information networks. In fact, all Transpaks include valuable subscription offers to three time-saving information services: The Knowledge Index instantly locates articles, re- ports or books from an electronic library of over 10, journals.
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Choose your Transpak and get started today. Each Transpak includes all the communications software and hardware you need in one simple package. SSM guarantees your satisfaction or your money back. Then, accompanied by our party, we selected D from the menu, and proceeded down into the dungeon. Behind us were the stairs we had de- scended to get here, but we knew there was no backing out. Hawkwind grinned at us.
The upper left cor- ner showed a simple graphic repre- sentation of the dungeon. It was a three-dimensional drawing so it looked like we were standing at the beginning of a corridor. To the right of the drawing was a menu of the actions we could take in the dungeon. We could go forward F , turn right or left R or L , or go into camp C , which would mean we had erected barriers against the mon- sters in the dungeon. We could also update the status of our party S which, on the screen, showed health and well-being.
We could inspect the area I to search for dead bodies, as well as set the time delay T to give us a breather while we read our mes- sages. Just below the menu area and the drawing of the dungeon is the board showing the status of magic spells. The computer displays spells that are in effect in each area, and also de- scribes options available to each member of the party in the event of an encounter with Werdna or his evil monsters. Immediately below is the message area, displaying messages which describe events that happen as the game progresses.
Finally, at the bottom of the screen is the status ar- ea, where the members of the party — and the state of their health — are list- ed. Reading the status area, you can decide if the monsters have taken such a toll on your party that you must leave, or whether you still have the strength to go on. Adams pressed the W key and we moved off into the dungeon. As we went, the picture of the corridor changed.
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We seemed to move for- ward one wall panel, and details far- ther down the corridor came into view. In about four moves we were enveloped. In a flash, monsters were on us! Hawkwind lunges and kills one with his sword, the priest casts a spell and another one dies. But Hawkwind is grim.
We are taking in- juries. As we went along, Adams drew a map of our route. If you do, then the chances of ever finding your way out are slim and none. You have to make a map. Since I know this dungeon is 20x20 blocks, I can draw the floor plan of each level as a square four inches by four inches. Adams has taught himself a simple way to keep track of his location. Then we continued on, fighting mon- sters, mapping our way, until we came to a point at which we ran into a dead end.
By this time, we were tired, and wanted to leave this dan- gerous place. Fortunately, Hawk- wind had a powerful Sage with us, and had his worthy character cast a very powerful teleporting spell, which could teleport us back to the stairs out of the dungeon. Al, Dl,and S have been lost forever. I had miscalculated our location.
We were silent for a mo- ment.
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Hawkwind had built them up over the better part of several months. They had lived with him and fought for him in the dungeon. The first DBMS you can use without speaking programmerese. Or learn a programming language.
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Instead you make selections from an on-screen menu written in one easy language. But, in case you are, there's something in it for you, too. For instance, select- as-you-go menus prompt you through all procedures. And to format a data entry form or report, you simply draw it on the screen. Starting with report writing. A custom report feature — complete with transactional updating and exception processing abilities — lets you format, manipulate and merge countless differ- ent ways. And a quick report feature lets you finish faster than you can count them — usually in 60 seconds or less.
Not that you have to slow down to sort things out either. And for data entry, there are high-end minicomputer features. And editing mask combinations, to name a few. And that you take a trip over to your local computer store to ask about InfoStar. But beyond all else, the data bank has enabled Hughes to remain in a small town venue, while the reach of his personal computer has grown nationwide I f The Source has a prodigy it would have to be David Hughes.
Hughes has managed to take the power of the McLean, Va. Using The Source, Hughes, a retired colonel, has developed almost as many profit-making ventures as he has interests. He is a publisher, a teacher, a lecturer, and a consultant to town revitalization committees. The bulk of these activities in- volves dealing with groups all over the country. Accessing The Source gave him the choice.
And Hughes has taken this concept a step further. He has also integrated the far-flung reaches of data banks like The Source into nearly every aspect of his telecommuting life. The Source is just one of hundreds of on-line data banks that personal- computer users can access by dialing up an information-packed central computer, using a modem and communications software. What the user will find in the vault of a data bank varies, depending on the indivi- dual he dialed.
