Blog 8- Video Gaming

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The video games I have the most history with are computer games. Detective Barbie, Rollercoaster Tycoon… you know, the classics. I played a few games on the original Playstation and the Sega Dreamcast. Those aged systems do a fine job of telling you the last time I played video games. And honestly, I can’t think of many friends who are big into gaming. It’s just not something I’ve been surrounded with. This makes it very hard for me to understand why people sit on their couch and play video games for hours.

However, I do recognize the pros of video games. They produce excellent hand-eye coordination for their players. Gamers are sharp people. They think on their toes and tend to be problem solvers and I don’t think its a coincidence that gamers have those qualities. Playing games has major impacts. Video games can be a method of learning for those who are hands on and/or might not get a lot out of other styles of learning.

But, of course, what goes up must come down. Staring at a screen for extended periods of time deteriorates eyesight. As the displacement theory points out, time spent playing video games takes away from other things, such as human interaction, reading, exercising, sleeping, and even eating. While some video games are intentionally educational, many are not. Violence is at the center of a lot of games.

To optimize the positives of gaming and minimize the negatives, I think game developers need to shift (which some already are) to group playing games to include human interaction, make less violent games and more constructive, morally sound games, find ways to lessen the effects of screen brightness on the eyes, and incorporate those games into schools and even workplaces. There would still be the displacement problem (which is a big one in my opinion), but people will choose to do what they want no matter how games change.


Out with the old, in with the new

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I can completely relate to and affirm the ideas in The Terrifying Truth about New Technology by Daniel Wilson. Growing up, I was eager to learn. Anything new that came my way was an exciting mountain to tackle. That included computers, phones, iPods, and anything of the sort.

But I think the older we get, the more comfortable we get. We settle into what we have and are pretty hesitant to change that. This article made me feel a little older than I actually am, because I cling to the technologies I grew up with and refuse change. I fought a valiant effort against the smartphone until last May 2013. Even when I bought my iPhone I had mixed emotions about it.

I think this disdain toward new technology might also come from a changed perspective. When we’re young, we can take on the world and it still isn’t enough. As we age, we realize the value in simplicity, that more is not always better.

This perspective is what makes me bitter toward incoming technologies. I see all that I already have and recognize that I really don’t need more. This thinking is what kept me from the smartphone for so long, unphased by new television advancements and operating on a cheap laptop. I just don’t need more.

This reminds me of the law of diffusion of innovation.

I’m going to assume that the innovators, early adopters, and early majority are mostly made of the younger crowd (30 and below) and that the late majority and the laggards are mainly the older crowd (30+).

So, I think the older population does come around to new technology, they are just very skeptical and wary of it at first.

I also think we love to live in the past. We believe the times of our younger years are how it should be for all the years. We were the ones who were raised right! It’s what we know, so it’s what we preach. There is almost a sense of betrayal to our childhood when we claim a better, newer model. But the thing is, there will always be a better, newer model. Change is the only constant. Instead of clinging to the past, flow with the changing winds. You never know where they might take you.

The Impact of Blogging

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Blogging has empowered our society with the ability to create, write, dream, think, and share. Personally, it has revealed to me that I enjoy writing. I enjoy translating my thoughts into cohesive sentences that I can see and read again. I enjoy producing something tangible.

With the popularity of social media, content is shared at the blink of an eye. To best capitalize on the social media possibilities, one must not merely consume, but also create. And blogging is the perfect opportunity.

Another part of blog’s appeal is that it is public. Just the thought that someone, somewhere might take the time to read what you wrote makes me feel like a valuable contributor to human life. Sure, I may not be the most qualified person for the job, but I do have a perspective, writing style, and content that is all my own. I’m putting my point-of-view out on the line and people can choose to either take it or leave it.

However, there definitely are dangers to this freedom. Readers must take blogs with a grain of salt. They are great to read for new thoughts and perspectives, but the facts are not always facts. Since everyone does have the power to publish and not many bloggers have a second set of eyes edit before they post, facts are not always checked. Be sure to investigate the source if you’re really wanting to take accurate information away from your read.

I think blogging will be around for a while, but like all other communication technologies, it will have to continue to adapt with the times. In five years, blogging may not be done with the same sites or in the same form, but it will still exist.