Thursdays Presentations…

So once again all of the presentations were wonderful.  I especially liked how the three Myspace/Facebook presentations took different approaches.  They showed different perspectives of using the two programs.  Personally, I was a little freaked out and second guessed using either one of them.  However, both of my accounts are still active.  Now they are just on severe lock down, or as locked down as I can get them.

I also really enjoyed the presentation on the YTMND site.  I had never heard of that before and it was really interesting to see how it works and some examples of the site.    The Digital Story Telling was also very interesting.  I’ve heard a lot about it lately.  In fact, my computer even has digital story telling software on it but I haven’t gotten a chance to play with it.  After the presentation, I’m inspired to use it.

Some other things: I was shocked to learn how expensive EHarmony is but I really enjoyed the differences between the husband’s and the wife’s take on it.  I also really enjoyed the New Media Studies Myspace page.  It was really clever.

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My Project Video…

So, after creating an account with youtube and uploading my video, I had to wait HOURS for it to be processed.  It finally was so hopefully it will attach correctly to this post.  Sorry that it is just getting up now.  WordPress wouldn’t let me just upload it to a post so I had to go the youtube route.

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I know this is supposed to go on the Wiki..but to be honest, I have no idea how to do it! So I’m posting it here and then I’ll add it to the wiki when I figure it out 🙂

As technology advances, huge strides are being made in the video game industry with games like Wii Sports, Madden 2008, and Guitar Hero 3. Players are becoming less like a player of a game in front of a television and more like they are the tennis pro, the football star with the shoe contract or the rock star rocking out on stage.

In 1968, Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider had an unusual vision of human/computer coexistence. In a statement, found on page 73 of our textbook, he said, “In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face.” The books goes on to say that Licklider and his partner offered an example where they were able to accomplish something in two days that would usually have taken two weeks, just by using a computer. It looks like Licklider was right.

Lets take the new Nintendo Wii for instance. My roommate recently got one and so I was able to observe man-computer symbiosis first hand. In real life, what would take you months to master, such as playing tennis or rocking out on the guitar, only takes a few games on the Wii. After two games, you are starting to learn the way tennis is scored and your backhand is improving. After about five songs using three notes on Guitar Hero, you can push it up to using four and then five. It isn’t always easy, however, which shows the real man-computer symbiosis that goes on.

My boyfriend happens to be an amazing bowler. He can do this thing where his ball will ride right on the edge of the lane, about a cm from the gutter, and then right before it gets to the pins it curves and takes them all down resulting in a strike. Well, it turns out that those skills can be translated into Wii Bowling. He is able to do the same maneuver and nail down strikes.

On the other hand, I am a horrible bowler. Just absolutely awful. Turns out, I’m just as bad at Wii Bowling as I am at real bowling. My non-existent bowling skills transfer into the game.

“The computer is not merely a tool used to accomplish tasks,” said Sherry Turkel, “but an object that enters our individual and social lives; how we interact with computers influences our outlook on the world and our perspective on ourselves.”

Its no big secret that everyone wants to feel like a winner. Maybe this is why boys are so big on Madden. No one wants to be the loser which brings in trash-talk, ridicule and maybe even a little shame. The person losing gets frustrated and usually throws a fit, cursing and blaming their poor playing on the player. Madden ’08 is based strictly off of the players and teams statistics from the previous season so to blame it on the virtual player is really displacing the blame from the person operating the controller. After all, who is a Madden player when compared to a Pro-NFL player featured on the game? Its like comparing pee wee league with high school varsity. They don’t compare. The player complains because they are “immersed in the game” as Turkle mentions on page 505. They want the “promise of perfection.” When they fail to be perfect, they respond with frustration and anger.
The Wii allows the player to further identify with the game and become immersed in it due to the creation of a Mii. The Mii is a highly customizable character that can be made to resemble yourself. My mii is slightly short with brown hair and green eyes. She’s me, but virtual. So when I’m operating her, and she’s losing at tennis, I’m losing at tennis. Turkle, on page 509, states, “You have to do more than identify with the character on the screen. You must act for it.” With the creation of your mii, it is impossible to not identify with the character on the screen, especially when your movements are her movements. If your eye-and coordination is horrible, then hers is too. It is actually kind of creepy to think about in depth, but it is also very cool.

