This second issue of Acta Ludica took some more time than we expected. This is a bit unfortunate, but is part and parcel of establishing a new journal.

The wait was not in vain, though, since we can present now two fine articles. The first one is by Sabine Hahn, from Germany. Researching the Gender Divide of Digital Games: How to Overcome the Virtuous Cycle of the Games Industry discusses data which she collected for her PhD dissertation, in the context of female participation in game culture.

The second one is our first published article in Portuguese. Jogos Digitais Baseados em Processos de Prestação de Serviços Públicos: Um Estudo Exploratório, by Tadeu Moreira de Classe, Renata Mendes de Araujo, and Geraldo Bonorino Xexéo, deals with the design process of a serious game focused on public service.

Although their main themes are different, both articles share an underlying perspective. They look for answers to the question ``what can games say about us and our societies?''

Researches on new media reveal the importance of games in our culture. Games are, perhaps, the oldest of the new media, but their relevance in our lives has been greatly enhanced by synergies with other media. Games are powerful.

To link power to responsibility may be trite, but it is also true.

The serious game described in Classe's article deals with police response to missing persons cases in violence-torn Rio de Janeiro. As such, it highlights the potential for positive impact of games on society.

On the other hand, Hahn's article touches briefly on the ghastly GamerGate affair. This is an indellible blot on game culture. We may not forget it, but we must learn from it.

We must learn to ban criminal harassment in our midst, sure; but, above all, we must learn to identify and to avoid other pernicious responses to legitimate concerns in our culture, whether about gender or about other sensitive matters. We must learn to tear down walls of complicit silence.

Published: 2018-04-02

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