By timothy from Slashdot's switch-to-english-it's-easy deptartment
JoshuaInNippon writes "Those who have studied Japanese know how imposing kanji, or Chinese characters, can be in learning the language. There is an official list of 1,945 characters that one is expected to understand to graduate from a Japanese high school or be considered fluent. For the first time in 29 years, that list is set to change — increasing by nearly ten percent to 2,136 characters. 196 are being added, and 5 deleted. The added characters are ones believed to be found commonly in life use, but are considered to be harder to write by hand and therefore overlooked in previous editions of the official list. Japanese officials seem to have recognized that with the advent and spread of computers in daily life, writing in Japanese has simplified dramatically. Changing the phonetic spelling of a word to its correct kanji only requires a couple presses of a button, rather than memorizing an elaborate series of brush strokes. At the same time, the barrage of words that people see has increased, thereby increasing the necessity to understand them. Computers have simplified the task of writing in Japanese, but inadvertently now complicated the lives of Japanese language learners. (Oh, if you read Japanese and are interested in more details on specific changes, Slashdot.jp has some information!)"Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's money-was-spent-to-figure-this-out deptartment
An anonymous reader writes "The media would have you believe that violent video games will be the downfall of our civilization and the cause of moral decline in young people. A recent study suggests that most people aren't so easily influenced by the violence; instead, just a few bad apples are likely to react poorly, with everyone else showing little or no effect from playing these games."
The American Psychological Association has posted the academic paper
(PDF) as well, in addition to a few related studies. One examines how games can be a force for good
(PDF), and another looks at the motivations behind children playing such games
(PDF).Read Replies (0)
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-just-uwe deptartment
An article at CNN discusses why big screen interpretations of video games, even successful ones, often fail to succeed at the box office
"The problem with successfully adapting video games into hit Hollywood spin-offs may lie in the way in which stories for both mediums are designed and implemented. Game makers chasing the dream of playing George Lucas or Steven Spielberg will always strive to coax human emotion and convincing drama from increasingly photorealistic virtual elements. The Hollywood machine, in its endless chase for big bucks, can't help but exploit the latest hit interactive outing, often failing to realize it's often a specific gameplay mechanic, psychological meme or technical feature that makes the title so compelling. Both sides may very well continue to look down in disdain on the work that the opposite is doing, which can doom any collaborative efforts. But where the two roads truly diverge is in the way stories are fundamentally told. Films offer a single, linear tale that's open to individual interpretation, whereas games are meant to be experienced differently and in a multitude of ways by every player."
On a related note, reader OrangeMonkey11 points out that an 8-minute short has showed up online that appears part of a pitch for a potential Mortal Kombat
reboot movie. Hit the link below to take a look.Read Replies (0)