Bad things can happen when you identify too closely and are too immersed in the game. Last year, a Chinese man actually died after a three day session of gaming. Before that, two parents left a baby alone for hours when they became immersed in World of Warcraft. The infant did not survive. Stanford recently did a study on Video game addiction and found that men are more likely to become addicted to games.

“New research from Stanford scientists shows that the part of the brain associated with reward and addiction was more activated in males than in females when both genders played a game whose object was to acquire more territory,” reported Zerg Watch, a site devoted strictly to gaming news. “Most computer games that males like to play involve territory and aggression, explaining why men seem more likely to get hooked.”

Some signs of video game addiction are: Preoccupation with the game, tolerance, loss of control, withdrawal systems when not playing, lying to family or friends about time spent playing, committing illegal acts to keep playing, relying on others to finance playing. Video game addiction is now serious enough to have rehab programs which focus solely on the addiction. There is a center in Amsterdam which offers residential treatment. There are also online treatment programs, kind of ironic, and programs at McLean Hospital in Massachusettes and in Richmond, Canada.

For some, gaming can be good. I know lots of us are in the camp of, “Get outside, play there” but what happens when its raining? With games, you can be playing your sports while indoors. Most gamers get the same adrenaline rush from scoring a goal with a controller that they get from scoring a goal with their foot. With Wii, you could even score the goal with your foot. Something else positive, is that with games like Wii sports, a handicapped or paraplegic person is not limited by their disabilities. They can walk, run, bowl, play tennis, box, etc. just like the rest of us. Plus, games are being used for the elderly, for children with education and as a way of losing weight. Doesn’t that make games worthwhile alone?

To show some examples of what I’ve talked about, I’ve videotaped some friends gaming. Let’s observe…

Ahh! My video won’t post so I’ll try to Youtube it!!!

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I thought this was really interesting.  Take a look…

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Round Two!

Round Two also featured some very diverse presentations.  We learned about Amazon,, Webkins, video games (2 different approaches), and Ben’s up-and-coming news blog.  I really enjoyed all of the presentations.  They were all very creative and engaging.  The news blog brought up a lot of questions, like how do blogs get away with reporting news with an opinion?  As a staff writer for the Bullet, the co-Editor in Chief of the Battlefield, and a journalism student, the first rule is always to be unbiased.  Opinions lead to lawsuits people!  I guess the rules are different for blogs.  The only thing stopping JuicyCampus from receiving a lawsuit, is that the posters are anonymous.  On a news blog, they aren’t.  The people who run this are going to have to be very moral and watch what they are publishing if they don’t want serious issues to arise.  It could work and it is very interesting.  As a soon to be alumni, I’ll be checking it!

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Presenters…Round One

I have to say that I loved all of the presentations during Round One.  They were all very different and you could tell that every group chose to present on something that they were interested in.  I really liked learning about where you can create your own social network.  It was very interesting to not only hear about the program but also to see it put into action with the D3 Lacrosse network.  I also liked the music program used by Adam’s group.  It was very interesting to see how a person could use the program to make compositions and to even make their own sheet music.  I also liked learning about  It really cleared up my question about why the rock was painted like that and it was also very interesting to see how it works.  Great presentations Round One!

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Google Scholar!

How sick is it that if you forget your book, you can google scholar it.  Amazing!!  Why even buy textbooks anymore if you can get every single page online?  I for one, would rather have the book because reading tons of pages online gives me a headache but I’m sure not everyone is like that.  There’s a lot of money to be saved here.

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I just finished the story for tomorrow’s class. At first I thought, my gosh 53 pages…but it flowed very well and definitely caught my attention. I really wanted to know what year it was. I realize it is set in the future but knowing how far it is in the future would be very helpful. Also, I wanted to know how much money a credit note actually is. Is it equal to a dollar? He says that making 100 credit notes a day is 10 times as much as he would make on earth. If a credit note is equal to a dollar, then on earth he could only make 10 dollars a day? Not likely.

