Global Humanity Looks to Unity of Minds in Crisis: Massacres of Muslim Worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand

"And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live...

Dr Mahboob A Khawaja, PhD. - avatar Dr Mahboob A Khawaja, PhD.

New TAFE program for Aboriginal health-care students sees a near perfect completion rate

If we are to close the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal people, we need to develop and staff culturally competent health-care services.from shutterstock.comA customised scholarship program develo...

Kylie Gwynne, Associate Professor and Research Director, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney - avatar Kylie Gwynne, Associate Professor and Research Director, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney

Two million Aussies delay or don't go to the dentist – here's how we can fix that

When did you last visit the dentist?By Concept Photo/ShutterstockDental care in Australia is a policy anomaly; for some reason, the mouth is treated very differently to other parts of the body. About ...

Stephen Duckett, Director, Health Program, Grattan Institute - avatar Stephen Duckett, Director, Health Program, Grattan Institute

We need a new definition of pornography - with consent at the centre

In a search of social science literature on pornography, none of the definitions reviewed mentioned consent.ShutterstockWe all think we know what pornography is, whether we oppose it, use it, or toler...

Sarah Ashton, PhD Candidate, Monash University - avatar Sarah Ashton, PhD Candidate, Monash University

Women can build positive body image by controlling what they view on social media

It is possible to limit your bombardment with images of bodies that feel way out of reach – so choose wisely who you follow. hannah grace / unsplash, CC BYSocial media use is often described as ...

Rachel Cohen, Clinical Psychologist and PhD Candidate, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Rachel Cohen, Clinical Psychologist and PhD Candidate, University of Technology Sydney

Ultra low wage growth isn't accidental. It is the intended outcome of government policies

This is the first in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.The long debate over the c...

John Quiggin, Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland - avatar John Quiggin, Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland

Curious Kids: why bats sleep upside down, and other stories of animal adaptation

Zzzzzzz...Flickr/Ryan Poplin, CC BY-SACurious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also l...

Amy Edwards, Post Doctoral Researcher, La Trobe University - avatar Amy Edwards, Post Doctoral Researcher, La Trobe University

'Give us a sniff, love': giving marsupials scents from suitors helps breeding programs

A baby eastern barred bandicoot pokes its head out of its mother’s pouch. M. Parrott, Zoos Victoria, Author providedSmell is a vital part of sexual attraction for all kinds of animals (including...

Marissa Parrott, Reproductive Biologist, Wildlife Conservation & Science, Zoos Victoria, and Honorary Research Associate, BioSciences, University of Melbourne - avatar Marissa Parrott, Reproductive Biologist, Wildlife Conservation & Science, Zoos Victoria, and Honorary Research Associate, BioSciences, University of Melbourne

Youth homelessness efforts get a lowly 2 stars from national report card

Despite a ten-point roadmap and bold commitments, Australia has not stayed on track to reduce youth homeless over the past decade.Roman Bodnarchuk/ShutterstockA National Report Card on Youth Homelessn...

David MacKenzie, Associate Professor, Department of Social Science, Swinburne University of Technology - avatar David MacKenzie, Associate Professor, Department of Social Science, Swinburne University of Technology

View from The Hill: A truly inclusive society requires political restraint

“Standing against hate” requires robust leadership from the politicians.AAP, CC BY-NCTerrible tragedies test leaders to the full. Anyone watching from afar must be impressed with the way i...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

NSW election neck and neck as voters face a 1950s-style 'I'll see you and raise you' campaign

On Saturday, March 23, the people of New South Wales will head to the ballot boxes for a state election. It is looking increasingly close, with polls showing government and opposition neck and neck on...

David Clune, Honorary Associate, Government and International Relations, University of Sydney - avatar David Clune, Honorary Associate, Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

Ultra low wage growth isn't accidental. It is the intended outcome of government policies

This is the first in a three-part mini-symposium on Wages, Unemployment and Underemployment presented by The Conversation and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.The long debate over the c...

The Conversation - avatar The Conversation

Christchurch attacks are a stark warning of toxic political environment that allows hate to flourish

When lives are tragically cut short, it is generally easier to explain the “how” than the “why”. This dark reality is all the more felt when tragedy comes at the hands of murd...

Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University - avatar Greg Barton, Chair in Global Islamic Politics, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University

Can a senator be expelled from the federal parliament for offensive statements?

In the wake of comments about the Christchurch massacre, members of the public have raised the question of whether a senator can be expelled from the Senate for making offensive statements. It is now...

Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Sydney - avatar Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Sydney

The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has travelled to Christchurch after yesterday's terror attacks.NZ Prime Minister's office, CC BY-SAAs an immigrant to New Zealand, I am saddened and outraged ...

Stephen Croucher, Professor and Head of School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, Massey University - avatar Stephen Croucher, Professor and Head of School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, Massey University

Why overhauling NZ's gun and terrorism laws alone can't stop terrorist attacks

Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch.EPA/Martin Hunter, CC BY-SAMy research focuses on terrorism in or affecting New Zealand. Until yesterday, my p...

John Battersby, Police Teaching Fellow, Massey University - avatar John Battersby, Police Teaching Fellow, Massey University

Random Thoughts V

If Planned Parenthood was selling puppy body parts they would be shut down yesterday. The thirties and forties are a blur with work and family.  The fifties start to slow down and in the sixties yo...

