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Stories this week at Wake Forest University

December 7, 2009

Health Care is Obama’s Waterloo - As the Senate debates health care reform, the stakes are high for President Obama and the nation. “Health care reform is Obama’s Waterloo. He has to win this one,” says David Coates, the Worrell Professor of Anglo-American Studies at Wake Forest University and a frequent speaker on health care reform. “A loss on the health care front would lead to losses on future key legislation as well. If Obama loses health care, he will lose immigration.” Coates is monitoring the health care debate daily, and can offer a local perspective on national issues. He points out that while the current legislation is far from perfect, it does pave the way for important changes in the U.S. health care system that could ease the anxiety level among Americans. “We want to get to the point where health care is not something Americans worry about,” says Coates, who is the author of the forthcoming book “Answering Back: Liberal Responses to Conservative Arguments.” “Even though there is a widespread belief that we have the finest health care system in the world, we also have a higher level of anxiety than any other country about the cost and availability of the heath care that makes us so proud.” Coates points out that, despite the deep ideological differences currently dividing lawmakers, health care is arguably the most important issue touching the daily lives of each one of us.

To arrange an interview with David Coates, contact Kerry King in the Communications and External Relations Office at or (336) 758-5237.

College students help parents get smart about video games - To help game players and parents evaluate new video games for the holiday season, students at Wake Forest University have created a blog, ( <> ) Four students enrolled in the first-year seminar “Video Games: Research and Theory” created the blog, which mixes college students’ reviews of the games with tips for parents and insights gained from academic research. The students—Sal Scifo, Matt DiDomenico, Ford St. John and T.J. Scholberg—volunteered to spend time outside class to review games. They evaluated the games in the following categories: challenge, graphics, replay value, narrative, ease of controls and social playability. In the section for each review geared toward parents, they also evaluated objectionable content (including sexual content and violence) and addictiveness. A section devoted to the “academic perspective” focuses on current academic research on video games. “They are university students, so, of course, each game gets a letter grade,” says Associate Professor of Communication Marina Krcmar, who teaches the class and studies the effects of games and the influence of video game violence on children and adolescents, as well as the effects of video game realism on aggressive outcomes. She expects the reviews the students post to the blog to be a valuable resource for parents.

To arrange interviews with Marina Krcmar or her students, contact Kerry King in the Communications and External Relations Office at or (336) 758-5237.

Dreaming of a ‘green Christmas’ - More and more consumers are dreaming of a green Christmas this year, looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint this holiday season. Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, director of sustainability at Wake Forest University, says your grandmother had the right idea to reuse holiday wrapping paper. Some more tips: Decorate with energy-efficient lighting; give consumable gifts, make a donation in someone’s name or give the gift of time; and be sure to recycle your Christmas tree after the holidays. Johnson can provide more tips on a green Christmas.

To arrange an interview with Dedee DeLongpré Johnston, contact Kerry King in the Communications and External Relations Office at or (336) 758-5237.

Press Contacts:

Kerry King
(336) 758-6084

Ellen Sterner Sedeno
(214) 546-8893

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