I was really intrigued by the Kimonians and how they treated Earth. It seemed a lot like Kimon was Earth and Earth was a lesser planet. We think of Earth as the only livable planet and all the other can’t match up to it just like the Kimonians think that everywhere else is barbaric compared to their planet. Did the first settlers in the East think that their place was all there was before the West was discovered like we think that Earth is all there is? Thats a little out there for me but its something to think about.

I really liked the idea about history being dramatized with the Battle of Hastings visit. Maybe the heroes from history didn’t exist but thats depressing. It takes some of the magic out of it. Many people believe that things did happen differently. The DaVinci Code, while a work of mostly fiction as Brown calls it, brings those type of questions into play. I’m a Christian and it does seem possible that Jesus could have had a child. I realize I’ve been taught to not think like that but it could be true. We can’t really know for sure.

It seemed like when Bishop got the job as a babysitter, that it was going to be something like slavery. That the Kimonians were using the Earthlings as slaves to do their jobs that they didn’t want to do. Then it seemed like they were adopting the Earthlings as pets which really made me think about how we treat our pets. I found myself wondering if I respected my dog, which is a really weird thing to think about (I concluded that I do 🙂 ).

The story then switched to this whole nature of schooling epiphany. It seems like the schooling in Earth was to prepare Bishop for the schooling in Kimon except the schooling in Kimon was a lot different. Instead of learning only what we are taught through books, SOLS, regurgitation of facts, in Kimon you learn about life and the world. Everyone has a willingness to learn and can learn anything. They aren’t forced to learn certain things. And isn’t that how all schooling should be? Shouldn’t it be something that you want to do and something that is truly interesting and insightful?

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Dolls get “enhanced”….

I was flipping channels last night when I came across a news story about a new website. The site is called “Miss Bimbo” and is a gaming site aimed at girls 7-17. You create a profile and then you can create your own “Bimbo,” a doll who you have to take care of and make her work to buy her the best fashions available. Its supposed to be a Virtual Fashion game but its actually whacked out. You find a place to live, find a job, etc. That seems innocent enough until you get into the real nuts and bolts of the game. “Enter the world of Miss Bimbo. Become the most famous, beautiful, sought after bimbo across the globe!” Why would anyone want their daughter becoming a bimbo? The whole thing kind of reminds me of Bratz dolls. Basically, you have this doll who wears very little clothing but who is supposed to be amazingly cool. And people used to complain about Barbie… CNN has jumped all over this story as well, especially after they learned that you can purchase breast implants for your bimbo. I think this is an example of the internet going too far. This is basically teaching girls to become strippers, get plastic surgery, marry a hot man with lots of money, pop pills, etc. The television news article last night was relating this to Paris Hilton and other socialites and the influences that their actions have on girls who may look up to them. While I personally think thats taking it a little too far, I can see how the link could be made. I’ve pasted the CNN article below for anyone to check it out and if you want to check out the website, click HERE.

LONDON, England (CNN) — A Web site that encourages girls as young as seven to give virtual dolls breast implants and put them on crash diets has caused concern among parents and children’s activists.

The Miss Bimbo Web site has attracted widespread condemnation.

The Miss Bimbo Web site has attracted widespread condemnation.

The provocatively named “Miss Bimbo” Web site launched in the UK last month and is described as a “virtual fashion game for girls.”

Girls are encouraged to compete against each other to become the “hottest, coolest, most famous bimbo in the whole world.”

When a girl signs up, they are given a naked virtual character to look after and pitted against other girls to earn “bimbo” dollars so they can dress her in sexy outfits and take her clubbing.

Sound off: What do you think about the “Miss Bimbo” Web site?

They are told “stop at nothing,” even “meds or plastic surgery,” to ensure their dolls win.

Users are given missions, including securing plastic surgery at the game’s clinic to give their dolls bigger breasts, and they have to keep her at her target weight with diet pills, which cost 100 bimbo dollars.

Breast implants sell at 11,500 bimbo dollars and net the buyer 2,000 bimbo attitudes, making her more popular on the site.

And bagging a billionaire boyfriend is the most desirable way to earn the all important “mula” or bimbo dollars.

