Gamers: boldly going where tech will go later.

9 Jan

All right, so, I knew what I was going to post on this week, and though it was a bit weaksauce, I was all set, crazy formulatin’ my mad wordsmithing all through the New Year’s bash…and then I turned on NPR on my drive home and that other post will just have to wait, because it is vitally important you listen to this week’s On The Media. This is not a joke, a test, or a drill. Go. Listen. It’s an hour, but trust me, you’ll like it.

Okay, fine, don’t trust me, just go and read the transcripts. Then download the podcast and listen. Then share it with someone else.

Okay, so maybe a bit more explanation this order. This week’s episode is an hour of thoroughly fascinating reporting on the history (and future) of gaming as it relates to the non-gaming world. For instance, do you remember the first time you used a mouse? I don’t. But I do accept that it was probably Solitaire that got me comfortable with the concept. That smart phone in your hand? Thank the Nintendo Game Boy for its existence. It covers games as teaching tools, not only of specific skills, but as a unique way of educating people about a broader concept or situation. Moreover, can games actually be a method of doing work, of solving problems? You betcha.

Now, none of the examples I linked above are mentioned in the radio piece. I pulled them all out of my own memory, because I–like you, probably, if you’re reading this blog–am a gamer, and aware of the amazing power of video games. So yes, most of what’s in the piece is old news for those of us already hooked into the scene. That’s why you should share; because despite the increasing prevalence of games from Angry Birds and Farmville (no, no link for Farmville, Farmville gets no link) to the advancing wave of motion sensitive gaming devices (TANGENT: You’ve all seen this, right? Awesome, y/y? END TANGENT), there are still people who use the term ‘gamer’ as a derogatory label. You probably know some of them; maybe you’re related to them, maybe you work with them, maybe you giggle a little when they deride your enslavement to Blizzard products while staring raptly at jewels or foliage and corpses. Next time, you can remind them that they owe every meaningful interactive experience they have with technology to Pong.

Or you can just tell them to fix their own damn computer for a change.


One Response to “Gamers: boldly going where tech will go later.”

  1. Lex Mosgrove January 10, 2011 at 7:21 am #

    Not to mention this. I wonder what will become of it outside gaming? (And TANGENT is awesome.)

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