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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 6, 2007 / 23 Elul, 5767

The games children play

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | History won't repeat itself in the future so much, it will just rewrite itself. The young who grow up on computers will inevitably be influenced by the games they play.


The hottest new electronic games are based on facts of history, and the players must study the actual events of history to devise winning strategies. I know, because my young tutor in one such game stopped the barbarians from invading Rome with stealthy deceptions of bad leaders and wily negotiations with men easily duped.


This young player insists we can learn from mistakes of history. (Certain presidents and prime ministers would die for such do-overs.) A player can't do what the rules of the game don't allow, of course, but the rules of the game I watched leave ample opportunities to alter the wars of the Roman Empire. Playing the game sent my tutor to the library for a stack of books on Caesar's campaign through Gaul, and several interpretations of why certain senators conspired to kill Caesar. I even managed to talk about Mark Antony's funeral oration as rendered by Shakespeare, with a discussion of sarcasm and irony in the description of Brutus as an "honorable man."


If I sound like a passionate convert to the educational value of computer games, of having more going for them than strengthening skills of hand to eye coordination, I am. The young man who taught me the rudiments of the game took hours away from his computer to think about military and political tactics. He learned how to ask crucial questions: "If you're asked to do a military mission," he told me, "it's important to know whether you have the resources to carry it out and whether you can do it without weakening forces already in other fields of combat." Hmmmmm. That sounds a lot like news from the front page of this newspaper.


A game player must learn to defend against riots, rebellion and other kinds of disorders. Taxes pose a dilemma familiar to every president. Taxpayers don't like paying taxes and a state must be wary of raising taxes the people may not accept, punishing those who inflicted them. Tweaking tax rates, such a player learns, is risky business.


Futurist magazine focuses in its current issue on the popular computer games known as MMORPG, for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game. (The alphabet soup beloved of bureaucrats spills over to the computer keyboard, too.) In these games, participants "role play" with a multitude of different characters in contained fantasy worlds. The limits of reality don't apply. (Sounds just like Washington, doesn't it?)


Computer games can become an addiction, particularly for compulsive personalities, and psychologists and sociologists fiercely argue whether such young people too frequently use them as an escape from their real world. Such games must be carefully monitored, particularly by parents of young children. But we're foolish to dismiss their educational promise.


Edward Castronova of Indiana University is working with a team of students to develop a role-playing game titled "Arden: The World of William Shakespeare." Young and old students of literature "experience" the historical time of the Bard and rethink themes in his plays. They may revisit the wiles of Richard III and how he made it to the throne, studying the War of the Roses and how Shakespeare manipulated history for the sake of a good story. Young players might delve into the cultural and psychological backdrop of Macbeth, to consider the reaction of Queen Elizabeth I to a drama about the murder of a monarch.


"The potential of MMORPGs for pleasure, business, education, and experimentation is just now beginning to emerge," says Kimberly Harris Fatten of the Synthetic Worlds Initiative at Indiana University. They may have a major impact on how we think and conceptualize all kinds of ideas and relate to specific policies that affect our lives today. I have warned against making education too much fun as in the dancing numbers on "Sesame Street," because difficult math cannot be disguised as entertainment and ultimately a child must grow up to do the hard stuff with dedicated discipline. But fun can also be a motivator to learn more.


Computers are only as good as those who program them. "Junk in, junk out," as an early cyber aphorism put it. There's always the risk of over-simplification, of false or misleading information, as visitors to the riches of the Internet learn quickly. But computers can be harnessed for deep thinking. We make a big mistake if we ignore the possibilities, for better and for ill, in the games our children play.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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