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5 kinds of video games that can improve your health and well-being - by vishal kumawat

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 18 September 2018 - 7:11am
video games that can improve your health and well-being
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Skipping Stones: RPGs Without Conflict

Gnome Stew - 18 September 2018 - 6:00am

Myself and six others gathered around a table strewn with red heart shaped beads, plush fantasy animals, and adorable character sheets. We were here to play Golden Sky Age, a Dragon Age hack of Golden Sky Stories run by Modifier Podcast host, Meghan Dornbrock. Golden Sky Stories is a game about helping friends, village spirits, and celebrating innocence. Dragon Age is a game about the immediate apocalypse, the corruption of power, and the lengths friends go to protect those around them. The two meshed extremely well under the guidance of Meg, and the bubbly personalities of the players. I could spend an entire article about the joy of extruding cuteness out of Mature Fantasy™ and may very well do so in the future, but it is not this article. Today I want to talk about one moment in this Golden Sky Age game that woke me up to something I’ve been feeling for a while without putting words to it.

Golden Sky Stories is an RPG about friendship, care, and helping out.

I played a Halla, an aloof, glittery, mysterious forest deer. My neighbor played a Fennec, a wily fox. We started a scene playing in the forest, as players we were waiting for another character to deliver plot information so that we could justify going to help others, but as characters we were skipping stones. As we roleplayed skipping stones, complimenting each other on our splashes, and finding fun colors of rock, I felt a sense of calm wash through me. This was my eureka moment.

As a player at this table I was completely satisfied with this roleplay of… nothing? Was there a story here to two animals skipping stones? Not really. Was there conflict? Maybe to begin with, but as our characters lost themselves in the fun of splashing in the river we quickly forgot about any challenge. As we connected with the rest of the group and played through our story, I fell in love with Golden Sky Stories’ mechanics of warmth & friendship, but I kept wishing that we could have more scenes like our skipping stones.

Gen Con 2018 was a surreal, joyful experience, but it had its stresses. High emotions, fast paced con life, swarms of people were all great to be in but they were a lot to experience. Even outside of conventions life can be stressful with job concerns, social responsibilities, or simply existing in this political climate. We hear a lot how games can be wish fulfillment, escapism, or a power fantasy. However, my unspoken wish in that moment at the table was for calm joy. My escapism was play that wasn’t centered on violence or struggle. My fantasy was being able to relax with a new friend. Nowhere in those desires was the need for rising action, dramatic conflict, or challenges to overcome. I just wanted to exist happily. My unspoken wish in that moment at the table was for calm joy. My escapism was play that wasn’t centered on violence or struggle. My fantasy was being able to relax with a new friend. Share4Tweet6+11Reddit1Email

Stories without conflict aren’t a novel idea with other media, but roleplaying games seem to focus on conflict as their sole narrative vehicle. When people talk about games, even to a mechanical level, we talk about how to set up conflict, how to create drama, or how to overcome challenges. Many people talk about a game’s conflict resolution system, deconstruct an encounter’s challenge rating, or how to plot Fronts or Threats. The idea of a game seems to center on a challenge that, through confronting, creates story. However, in playing a scene with no challenge, story, or conflict, I felt fulfilled.

I left Gen Con with the desire to explore further. I want to seek out games that are explicit in their refusal of conflict. I want the fanfiction no-plot-just-fluff of roleplaying games. I want to create a story that is satisfying and fulfilling in the way that skipping stones with my Fennec friend was. I know there are other games out there like this.

Formative is a game about queer families, caring for your friends, and how to live in a body that’s changing.

There’s a game that I’ve loved for a while called Formative, by designer Amy Weston, that does no conflict stories by forming scenes around a series of prompts on playing cards, similar to Avery Alder’s The Quiet Year. In Formative, you play characters undergoing radical transformation, in a group that can range from found family to erotic intermingling. Some prompts have conflict baked into them (The stares, muffled comments, and veiled insults are too much today. You retreat to a safe space.) while others create moments that can be easily played without conflict (After spending time together with [another character], your body subtly changes to be more like theirs). Taken in random order, a “traditional” story may emerge with rising action, conflict, climax, and denouement, but in my experience playing the game, the stories we tell in Formative are cozy, slice of life fiction that may have tense moments but are otherwise poetically lacking in conflict.

I encourage you reading this to seek out experiences like these. Allow characters to exist without a Plot. Sure, give them things they want, goals, whatever, but try and create a story about them existing, being happy, and comfortable. I also encourage you to chime in with game recommendations for systems that can create these moments I’m chasing. I need more caring moments near a river. That purple gem won’t discover itself.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Zivtech: How to Use Off-Canvas Dialog in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 6:00am

A slick new feature was recently added to Drupal 8 starting with the 8.5 release  — out of the box off-canvas dialog support.

