Letters: Gamers and China

Marketplace Staff Jan 26, 2011
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Letters: Gamers and China

Marketplace Staff Jan 26, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: It’s Wednesday, you know what that means: time to hit the inbox.

I talked to Jane McGonigal last week about her theory that the skills people learn playing online games can help us solve real-world problems. One of those skills, McGonigal said, is a willingness to fail repeatedly — like four times out of five — but to keep on trying anyway.

That seemed a little high to Daniel Davis of Albuquerque, N.M.

Daniel Davis: Some gamers fail 80 percent of the time? That sounds like the most frustrating game ever. Game research has shown that if players aren’t successful after a few attempts many will give up. In fact, companies spend millions on testing for this exact reason, balancing fun with difficulty. I agree gamers are creative, but they’re not as resilient as you’d think.

Our China correspondent Rob Schmitz reported last week on local government land grabs in China. He started by noting the Chinese constitution devotes just one sentence to the taking of private property.

Joshua McGee heard the program here in Los Angeles.

Joshua McGee: It should be noted that the United States Constitution devotes a single clause of one sentence to the issue — namely “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation” — which is surely as vague as the Chinese wording.

Call this an editors note, I guess, but it seems to me the difference between the two countries is that line about just compensation in the U.S Constitution.

In our Weekly Wrap last week, Megan McArdle of The Atlantic magazine weighed in on the Sino-American trade relationship. She said we ought to be happy for all those cheap Chinese imports we’re getting.

That made Laura Rizzi of Washington, N.H., distinctly unhappy.

Laura Rizzi: The reason things from China are “almost free” is because their workers are expendable. They don’t have OSHA safety standards and they don’t have any standards to protect them.

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