Social life at Columbia takes a new turn as the university hosts a weeklong “Social Experiment” to encourage students to talk to new people. Each day, a group of students are chosen “password holders” with a new “prompt” posted on the Social Experiment website. If someone says the prompt to a password holder, they get a “password” which they type in the website for prizes, including a top prize of $500. The pan-Ivy blog IvyGate had harsh words for the project, devised by a group of Columbia RAs, as a sign that the college was now “paying its students to stop avoiding each other”.
Psychological effects of gaming? Rani Desai, associate professor of psychiatry and epidemiology and public health at Yale, and colleagues anonymously surveyed 4,028 adolescents about their gaming, problems associated with gaming and other health behaviors. They found that 51.2% of the teens played video games (76.3% of boys and 29.2% of girls). The study not only revealed that, overall, there were no negative health consequences of gaming in boys, but that gaming was linked to lower odds of smoking regularly. Among girls, however, gaming was associated with getting into serious fights and carrying a weapon to school. In other words, the studies show that girls maybe gaming for different reasons than boys.