Don’t Miss

Working, it seems, is a bit of a chore in bimbo world.

The site says: “Bimbo dollars is ‘the cabbage,’ ‘bread,’ the ‘mula’ you’ll need to buy nice things and to get by in bimbo world. To earn some bimbo cash you will have to (gasp) work or find a boyfriend to be your sugar daddy and hook you up with a phat expense account!”

The advice on feeding the dolls is even more spurious, encouraging them to feed the dolls “every now and then” even though they want to keep their Bimbos “waif thin.”

The British version already has nearly 200,000 players, most of whom are girls aged between 7 and 17, according to the Web site.

Although it is free to play, when the contestants run out of virtual dollars they have to send cell phone text messages costing $3 each or use PayPal to top up their accounts.

In France, where “Miss Bimbo’s” sister Web site, “Ma Bimbo,” was criticized by dieticians and parents when it began last year, one parent threatened the creators with legal action after his daughter ran up a $200 mobile bill sending texts without his knowledge, according to the Times of London newspaper.

Parents’ groups are horrified that the game is taking off in Britain, fearing it could send the wrong message about eating disorders and plastic surgery to young girls

Bill Hibberd, of parents’ rights group Parentkind, told the Times the game sends a dangerous message to young girls.

He said: “It is one thing if a child recognizes it as a silly and stupid game.

“But the danger is that a nine-year-old fails to appreciate the irony and sees the Bimbo as a cool role model. Then the game becomes a hazard and a menace.”

One parent also told The Times the creators were irresponsible. Nick Williams said he was appalled when he saw his daughters Katie, nine, and Sarah, 14, playing the game.

Williams, 42, an accountant, said: “I noticed them looking at possible breast operations and facelifts for their bimbos at the game’s plastic surgery clinic.

“Katie is far too young for that kind of thing and it is irresponsible of the site’s creators to be leading young girls astray. They are easily influenced at that age as to what is cool.”

However, the creators of “Miss Bimbo” claim it is “harmless fun.”

Nicolas Jacquart, the 23-year-old Web designer from Tooting, south London, who created it was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: “It is not a bad influence for young children. They learn to take care of their bimbos. The missions and goals are morally sound and teach children about the real world.”

He added: “The breast operations are just one part of the game and we are not encouraging young girls to have them, just reflecting real life.”

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Thought this was interesting…

Guitar Hero hits handhelds for first time

Sponsored by Verizon

Guitar Hero On Tour Video


Smash music franchise rock and rolls to the Nintendo DS this summer.

by YVG Staff

With over 64 million Nintendo DS owners in the world and a monster music game franchise like Guitar Hero (over 14 million games sold in the U.S.), it’s no wonder Activision is giving living room rockers a chance to take their show on the road. Available this summer, Guitar Hero: On Tour brings the series’ fret-burning fun exclusively to Nintendo portable game system.

And that includes the guitar — sort of. Rather than make you haul a big plastic axe everyone you go, Guitar Hero: On Tour comes equipped with a space-saving new peripheral called the Guitar Grip that effectively simulates the guitar controller used in the console games. Simply plug it into the DS and you’ve got four familiar colored fret buttons to work with. The game also ships with a custom-made guitar pick stylus, allowing players to essentially “strum” the DS touch screen.

Guitar Hero On Tour Grip

Over 20 songs will ship with Guitar Hero: On Tour, including tracks by such bands as OK Go and No Doubt. No other groups have been confirmed so far, though Activision has stated that most of the songs will be exclusive to Guitar Hero: On Tour and over 80 percent will be master recordings rather than sound-alikes.

Activision also announced a few multiplayer modes, including a new “Guitar Duel” mode that will allow two players in the same room to wail against one another in a head-to-head rock-off. Players will be able to use power-ups similar to the ones featured in Guitar Hero III, but tailored to suit the technical capabilities of the DS. For example, you’ll be able to set another player’s guitar on fire and score big points while they frantically blow into the DS microphone to put it out.

For more dirt on this pocket-sized powerhouse, check out our exclusive producer interview or watch the awesome launch trailer!

Posted: 19 Mar 2008

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