News in Short: Digital lifestyle altering our brains, Google invests $200 Millions into Google Games


zyngaGoogle invests hardcore into maker of Mafia Wars, FarmVille

No major announcements informed the world of Google’s massive investment into Zynga, speculated anywhere from $100 to $200 million. ZYnga, developer of the famous Facebook games Mafia Wars, FarmVille, and others, is now entering a highly strategic partnership with Google (not Google Ventures) after an investment closed about one month ago.

What Google and Zynga will create from their collaboration is limited strictly to rumours right now, as neither company has revealed any information publicly.

Digital world triggering “brain gap,” rewiring minds

Those who don’t tweet n’ text have become a minority in Canada. The new majority are those who invest serious lengths of time into social media, social networking, and other electronic- and internet-based activities.

The extremities of the digital lifestyle so may Canadians have adopted has created something that prominent American neuroscientist Dr. Gary Small believes is geater than a mere generation gap: we are experiencing a “brain gap,” where forthcoming generations not only walk, talk, and dress diifferently than their forefathers, but possess brains which have evolved to function differently as well.

As well, contrary to popular belief, Gary inists these new generations are not bent on multitasking—rather, we engage in “continuous partial attention,” where we split our focus to manage multiple social platforms, primarily with the intent to make and maintain connections with others. This isn’t necessarily a positive ot negative impact from the digital lifestyle transformation, but in an interview with B.C. daily The Province, Gary says there are both good and bad impacts.

He says digitalized Canadians experience greater levels of stress, make decisions without thinking, and remain on high-alert modes, constantly anticipating new bytes of information that run through feeds we mintor closely. But we also have gained enhance reaction to visual stimulation, sharpened peripheral attention, and an improved ability to sift through mass amounts of information and filter its content.