Keezy Young

Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.

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Game Developer Joe Waters Passes Away

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Seattle local Joe Waters, a veteran game developer and programmer, passed away on Thursday.

joe_watersWaters worked in the game industry for 15 years, with companies like Monolith Productions, Hidden Path Entertainment, and 343 Industries. Most recently he was with Microsoft’s Xbox Advanced Technology Group.

“His impact on the Seattle game industry is monumental as he was the pioneer of Industry Night at the Garage,” Microsoft’s Collin Moore told Kotaku. “The connections, introductions, job offers, career advice, random encounters and more impacted so many people over 10 years or so it is hard to even put a number on it.”

“You knew Industry Night started with a firm handshake from Joe and him selflessly asking you how you are doing and ending with the walk to Dunnes before closing time. I am happy to call Joe a colleague, but most importantly a friend. You will be greatly missed.”

Steam May Have Shared Your Info With Random Strangers

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A few days back Steam had a security breach due to an internal “configuration change.”

After placing a game in their cart and heading over to check out, some users were understandably startled to see that Steam had mistakenly autofilled information for random strangers. This information included partial credit card numbers, addresses, partial phone numbers, and more. A number of these users took to the internet to document the error.

The problem was only active for about an hour, though it’s worth mentioing that it took place during Steam’s annual Holiday Sale; a period of time when a lot of users are logged in and purchasing games. (The sale is still going now.)

Valve responded to an email from The Verge to confirm that they knew about the breach, but that everything was back in working order. They went on to add, “We believe no unauthorized actions were allowed on accounts beyond the viewing of cached page information and no additional action is required by users.”

In any case, you may want to keep an eye on your credit card statements for a couple of weeks.

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Assassin’s Creed Movie News: We’ve Got Business Cards

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Just in case you forgot there was going to be an Assassin’s Creed film, there’s going to be an Assassin’s Creed film:

A barren but emotive website for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie has appeared. It doesn’t have much information, but does allow you to sign up for a newsletter to stay on top of film updates.

The site is supposed to be the homepage of Abstergo Industries, the corporation that represents the Templar Order (the bad guys, in-game) in the modern age. From the site, we can see that they have offices all over the world.

Meanwhile, the film’s official Twitter has posted the above photo of an Abstergo business card belonging to “Alan Rikkin” (not to be confused with Alan Rickman), who will be played by Jeremy Irons. 

Polygon called the number listed on the card, and got a voicemail from the man himself. You can listen to it at that link.

Rikkin will be the antagonist of Michael Fassbender’s Assassin Callum Lynch. The film is scheduled for December 21, 2016. Marion Cotillard is also a cast member. She starred alongside Fassbender in Macbeth, also directed by Assassin’s Creed director Justin Kurzel.

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Study Finds Differences in Brains of Boys Who Game Often

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A collaborative study between the University of Utah School of Medicine and Chung-Ang University in South Korea has found a correlation between adolescent boys who play games and enhanced coordination between the brain networks that process vision and hearing, and those which govern attention span.

“Hyper-connectivity between these brain networks could lead to a more robust ability to direct attention toward targets, and to recognize novel information in the environment,” says senior author Jeffrey Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neuroradiology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “The changes could essentially help someone to think more efficiently.”

They may also lead to greater distractibility, however. “Most of the differences we see could be considered beneficial. However the good changes could be inseparable from problems that come with them,” Anderson noted.

The correlation does not necessarily mean causation—it’s possible that people who are wired in a certain way are simply more drawn to gaming, rather than gaming being a factor in causing the brain differences. (I know that personally, my easy distractibility makes video games a nice retreat, since there’s a lot going on in a game to keep my attention and help me relax. Other activities function similarly for me; drawing while simultaneously watching television, for example.)

It’s also worth noting that there have not yet been any followup studies to see whether the boys who exhibited brain differences do any better on performance tests, so we don’t yet know whether the results of this research indicate that these differences have any impact on day-to-day life.

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Pew Research Finds That Most People Who Game Don’t Call Themselves Gamers

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A new research study from Pew Research has found that while about half of American adults play games on a computer, TV, game console, or mobile device, only 10% consider themselves to be “gamers.”

The study also found that men are twice as likely as women to call themselves “gamers,” despite the fact that equal numbers of men and women play games. Additionally, a majority of Americans (60%) believe that most people who play video games are men–a view that 57% of women who play video games share. Read More