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Editorial pointers

Editorial Pointers


The time has come to take computer games seriously, really seriously, says Michael Zyda, professor of engineering practice at the University of Southern California where he is director of the USC GamePipe Laboratory. Zyda is one of the leading voices in a growing band of academic and industry researchers calling for the creation of a science of games that could transform educational and training tools for all ages.

Much can be gleaned from the efforts of game developers over the past two decades. The stunning technologies that have been created in the name of entertainment can be parlayed to profoundly influence government, corporate, or military training, education, engineering, and health care, among many other critical services. This month's special section, spirited by Zyda, looks at the research and education necessary for "Creating a Science of Games."

The authors share their latest research and vision toward this goal. All contend that future research, innovation, and creativity in education and training will demand the skills and knowledge of computer scientists, not just game developers, many of whom are still reeling from early attempts at edutainment. The potential for revolutionizing math and science education using a game-based learning infrastructure is immeasurable and will happen, Zyda says, only via the efforts of computer scientists and the realization that educational programs must produce graduates able to create next-generation game technologies.

Several articles this month highlight the need for new frameworks to reshape existing systems and practices for future requirements. The mass diffusion of RFID technologies promises to change basic business practices. Niederman et al. present a data life-cycle framework to illustrate the issues that IT practitioners will face. Anton et al. propose a framework for identifying key research challenges for creating and managing a company's online privacy policy throughout its life cycle. Kesh and Ratnasingam present an architecture for IT security that incorporates knowledge management principles. And Wu and Gordon developed a repository system that arranges documents using both hierarchies and hyperlinks through collaborative efforts.

Online recruiting may have revolutionized hiring practices worldwide, but Lee explores the next phase—the seamless integration of existing systems to create a comprehensive corporate career center. And Rodgers and Negash share results of a survey that found people are likely to become more innovative and increase their problem-solving skills when using enhanced Web-based technologies.

Diane Crawford
Editor


©2007 ACM  0001-0782/07/0700  $5.00

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