But everything from games, to stock reports, to esoteric law and medical journals, to notices posted on electronic bulletin boards is available. The Source then pays Hughes 17 percent of the connect- time fees it receives. The magazine, most of which Hughes writes himself, ambles through a range of poetry, treatises, technical computing pieces, tales of the benefits of small-town life, and even ghost stories. One recent series, for example, dis- cussed how Source users could better convey nuances of meaning as they communicate with each other via computer, hampered as they are by the inability to use facial expressions or voice inflections.
A typical edition of Source Trek , which has no set publishing timetable, usually carries about 10 articles. Modem The modem card fits inside the PC, connects directly to the phone line and includes an additional IBM-compatible asynchronous port. Crosstalk is a trademark of Microstuf, Inc. He found many of these concepts unusable in electronic journalism.
My readers would read only the good ones and sign off on the less interesting ones. But with Source Trek , a bad article cuts into my profits and wastes space. I truly have to hold reader attention to keep the meter ticking. When read- ership reaches a plateau and then drops — or if it barely leaves the ground — for a specific article, Hughes will usually replace the piece with another. This instant feedback allows Hughes to fine-tune his publication continually, something print publish- ers cannot do easily or accurately.
They can read it one day and then check it every other day that week to see if it has changed or if additional material of interest to them has been added. Recently, he hit upon an idea that was kindled by the popularity of a segment of The Source bulletin boards.
Data-bank bulletin boards are free, open files where subscribers can post short notes to each other. Recently, a scad of personal ads ad- vertising for mates have made The Source bulletin board an increasingly popular meeting place. Seeing profit in the lovelorn, Hughes wrote a romance novella for Source Trek in which two people meet on The Source and fall in love to live, one assumes, in intertwined and networked bliss for- ever. He advertised the story on the bulletin board. The result was new Source Trek readers. What makes his magazine such a viable publishing opportunity is that almost all of the expenses that be- siege print publications — paper, postage, printing, advertising, promotional and editorial costs — are eliminated in his venture.
At first he barely paid attention to these charges, but a few large Source bills early on now make him careful to keep these charges to a minimum. A change in method has proved eco- nomical. Initially, he wrote Source Trek material directly onto The Source by connecting his computer to the data bank and keying in the copy as he composed it.
But he realized he was being charged for slow typing and for the time he spent thinking. Then he up-loads the completed manuscripts in one batch on The Source. The earth sign will have to be more flexible and open-minded, willing to try the new ideas the air sign introduces. Earth partners will have to learn to be more spontaneous instead of always insisting on a plan.
In return, the air sign must stick to SOME part of the plan, not changing the time, showing up late or inviting random tagalongs at the last minute. There are four elements in astrology: fire, earth, air and water. Each one plays an important role in the greater whole of humankind. A love match with someone from of a different astrological element can be challenging, but also a beautiful opportunity to evolve. After all, differences push you both to grow and step outside of your own experience.
Are you a starter, a doer or a finisher? Do you like to take charge and have a plan, or do you prefer to go with the flow? In this love match, it can be hard to get in sync. Can we make a plan around here? Fixed signs crave stability and mutable signs love change. The fixed sign in this relationship likes to make a decision or plan and stick with it. By contrast, the ever-changing mutable sign is always changing things—adding one more guest, jamming one more coffee date into their day, starting another project before they finish the 50 they already have going.
Adaptable mutable signs help the fixed sign to be less rigid—to loosen up and go with the flow. For long-term success, the mutable mate will have to work harder at keeping their word, showing up on time and being consistent. Some plans are simply non-negotiable! This will baffle Taurus at times because Taurus is more opinionated and searching for something more exact.
Gemini generally prefers to go with the flow, though they don't mind taking charge once in a while. Gemini can get their hands into two different worlds at once and still be comfortable with those parallel and contradictory lenses. In a healthy Taurus-Gemini relationship, this combination will be a major team. They both have strong mental focus and, together, they can accomplish whatever they want.
