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The Space Invaders arcade video game, celebrating its 40th anniversary, is an iconic piece of software, credited as one of the earliest digital shooting games. Like many early games, it and its surrounding myths showcase the cultural collisions and issues current at its creation by Japanese game designer Tomohiro Nishikado.

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Playing games is ubiquitous across all cultures and time periods – mainly because most people like playing games.

Games involve rules, points, systems, as well as a theme or storyline and can be massively fun and engaging. And there is an increasing body of research that shows “gamification” – where other activities are designed to be like a game – can be successful in encouraging positive changes in behaviour.

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The 1992 film Lawnmower Man generated a lot of buzz at the time of its release. As a film about virtual reality (VR), you might think that it was the vivid representation of this startling new technology that grabbed people’s attention.

In fact, it was the virtual sex scene that made headlines. But while virtual reality sex was largely a fantasy back in the 1990s, it’s becoming a reality today, and it has a potentially fertile future.

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If you’re ever stuck for an ice-breaker at a party, you may as well try asking what everyone’s zombie survival guide is. You’ll get some surprising answers – and what’s more surprising is how many people have thought about their strategy for living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.