Simplifying Science

Gamifying Empathy

Do video games have an upside? Yes! And I am not even talking about the social silver lining to Fortnite. This study, published in Science Daily, looked looked at using a video game called Crystals of Kaydor specifically designed to build empathy. It worked. Another reminder that there's a lot of black and white in the world, but there's an awful lot of grey as well. Or at the very least, pros and cons can coexist. I am rooting for Crystals of Kaydor to become a hit.

A space-exploring robot crashes on a distant planet. In order to gather the pieces of its damaged spaceship, it needs to build emotional rapport with the local alien inhabitants. The aliens speak a different language but their facial expressions are remarkably humanlike.

This fantastical scenario is the premise of a video game developed for middle schoolers by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers to study whether video games can boost kids' empathy, and to understand how learning such skills can change neural connections in the brain....READ MORE