videogames

Dance Dance Revolution in gym classes

For some reason, I keep coming back to the idea of New Media improving education because I think I am probably going to end up in education (in some capacity or another) so these ideas really appeal to me . . . I saw this article on how DDR is storming P.E. classes on the Times front page this morning. Cool! I think I probably would have loved to play a danced-based video game in P.E. instead of doing all of those things like volleyball, dodge ball, bowling, basketball, t-ball, soccer, etc.

However, one of the quotes irked me a bit/ got me thinking about the future of our country . . . "What you're seeing is a move toward activities where you don't need to be so great at catching and throwing and things like that, so we can appeal to a wider range of kids." Is this a good idea? Are we going to totally breed out the culture of team sports and replace it with video-based simulacrum? I don't really know how I feel about that. It was sort of sad to read the quote from one P.E. teacher about how the kids scream in glee over DDR--but they never had that sort of excited reaction to basketball.

Proposal: Social interactions within MMORPGs with a focus on WoW

Being the video game junkie that I am, I want to analyze the languages produced within online video games, the chatting done while playing, and the language the game creates in the real world, the discussion resulting from experiences playing the game.

People, i.e. my mom and dad, have commented in the past that when my friends and I speak about the video game we are playing, we speak in another language. Well, the times have changed and now gamers have created a slang language within the game. It is possible to acquire the language through playing a game, and by reading the forums and blogs associated with the game. World of Warcraft has too many forums to count and many blog about experiences within the game.

Revolution

Haha, yeah, SunnydaleGal is right on; Moulthrop defenitely turns his nose up hard at TV and despite his talk about how egalitarian a medium hypertext could be, he overlooks the fact that "the people" are his hairy and unwashed who have decided they like TV just fine. Whether it's a product of our culture or not is debatable but people by and large are not thoughtful or intellectual; this is why media tends to "default to the lowest common demoninator". That observation is a great way to segue into something I found very interesting about the article: the inherent contradiction between the anarchistic and totally open and free nature of hypertext and the capitalist system of power that underlies both Xanadu and most other forms of hypertext, including the internet. The constraint of a global data network is that it has to be an investment for some company; it has to generate value and revenue in order for anyone to invest in it. Because of this, the idea of an information free for all where everyone can read anything and participate in linking all the information on the internet, the fulfillment of the hypertext community idea, seems to be almost unattainable. The recent turmoil overcopyright law demonstrates that not only is information both valuable and powerful, but that the largest current power distribution system, the economy, has already extended its ideological tentacles deep into the fabric of our global information network. But if the internet were to be a totally unincorporated, grassroots, anti-capitalist system of information exchange, then would it be as successful, and thus as culturally relavent as it is? I don't think so; just as Moulthrop says, the dream of the garage-computer messiahs is dead. Big computing means, for us, big business. So, what is the relationship between a "genuine" medium, a true expression of human thought, and the powers of sponsorship and technology? It seems this has come up before; the history of art deals with this tension between comission and primary artistic motivation. So how does this apply to new media?

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