Tag Archives: opinion

Treatment of Life and Death in Videogames


I read this interesting article called Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames. It was fascinating because it brings up the question of how we treat death in video games. The author (Ryan Kuo) poses the question:

The vignette raises questions about the way that games treat life and death — questions that still haven’t been answered. Does a surfeit of lives cheapen our notion of life, rendering it as easily dispensable as coins or bullets? Or is the cycle of life, death, and resurrection a rich platform for contemplation?

Kind of a big question isn’t it? What does the perception of having multiple lives in games have on the human psyche? Furthermore, what would happen if we took that vital piece of integrated gameplay out of gaming altogether?

Personally I think the removal of multiple lives from gaming would cause a kind of outcry in the gaming universe at first. I think perhaps a few gamers would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive without dying through the whole game…but they would be a minority in the gaming world. Such games, I feel, wouldn’t survive (pun intended).

Humans want to be allowed to make mistakes. They want to be redeemed of those mistakes. I think that is a great appeal for gamers. Gaming offers the do-over we don’t get in real life. That is why I game personally. Then again, I cannot really allow my feelings on the matter to be the standard for the gaming world.

Leave your thoughts below.

Turning The World….


I read a quote on Ello the other day that one of the writers I follow posted. I’m not sure if it was one of her own or from another source, but I found myself wondering about it a great deal.

“Many people, especially in technology say their productivity is changing the world, and this is irrefutable. But no one seems to know what they’re changing it into.”

Many commenters posted their thoughts, and much of it was about technology it’s self. I couldn’t understand that. Technology it’s self doesn’t have fully functioning rational consciousness…yet. So why is so much being said about technology when there are minds behind it? I decided to put my two cents in and commented:

This is precisely the point I had been trying to make in my computer ethics blog in college, and why I personally believe in the “design for good” movement. I think the use of technology and how to cause change in the world stems from the individual user and their choice, not necessarily the creator of said technology. Though I think the creator is the one who gets the ball rolling, it is the users who manipulate the technology’s usefulness and influence one another. Though, that is more or less dependent on the situation. Without context I get the implication that the quote speaks more on the unpredictability of the technology user to change the world and not necessarily the technology it’s self.

I think when it comes to technology we are too willing to blame situations on the device. Too often I hear parents ridicule their children about phone and computer use, but in the context of the technology. “I should get rid of that damn computer…” Kind of commentary is often times too common, but what it does is dissociates the user from the responsibility. It is not the computers fault that the individual spends so much time on it. It is the choice of the user to spend time on it, and in this particular case, it was someone’s failure to set appropriate boundaries for such use. Weather it be the parent or the child is another story entirely.

To take away the computer is far too extreme. It is useful. It is necessary as well. Technology use causes the world to turn. Most of our educational and work environments require the use of a computer for nearly everything now. Perhaps another case of people’s failure to set boundaries? Feel free to put your thoughts on that in comments below.

I must put a disclaimer as well. There are some technologies that are changing the world for very specific reasons. The above commentary I made speaks more on programs, games, social networks, internet use, apps etc. More socially oriented technology. There are technologies that are made for specific uses, like medical technology, where the goal is to change the medical field for whatever reason, and usually with a passionate cause and predicted out come. In those situations, the use of technology is entirely dependent on the proper functionality if the technology as well as the user, and the outcome is usually predictable because it is being made for a specific goal. That may seem obvious to mention, but I would rather mention it since occasionally, the technology has other outcomes as well that develop into another kind of technology altogether. Much of our popularly used tech was developed from military tech made public once it was found to have a variety of uses.

What are your thoughts on technology development and the quote above? I would love to hear perspectives.

Online Shaming

Read a fascinating article about women who shame men online as revenge for harassment. It’s a common problem now, in the age of technology. People often harass each other (because that’s what it is we need not beat around the bush), in online environments. Though people do not often pay attention to what is or is not considered illegal, is online shaming really a good method of altering behavior? Or does it encourage that behavior in a world where the motto is “no publicity is bad publicity?”

An exerpt from The article (which can be read here):

Thirty years ago, a woman in Ramadei’s situation would have no way of determining the identity of a customer like Lederman beyond flipping through the phone book. But today, as We Are Social reports, 40 percent of the world’s population is active on the Internet, with those users operating over 2 billion active social media accounts.

Mind you this article is written from the bias of females who have a passionate investment into their cause, but hey bring up some interesting points. One suggestion they offer:

Perhaps we can’t shame men on the Internet, then, because many of them cannot feel shame, at least within the context of current social structures. Silvan Tomkins observed that shame is a feeling that emerges when enjoyment is interrupted: When we’re caught as children with our hands in the cookie jar, we feel shame because we still want the cookie even though we know we’re not supposed to have it.

If women are the cookies of the Internet, then, they’re cookies that men never feel like they can’t have. Even the tersest of responses on OKCupid is still giving an aggressive user exactly what he wants: interaction. Men’s enjoyment of women—of their bodies, their words, and even their distress—is often so thorough and so adaptable that posting their messages or threatening to call out their behavior online has little to no effect. In the absence of meaningful consequences for misogynistic behavior, many men can afford to be cavalier and carefree about their online personas.

