Foster care, adoption meetings scheduled

first_img Direct questions to Cameka Hart at 409-866-0976 or [email protected] In 2018, Buckner oversaw the care of nearly 1,500 children in foster care in Texas and internationally and placed about 120 children with permanent adoptive families in Texas.The scheduled, hourlong meetings for the rest of 2019 are:Aug. 12, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services, 9055 Manion Drive, Beaumont.Aug. 15, 4 p.m., Port Arthur Public Library, 4615 Ninth Ave., Port Arthur.Aug. 19, 4 p.m., Marion and Ed Hughes Library, 2712 Nederland Ave., Nederland.Aug. 27, 5 p.m., Alma M. Carpenter Library, 300 S. Ann St.; Sour Lake.Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Oct. 14, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Nov. 11, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services.Dec. 9, 5:30 p.m., Buckner Children and Family Services. Nonprofit Buckner International is hosting free informational meetings in Southeast Texas on foster care and adoption. Meeting locations include Beaumont, Port Arthur, Nederland and Sour Lake and will provide more information about the process of becoming a foster parent or adopting through Buckner.The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says there are more than 34,000 Texas children in foster care, creating a great need for more foster parents and adoptive parents. Buckner International works to meet this need by educating the community and equipping current and prospective parents with the resources needed to provide safe and loving homes for vulnerable children.center_img Special to The Newslast_img read more

Immersed in virtual worlds: The benefits of storytelling in video games

first_imgTo test the role of in-game storytelling, the researchers randomly assigned participants to play one of two video games. In the first game Gone Home, the player slips into the role of a female American college student, arriving home after a year abroad. The player comes upon an empty house and has to use various clues to figure out what happened to her missing family members. For the control condition, the game was Against the Wall, in which the player has to climb up an infinite wall by interacting with the bricks, in surreal but human-made surroundings. Apart from a brief description of the environment and goals, the game provided no narrative elements.For the game rich in storytelling (Gone Home), researchers provided one group of participants the game developers’ instructions and provided a second group of participants instructions to register, memorize, and evaluate various properties of the game. After 20 minutes of gameplay, all participants completed a task in which they assessed facially expressed emotions. The researchers used this task to evaluate the players’ capacity to apprehend others emotional states (theory of mind). The players also completed a survey to assess the amount of immersion and need satisfaction they experienced while playing.As published today in Social Psychological and Personality Science, the researchers found that narrative game elements contributed to a more immersive video game experience. They also found that being immersed in a game’s story supports players in perceiving opportunities for meaningful choices and relationships. And they found that the narrative elements affected theory of mind.“Although the effects regarding theory of mind were relatively small, we were excited to see initial evidence for the short-term enhancement through in-game storytelling,” Bormann says. “Importantly, this effect was specific to the condition in which participants actively engaged in the games narration, while the mere exposure to the narrative video game did not affect theory of mind, in comparison to playing a neutral video game.”Together, the results suggest that in-game storytelling contributes to a more immersive and satisfying video game experience while also fostering skills that are useful to players on a day-to-day basis. While more work needs to be done to examine these effects, Bormann says that long-term work on narration in video games could yield promising opportunities.“If further research could reveal how exactly in-game storytelling affects theory of mind,” he says, “clinicians and software developers could utilize this knowledge to develop tools to aid the treatment of disorders characterized by social-interaction impairments, like autistic disorders.” Share on Facebook A wealth of studies have shown that violent video games contribute to antisocial and aggressive behavior. But what makes those games appealing in the first place? One possibility is that storytelling plays a role, particularly if it lets players engage in meaningful choices. A new study suggests that non-violent video games that capitalize on such storytelling have prosocial benefits that could ultimately be helpful to clinical disorders such as autism.“The motivation to engage in and enjoy video games corresponds with principals that apply to human motivation in general,” says Daniel Bormann of the University of Freiburg. “For instance, successful game franchises offer players a spectrum of meaningful choices to shape the game’s narrative and environment, provide carefully balanced challenges, or encourage players to experience social connectedness and meaningful social interactions.” Research has suggested that the satisfaction of those needs results not only greater motivation to play but also enhanced well-being and a more immersive experience.Bormann and his colleague Tobias Greitemeyer wanted to explore this concept further, to see whether storytelling fosters immersion and changes how players are able to assess the mental states of others (called “theory of mind”). Immersion, Bormann says, “is characterized by an experience you might have enjoyed while watching your favorite movie for the first time – the sensation of being transported to another time or space, as though you are taking a real journey, or the feeling of being emotionally impacted by the protagonist’s fate.” Pinterest Share on Twittercenter_img Email Share LinkedInlast_img read more