When I started this experiment of spending time without technology like; cell phones, iPods, and computers; I thought that it would be easy. I thought that it would actually be good for me, being disconnected from the rigors of keeping up on my virtual social profile. When I first started, it was easy and life seemed less cluttered. However, as time passed I started wondering if my status in certain games had changed, since I was not being active in them. And I started thinking, what if there is an emergency and someone is trying to contact me through email or Facebook? What is going on in the outside world?
Going without technology for a period of time is life eating cauliflower. It may be an unpleasant experience, but it will be good for you. This experiment gave me time to start reading an old fashioned paperback book and do other activities that I never would have had the time to do if I was still plugged into my smart devices.
It is amazing that we have become so dependent on technology like computers and smartphones. Twenty years ago we could not have cared less if we went a day without being on a computer, but today we have been trained that we need these devices to live a successful and full life.
@MyDtcAccount – Jonathan Crabtree
“It builds problem-solving skills!”
“It increases hand-eye coordination!”
“We can be and do whatever we want in videogames!”
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard these “reasons” when people who love to play videogames try to convince others that playing videogames are beneficial to them and, ultimately, society. In the TED Talk that we watched in class on Thursday, the speaker said that we actually need to start playing MORE videogames in order to help our planet survive. Now, I realize that she was talking about specific games that cause people to solve real-world problems, but I have my reservations about those kind of games ever hitting the mass market. My “manifesto” is that the gamer culture should stop fooling themselves, and start to view videogames as nothing more than they are. A pleasant waste of time. That’s not to say that videogames are terrible and should be avoided at all costs. It’s impossible to think that anyone can be productive 100% of the time and not take breaks for pleasurable activities. But when people start to view their videogame time as productive, that’s where problems start to arise.
As far as the “reasons” given above, they are all easily shot down. The “problem solving” reasoning is given all the time, but how much of a crossover is there between that and real life? My guess is that it hardly ever comes into play at work, home, or school.
The “hand-eye coordination” claim is legitimate, but more problems than benefits come from the physical aspect. Sure, your hand-eye coordination is improving, right along with the shortening of your hip-flexors, causing an anterior pelvic tilt, which leads to low-back pain and compromised posture.
Finally, the excuse that you can “be/do whatever you want” is a reason that really irks me. What’s the point of having the virtual reality? Why would you want to do that instead of improving your own life? It comes at the expense of affecting your real life, and I believe that that is much more important than your make-believe avatar.
Shy Boy is poem created on a computer that has visual effects as well as words. This piece is an example of electronic literature. Katherine Hayles, the author of “Electronic Literature: What is it?” explains why this piece would not be considered print. Electronic literature is “a first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer” (Hayles). This does not include pieces, such as word documents, were the work can be read in print. Shy Boy was created to be read on a computer because the words move and disappear. The movement of the words allows the reader to come closer to the overall meaning of the poem. The poem tells of the feelings of a shy boy. He wants to fade into the background and vanish. During Shy Boy, the word ‘vanish’ actually disappears, adding emphasis on the boy’s emotions. Shy Boy cannot be told the same way in a print version. The reader would not have the same experience with Shy Boy in just print, which is the author’s intention. This electronic literature piece was create by the author for the purpose of experiencing it on the computer. Electronic literature “challenges us to re-think our assumptions of what literature can do and be” (Hayles). Literature is no longer just print. Authors can have moving words, sound and moving images to better convey their message to the reader.
While I am not intimately familiar with current copyright laws, sometimes it can be easy to recognize infringement. A prime example would be the Star Wars fan film “The Essence of the Force.” This short film can be kind of funny, but that does not make it legal. It starts off with the typical Star Wars intro I.E. a long time ago, the text scroll, and even the Star Wars logo. While the names of characters are never spoken, it is easy to see that the main characters are supposed to be Darth Maul and Obi Wan Kenobi. There are also many references to the force, and the main characters use light sabers. I absolutely believe that this is copyright infringement. However, I do not think the Star Wars Remix is copyright infringement. If anything it is appropriation. In the remix instead of creating their own knock off Star Wars movie, it is basically a montage of the first six movies with music playing over it. The reason I think that the fan film is copy infringement and the remix is not is because the fan film is attempting to promote something that has nothing to do with Star Wars. Whereas in the remix Star Wars is still the focus of the video and whomever put it together is not trying to promote something like a soda company. I believe that as long as the appropriated material is still promoting the original work, then there is no copyright infringement.
By comparing the multimedia texts, there is evidence of remediation. Remediation, by Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s definition, is using older technology and incorporating it into newer technology. This is evident in the two news broadcasts from 1990 and 2008. In the first news broadcast, there is very little computer animation. The only animation that is used it to transition between stories and have a graphic behind the speaker. In the second news broadcast there are animations on the bottom of the screen. Text scrolls across the screen full of information of multiple news stories. The “computer animation can function like film” (Remediation 70), since they are in constant motion. This broadcast is very similar to USA Today which has a “layout [that] resembles a multimedia computer application more that it does a television broadcast” (Remediation 76). This major difference between the broadcasts shows remediation because the news is still presented, but in a different way. The first broadcast has elements that are still used in the second broadcast such as presenting stories by the anchor and a graphic behind them. Now, the news has advanced to be more interactive and allow listen to multiple stories at once. News can also allow you to connect through the internet because news anchors have Twitter accounts and news channels have websites. This advanced media can only happen through remediation because the older ideas and technology is added on to become more advanced. Remediation allows new ideas to build off old ideas. This is true in the news broadcast where the original presentation of the news is added with text scrolling at the bottom of the screen and more graphics throughout the stories.
Benjamin states, “reproduction as offered by picture magazines and newsreels differs from the images as seen by the unarmed eye,” (4). I agree. This image of mountains offers me a sliver of it grandeur beauty. I cannot completely experience the “aura” that Benjamin remarks about (6). I can relate the clouds behind the mountain to the clouds I’ve seen at Mt. Hood. I can imagine the smell of the crisp air, similar to the air I’ve experienced before. However, I am not actually at this place. If the environment had a new sense it could offer me, I would not be able to experience it. I wouldn’t know if the mountains offered a sulfuric smell that would create nostalgia, or if the rocks are as sharp as they seem. I believe to fully experience the aura that the environment offers; all of my senses must be stimulated.
The reproduction of this image only offers my eyes a piece of its aura. One cannot interact with this environment. Benjamin similarly compares this with a live performance versus a movie, “the audience’s identification with the actor (film) is really an identification with the camera,” (8). Using this photo I’m identifying past experiences with the image the camera allows me to see. If I was actually there, I could feel the different effects that the environment would have, a change in weather perhaps. Resulting, in different emotions I would experience from interacting with the environment. Benjamin states, “For aura is tied to his presence; there can be no replica of it,”(8).