September 22nd, 2009

At work, Self portrait

Sick women

A Norwegian study that hit the front pages today shows women to have 77% more long-term sick leave than men. The gap has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, from 35% in 1989. This is due to a dramatic increase in sick leave among women, for the men are no less sick than before, actually slightly more (4% up).

The study looked at absence from work for more than consecutive days 16 days. Not counted were shorter absences and disability pensions. However, shorter absences follow a similar pattern according to the director of NAV.

Sources: (Norwegian) and (Norwegian).

Diversity, eh?

"Video games need a more diverse cast of characters" (New Scientist)

A study tallies all characters that appear in video games, however briefly, and sort them by age, gender and ethnicity, then weighs this by the sales of the games. Unsurprisingly they find that children, elderly, women and Africans are severely underrepresented. It is concluded that this is a problem.

I am not so sure, given that the overwhelming majority of characters who appear in video games exist for the purpose of being killed. Somehow I don't foresee a bright future for a game in which you mostly shoot small African girls in wheelchairs and their grandmothers.

(Admittedly they would get similar results if they only counted the protagonists / avatars, except perhaps with some more females. But at least that would make sense.)