Bring about world peace? Bring about the world's end? They have the skills to link up and become truly united without feeling as though they are losing themselves. These signs understand the differences between themselves and see those differences as something that can bring them closer together. Perhaps that's the often-overlooked quality of an Earth and Air sign pairing. Water is theoretically supposed to be a good match for Earth, and Fire is supposed to be a good match for Air, but the power of an Earth-Air relationship is usually underrated.
While Water tends to want to merge entirely, and Fire wants to consume entirely, Air is comfortable going with the flow. Mixing a yin-and-yang relationship can allow two people to cover more ground. When you have relationships that are of the same element or are both yin or both yang, there can be too much overlap, keeping certain tasks from ever being accomplished. This is problematic because it can lead to some heavy consequences down the line.
Consider this: Whatever your daily habits are, where your feet point, and what things you accept into your life all play into the fate you will meet at the end of the road. If you have two people functioning the same way, you are essentially bringing the same demons and the same angels to the relationship. This is why yin-and-yang relationships like Taurus and Gemini can really work well. Stress will be relieved rather than amplified, and you both will cover certain ground you didn't know existed, laying the foundation for a fulfilling relationship.
Both of you will bring something different to the bedroom. Gemini likes to flirt as a precursor, and Taurus is more sensual as an earth sign. Let those differences ignite the spark between you as you find your own intimate path together. Keep in mind, Taurus is fixed, dependable, and hard-working. They want things to get done. A home environment with lots of unfinished projects can stress them out. Gemini is more curious and open to change, and it likes multiplicity. You'll have to work to balance out these factors so as not to annoy each other.
It may at times feel like a battle between the closed- and the open-minded. Taurus will want some solid ground, while Gemini is full of energy and seeking freedom. Try taking turns leading and showing your worlds, and as your partner lets you in, let go of any preconceived notions. Together you can teach each other more about the world and create a more refined path. Taurus offers a lot more common sense, stability, and direction to the relationship. Taurus wants to be in the world, hands deep in the earth, and enjoys being pragmatic.
It takes care of the garden, while Gemini lives in the garden. Taurus feels great pride in being the part of the year where all the flowers and crops are in bloom—the spring rains and flirty romance of the season make Taurus feel alive. Gemini will have to accept that Taurus doesn't want to talk all the time. Gemini loves to talk for the sake of talking, and this could annoy Taurus from time to time especially when they see tasks going unaccomplished in favor of chat. Gemini is infatuated with life and often exhibits a very calm, zen-like personality, but this sign sometimes doesn't realize how much effort is put into making the world bloom.
By the same token, sometimes Taurus doesn't realize we need to play on the stage of life rather than just cultivate that stage. As consecutive signs, they can bridge these differences together. They won't feel such great dissonance as they might in relationships with other signs. Gemini has a talkative, abstract, extreme intelligence that flies fast. Gemini is ready to go and do, which can be hard for Taurus, who moves at a different speed. Taurus is practical and can see what gears are not working in life. Taurus may find Gemini to be too frenetic at times. This relationship is all about acceptance and knowing people go at different speeds.
Accept each other for your differences and play your cards to benefit each other. You'll be drawn to each other naturally because the other person has what you lack. When you have the right perspective and recipe, any of the 78 possible zodiac combinations can work. In the real world, we have seen all zodiac combinations end in lifelong marriage and all zodiac combinations end in divorce.
No pairing is given a special edge that guarantees either of these scenarios. Some combinations are trickier than others, and that's where it can help to talk and figure out how to properly address those difficult areas. If you hear that any particular combination is doomed, take a step back. At the end of the day, you are still in charge of your free will, and if you feel a genuine connection with your significant other, you shouldn't break it off just because your star signs aren't said to be compatible.
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As long as your personalities mesh well and you're both happy, that's all that matters. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. My husband is a Taurus for only 3 months and I love love love my husband.. I am easily bored but my man is so fun and loving, and he definitely keeps me grounded.. This is spot on I'm a Gemini and my husband of 35years is a Taurus and this was our life written out.
My boyfriend is a taurus and I'm a gemini so i was just figureing out if we're compatible or not. Wow I loved this article. We can figure out how to work around the issues. Wonderful article, thank you so much for your words, it all makes sense to me as a gemini, and I totally see my amazing Taurus man in what you are saying. When he storms, I stay so calm it makes him wonder and then a smile and hugs come my way.