The rural Midwest is undergoing fundamental changes with increased competition from foreign agriculture; employment shifts from higher-paying manufacturing to lower-paying service industries; the displacement of local small town business by large discount stores and shopping malls; overall population declines that threaten the viability of schools, hospitals, and other public institutions, along with an influx of minority groups that has led to strife in some communities. Using data from the 2000 Census, this collection examines the major demographic and employment trends in the rural Midwestern states with special attention to the issues that state and local policy makers must address in the near future. The contributors are well known experts in their fields, and in these original, previously unpublished materials they offer suggestions on how the Internet and other technological advances offer new opportunities for rural economies that local leaders can build on.
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Video games challenge our notions of identity, creativity, and moral value, and provide a powerful new avenue for teaching and learning. This book is a rich and provocative guide to the role of interactive media in cultural learning. It searches for specific ways to interpret video games in the context of human experience and in the field of humanities research. The author shows how video games have become a powerful form of political, ethical, and religious discourse, and how they have already influenced the way we teach, learn, and create. He discusses the major trends in game design, the public controversies surrounding video games, and the predominant critical positions in game criticism. The book speaks to all educators, scholars, and thinking persons who seek a fuller understanding of this significant and video games cultural phenomenon.