Off-canvas dialogs are those which slide out from off page. They push over existing content in order to make space for themselves while keeping the existing content unobstructed, unlike a traditional dialog popup. These dialogs are often used for menus on smaller screens. Most Drupal 8 users are familiar with Admin Toolbar's use of an off-canvas style menu tray, which is automatically enabled on smaller screens.

Drupal founder Dries posted a tutorial and I finally got a chance to try it myself.

In my case, I was creating a form for reviewers to submit reviews of long and complicated application submissions. Reviewers needed to be able to easily access the entire application while entering their review. A form at the bottom of the screen would have meant too much scrolling, and a traditional popup would have blocked much of the content they needed to see. Therefore, an off-canvas style dialog was the perfect solution. 

Build your own

With the latest updates to Drupal core, you can now easily add your own off-canvas dialogs.

Read more
Categories: Drupal

Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 18 September 2018 - 5:21am
Artificial neural networks -- algorithms inspired by connections in the brain -- have 'learned' to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages. Now, researchers are training artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Gutenberg Cloud

New Drupal Modules - 18 September 2018 - 5:00am
Categories: Drupal

Drop Guard: Drupal Europe nostalgia: our highlights

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 4:31am
Drupal Europe nostalgia: our highlights

It has been a week full of impressions, old and new friends and exciting challenges at Drupal Europe! The Drop Guard team members Joe, Max, Alexey, and Johanna attended the Drupal event from 10th to 14th of September. 

This is a brief overview of our Drupal Europe highlights and impressions, enjoy it!

Drupal Planet Drupal Drupal Community Events Team
Categories: Drupal

Drop Guard: “How you can handle updates easily” - workshop at Drupal Europe

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 4:30am
“How you can handle updates easily” - workshop at Drupal Europe

Our CTO Max Madl held his first workshop at Drupal Europe last week. The main goal of this hands-on session was to show the audience what it means to update a Drupal project
a.) manually
b.) with helping tools & services
c.) fully automated.

Drupal Planet Drupal Drupalcon Drupal Community
Categories: Drupal

Drop Guard: "Why we need to talk about Update Automation" - session at Drupal Europe

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 4:22am
"Why we need to talk about Update Automation" - session at Drupal Europe

This post provides you the gateways to the session slides "Drupal Europe 2018: Hackers automate but the Drupal community still downloads modules from drupal.org" and the topics update automation and Auto Update Initiative in Drupal. 

Drupal Planet Drupal Drupalcon Drupal Community Events
Categories: Drupal

Restricted access

New Drupal Modules - 18 September 2018 - 2:24am

WIP

Restrict access to the site depending on IP and email address.

Categories: Drupal

Digital Echidna: Thoughts on all things digital: Routine Maintenance Now Will Lead to a Smooth Path to Drupal 9

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 2:09am
It’s happening. Drupal 8 will be end-of-life by November 2021. So what does that mean? Well, whether you’re talking about a vehicle or a website, ensuring that routine maintenance is regularly performed can contribute to a smooth path. And when it…
Categories: Drupal

Drop Guard: My first Drupal mentoring & contributing experience

Planet Drupal - 18 September 2018 - 1:00am
My first Drupal mentoring & contributing experience

I’ve joined the Drupal mentoring team for the first time last week at Drupal Europe.
In this post, I’ll share how and why this contribution changed the way I think about Drupal events and the Drupal Community.

Drupal Planet Drupal Drupal Community Drupalcon
Categories: Drupal

deGov Simplenews Extensions

New Drupal Modules - 18 September 2018 - 12:56am

This module extends Simplenews with a couple of helpful (GDPR-related) features:

Categories: Drupal

Observations From A Gamer's Chair: I Was an Awful GM

RPGNet - 18 September 2018 - 12:00am
When I had it wrong as a GM.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Hook 42: GovCon 2018 Takeways

Planet Drupal - 17 September 2018 - 3:48pm

We recently returned from Drupal GovCon and have some standout items we want to share. Overall, the experience was a lot of fun. It was exciting to get to watch Adam give the keynote on how to make an impact in the community. At Hook 42 we love giving back to the community, and it was a great reminder of how everyone who wants to give back, can contribute.

Categories: Drupal

Australian study warns of link between loot boxes and problem gambling

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 September 2018 - 1:18pm

"These results support the position of academics who claim that loot boxes are psychologically akin to gambling," reads a statement shared along with the findings published by the committee today. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal blog: State of Drupal presentation (September 2018)

Planet Drupal - 17 September 2018 - 12:17pm

This blog has been re-posted and edited with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Last week, nearly 1,000 Drupalists gathered in Darmstadt, Germany for Drupal Europe. In good tradition, I presented my State of Drupal keynote. You can watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 4:38) or download a copy of my slides (37 MB).

Drupal 8 continues to mature

I started my keynote by highlighting this month's Drupal 8.6.0 release. Drupal 8.6 marks the sixth consecutive Drupal 8 release that has been delivered on time. Compared to one year ago, we have 46 percent more stable Drupal 8 modules. We also have 10 percent more contributors are working on Drupal 8 Core in comparison to last year. All of these milestones indicate that the Drupal 8 is healthy and growing.