Dr. Robert Owens - avatar Dr. Robert Owens

Christchurch mosque shootings must end New Zealand's innocence about right-wing terrorism

Members of the Armed Offenders Squad push back members of the public following a shooting at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch.AAP/Martin Hunter, CC BY-SATonight, New Zealand police continue t...

Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University - avatar Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University

Why news outlets should think twice about republishing the New Zealand mosque shooter's livestream

Like so many times before with acts of mass violence in different parts of the world, news of shootings at two Christchurch mosques on Friday instantly ricocheted around the world via social media. Wh...

Colleen Murrell, Associate Professor, Journalism, Swinburne University of Technology - avatar Colleen Murrell, Associate Professor, Journalism, Swinburne University of Technology

It’s been an interesting year for digital games.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds became the most played PC game on the digital distribution platform Steam, with its battle-royale, scavenge and survive 100 player gameplay shaking up the first-person shooter genre.

Nintendo’s new console, the Switch, blew us away with the latest games in the Zelda and Mario franchises.

And the cathartic nazi-Killing of Wolfenstein II was particularly timely, given the recent resurgence of white supremacy in the political sphere.

Gaming also proved hugely popular with Amazon Australia customers in the first week after its launch on December 5, accounting for six of the the top 10 purchases.

So what are the biggest releases of 2018 shaping up to be?

Read more: The rise of the pro-player as Australia hosts its richest computer gaming event

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

image Harry Potter Wizards Unite. from https://nianticlabs.com/press/2017/wizardsunite/

Off the back of the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite seeks to combine location-based play, augmented reality and our pining nostalgia for the Harry Potter universe into another global game.

It’s likely to recreate the same viral, flavour-of-the-week success as Pokemon Go, with players eager to see what changes in gameplay augmented reality platform Niantic has introduced in its bid to convert fleeting players into lifelong fans.

Despite the calamitous reactions to its plummeting player numbers, Pokemon Go is estimated to still be making between AUD$1.9 - $3.2 million dollars per day from micro-transactions.

Red Dead Redemption 2

image Red Dead Redemption 2. from Rockstar Games

The prequel to 2010’s Red Dead Redemption will almost certainly be one of the largest games of 2018, with a marketing budget likely to rival a Marvel Movie.

The first RDR combined the cinematic experience of the Western movie genre with a rich, immersive and dynamic environment, and was celebrated as having one of the best single player campaign stories of all time.

Red Dead Redemption 2’s stunning trailer hints at how the game has stayed close to the rich world of the 2010 title, so players should expect something reassuringly familiar.

Don’t pre-order it yet though, as maker Rockstar Games has been widely criticised for the focus on micro-transactions in its Grand Theft Auto series, and a transition to a “games as a service” business model. It’s possible that the focus of RDR2 will be the same kind of aggressively profitable online multiplayer model, and not the immersive story and world building that RDR is celebrated for.

Read more: ‘Loot boxes’ and pay-to-win features in digital games look a lot like gambling

Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5: Official Announcement Trailer.

The latest instalment in the celebrated first-person, open world Far Cry series takes the game away from remote islands or African savannah to the apparently far more dangerous rural America.

Far Cry 5 is also the first in the series to allow players to create their own character. You can choose the gender and race of your avatar, and the entire campaign can be played in cooperative play.

All the games in the Far Cry series have been extremely well reviewed, and it’s likely this fifth instalment will continue to propel the open world, role-play genre forward.

Mount and Blade: Bannerlord

image Mount and Blade Bannerlord. From Taleworlds

From the tiny Turkish developer TaleWorlds, the Mount and Blade series combines one of the best medieval combat simulators with open world role-play. Players start alone, but via quests, trade, battles and political strategy, they can eventually command huge armies from horseback.

Despite not releasing a new title since 2011, Mount and Blade has built up a huge fan base thanks to the game’s active “modding” community, who build new functions not originally included in the game. Unusually, TaleWorlds even worked with one modding team to release Mount and Blade: Viking Conquest as a paid “mod” (short for modification).

Read more: Curious Kids: Why do adults think video games are bad?

Bannerlord is the newest game in the series. It promises updated graphics, an expanded siege mode and more missions in the game’s story mode, where players can aspire to ascend to the throne of one of the game’s major kingdoms.

Don’t pre-order it yet though, TaleWorlds still has not confirmed the release date for the game (originally expected in 2017) and the small studio has shared very few details about it.

The Last of Us Part 2

The Last of Us Part II Reveal Trailer.

The Last of Us was released in 2013 to nearly universal critical acclaim. The post-apocalyptic survival game was praised for basically everything – its story, characters, combat, immersive world and aesthetic.

The 2018 sequel is hotly anticipated.

Although very little is known about the game so far, The Last of Us Part 2 sees the return of an adult Ellie, who the player protected as a child in the first game. The teaser trailer hints that the new game has retained the same graphic – and controversial – depictions of violence as the original.

The Last Of Us was unusually effective at balancing the violence alongside a deep – but criticised – story of relationships and companionship. If you haven’t played the earlier title, it definitely stands up against many more recent releases.

Read more http://theconversation.com/the-five-most-anticipated-digital-games-of-2018-88318