In this TED Talk Jane McGonigal presents the idea that gaming can be used to change the world. People are playing games for billions of hours. Kids growing up today spend so much time playing games, they are virtuosos at it. Therefore, we can use the incredible amount of skill they have built up and direct it towards world-changing activities for the betterment of everyone.
The talk itself is insightful, and the research Jane is doing at the Institute For The Future is very interesting. I especially enjoyed the part of the talk where she discussed Herodotus’ story of the Lydians using dice games to ease famine possibly being true. It at least rings true considering the use of video games to distract ill people from their pain and suffering.
Regardless of that Jane’s talk seems to gloss over many obvious factors. Mainly she completely fails to deeply analyze the mechanics of the games themselves. The sad fact is that games can not change the world, at least not in the way she presents.
Lots of people these days have home entertainment systems. These usually consist of a television, an audio system, and multiple source devices. The source devices typically include a DVD/Blu-Ray player, a Cable Box, one or more game consoles, maybe a computer, and maybe even something like the Roku. Despite these systems being incredibly common, almost nobody knows how to use them. I have an idea which can make things much much easier for everybody. Continue reading →
I’ve been using Git since slightly before it became very popular about two years ago. Nowadays it is very popular, with much thanks to github. However, even semi-famous programmers like Jeff Atwood don’t really understand what it’s all about. Continue reading →
Ubuntu and Firefox are two of the biggest open source projects in terms of desktop end users. Yet, the same open source philosophies that made these projects so popular are a weak spot that the competition can, and will, use to get ahead. If they do not change their policies I see Firefox being destroyed by Chrome, and Ubuntu losing ground to Windows 7 and Chrome OS. Continue reading →
Verizon and AT&T recently cut prices on their unlimited voice and data plans. Whoop de doo. Text messages are still a rip-off. Data still isn’t truly unlimited. People seem to really be focusing on these data plan prices. Meanwhile, people are ignoring the voice prices. Let me tell you, that is where the real rip-off is coming from. Continue reading →
The dust has largely settled from a failed attempt to detonate explosives aboard a Northwest airlines over the holiday. There were plenty of people talking about what went wrong. That’s easy, hindsight is 20/20. The thing is very few people are talking about things we can do. The only ideas anyone comes up with are always the same old freedom infringing measures that result in theater, not real security. Well, I have an idea of what we can do, and it can help against a lot more than just terrorism. Continue reading →
New York City, especially the theater district, is somewhat unique in that it is a place where the streets are half-filled with tourists and half-filled with natives. The natives know where they are going, and are in a hurry. Tourists walk slowly, they stop in the middle of the sidewalk to look at and photograph things. When you’re a New Yorker, tourists are the enemy. Continue reading →