Next, I gave an update on our strategic initiatives:

Make Drupal better for content creators

© Paul Johnson

The expectations of content creators are changing. For Drupal to be successful, we have to continue to deliver on their needs by providing more powerful content management tools, in addition to delivering simplicity though drag-and-drop functionality, WYSIWYG, and more.

With the release of Drupal 8.6, we have added new functionality for content creators by making improvements to the Media, Workflow, Layout and Out-of-the-Box initiatives. I showed a demo video to demonstrate how all of these new features not only make content authoring easier, but more powerful:

We also need to improve the content authoring experience through a modern administration user interface. We have been working on a new administration UI using React. I showed a video of our latest prototype:

Extended security coverage for Drupal 8 minor releases

I announced an update to Drupal 8's security policy. To date, site owners had one month after a new minor Drupal 8 release to upgrade their sites before losing their security updates. Going forward, Drupal 8 site owners have 6 months to upgrade between minor releases. This extra time should give site owners flexibility to plan, prepare and test minor security updates. For more information, check out my recent blog post.

Make Drupal better for evaluators

One of the most significant updates since DrupalCon Nashville is Drupal's improved evaluator experience. The time required to get a Drupal site up and running has decreased from more than 15 minutes to less than two minutes and from 20 clicks to 3. This is a big accomplishment. You can read more about it in my recent blog post.

Promote Drupal

After launching Promote Drupal at DrupalCon Nashville, we hit the ground running with this initiative and successfully published a community press release for the release of Drupal 8.6, which was also translated into multiple languages. Much more is underway, including building a brand book, marketing collaboration space on Drupal.org, and a Drupal pitch deck.

The Drupal 9 roadmap and a plan to end-of-life Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

To keep Drupal modern, maintainable, and performant, we need to stay on secure, supported versions of Drupal 8's third-party dependencies. This means we need to end-of-life Drupal 8 with Symfony 3's end-of-life. As a result, I announced that:

  1. Drupal 8 will be end-of-life by November 2021.
  2. Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and it will be an easy upgrade.

Historically, our policy has been to only support two major versions of Drupal; Drupal 7 would ordinarily reach end of life when Drupal 9 is released. Because a large number of sites might still be using Drupal 7 by 2020, we have decided to extend support of Drupal 7 until November 2021.

For those interested, I published a blog post that further explains this.

Adopt GitLab on Drupal.org

Finally, the Drupal Association is working to integrate GitLab with Drupal.org. GitLab will provide support for "merge requests", which means contributing to Drupal will feel more familiar to the broader audience of open source contributors who learned their skills in the post-patch era. Some of GitLab's tools, such as inline editing and web-based code review, will also lower the barrier to contribution, and should help us grow both the number of contributions and contributors on Drupal.org.

To see an exciting preview of Drupal.org's gitlab integration, watch the video below:

Thank you

Our community has a lot to be proud of, and this progress is the result of thousands of people collaborating and working together. It's pretty amazing! The power of our community isn't just visible in minor releases or a number of stable modules. It was also felt at this very conference, as many volunteers gave their weekends and evenings to help organize Drupal Europe in the absence of a DrupalCon Europe organized by the Drupal Association. From code to community, the Drupal project is making an incredible impact. I look forward to celebrating our community's work and friendships at future Drupal conferences.

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: We Have Answers to Questions About Drupal 7, 8, and 9

Planet Drupal - 17 September 2018 - 11:19am

Let me give credit where credit is due. The Drupal community have transformed the way it works in 2018.

In years gone by, Drupal was not a very well-organized project. Everything was done in a stereotypically "open source" way with loose roadmaps and vague planning. The apex of this was the development of Drupal 8 which dragged on for over 5 years.

About 18 months ago, I wrote a post "When is Drupal 7 End-of-Life?" Unfortunately, no-one knew the answer. The deeper I looked, the more messy and confusing Drupal's plans became. The release cycles for Drupal 7, 8 and 9 were all vague and undefined.

Categories: Drupal

Washington State and 15 countries team up over video game gambling concerns

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 17 September 2018 - 11:13am

The squad of sixteen regulators has signed a declaration over growing concerns with the overlap between gambling and video games through things like loot boxes and skin betting. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Existing Values Autocomplete Widget

New Drupal Modules - 17 September 2018 - 10:58am

This module provides an autocomplete widget for text fields that suggests all existing (previously entered) values for that field. This provides more flexibility than "allowed values" for the content editor to add new values. At that same time it is simpler in many cases than creating a taxonomy vocabulary (no hierarchies, no separate system, no permissions headaches, no rendered pages per term).

Categories: Drupal

Client Config Care

New Drupal Modules - 17 September 2018 - 7:03am
INTRODUCTION

The Client Config Care module was introduced to speed up live site deployments by not overwriting configuration changes made by editors with config editing permissions, e.g. changes on blocks or menus.

Categories: Drupal

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