I think everyone feels that way about their online personas. People think they can still hide behind the impression they give on their social media sites, so they become apathetic about the repercussions they could have. It’s as if the online world has stunted the maturity of some people, and has offered them some kind of emotional detachment from any virtual world gone real world consequences.

It is as if they have forgotten that we are dealing with real people, with real feelings, that can really call the cops. Not to mention the emotional effects this can have on both sides. To both parties. Is the male actually feeling shame? Is the female suffering repercussions from haters because of her choice? Is he? We can not know fully since we are not living the lives that these people are, but it is surely is having some kind of effect on their life. They are both humans with dignity after all.

What are your thoughts on online shaming? Have you done it before? Have you been a victim of it? Tell us your story.


No this isn’t a post about Big Brother or anything like that (sorry to disappoint). It’s either a larger or smaller scale issue than that depending on your perspective.

I often kept a quote book in college. Yeah I’m a nerd. But most conversations I took the quotes from were ones I was having with others, and they never went outside of the lines pages of my grungy personal journal…unless it happened in a yearbook meeting (yeah, I was also a yearbook nerd get over it). Now that I look back a those pages, I almost wish I had made them into a blog or something (more people would probably read that than a computer ethic blog). But then again, a few things have come across my iPad screen that have caused me to think again about those feelings.

There are a few Instagram sites that have come to my attention recently that offer bits of conversations overheard in public places as featured entertainment. A kind of quote book, but much more public. Now I follow the one that I am going to share with you from an article on Design Taxi I read and it is pretty funny. Human conversations are often odd to eavesdrop on. But I was contemplating the ethics of such behavior. Do you think it is ethical to post pieces of “out of context” conversations for entertainment? Even if the person isn’t aware you’re going to do it?

Think about it. Most of what you say, you think is pretty secure. People assume no one is paying attention to the things they say in public places because their agendas are their own, but if we look deeper into the matter, perhaps we are a little too quick to enjoy what seems to be entertainment, when in actuality it is a kind of invasion of privacy.

But then again, if NSA does it, why can’t we?

I consider it this way even…is this not only a privacy issue, but also an intellectual property issue. If the words are not your own, does the person saying them have intellectual property or do you for publishing them as “original works” against the terms of agreement on Instagram? Mind you, not everyone posts original work as they ought to, but that in and of its self is an issue of privacy. Or further, is this a form of online bullying? Perhaps the work isn’t considered harmful or wasn’t posted to be intentionally so, but some of the things posted are going to receive backlash of some kind or another right? The “curator” isn’t going to have complete control over what viewers comment or say, or even if they do, they may not be able to keep up with the volume of comments to regulate what is actually being said that could potentially be harmful.

Perhaps I’m over thinking this?


Robots with Soul

You Can’t Fix Cyber-Stupid

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 8.36.55 PMAs a fair trade black coffee and tea loving, TOM’s shoe wearing Causegear fan (I sound like a hipster…get over it)…I am an avid follower on Upworthy.com, and in being an avid follower on such an ingenious site, I find myself running into a lot of interesting and new ideas, perspectives, and even life changing information . Today on my Facebook news feed (and yes I follow Upworthy on Facebook….and Twitter…and you should too because it’ll make you an informed boss of internet wonder), I had this video article come across my screen. I suggest a quick watch.


Now that I can safely assume you’ve watched the entire video. So we have an interesting problem on our hands, the world appears to be getting dumber and more distasteful. Women are targets on the internet, and we hear this time and time again to the point where we shrug it off much like Emily did when asked about cyber-sexism. We’re used to it. It’s become normal to see women and men alike being negatively admired.

Wait. Negatively admired?


Online we often feel as though we have the safety net of a screen to protect us from the repercussions of our words and actions. As you saw in the video Emily, puts up with a great deal of sexism in her field, which is both sad and unacceptable as her work is wonderfully presented and she takes a great deal of time out of her busy life to ensure the quality of her work. However, she still deals with uncouth comments that are irrelevant to her work, not that they are trying to be insensitive or hurtful, they probably genuinely mean what they say and think it’s actually flattering. But they are admiring her for things she does not represent. She isn’t a sex object, she is an educated woman who works professionally towards a future of brilliant minds and new discoveries.

The issue isn’t that she feels threatened by these comments and it’s not even sexism that I really want to touch on (though a subject I will save for another time, because the internet has a lot of it), but rather something as simple as comments on a post could be the possible prevention of brilliant minds coming to light and helping save our world. We live in a world that is spiraling downward and rocketing upward at an alarming and erratic pace, and with each new idea we see there are millions of others who are finding new and better ways to do the same thing…and new and better ways to pervert those ideas.

What am I getting at?

The reason we need to take our time considering what we say online is because there are people on the other end of those comments that those very comments are about. Those words weigh heavily on minds burdened by so many thoughts. The brilliant aren’t always the brave (it is a burden being so intelligent). Besides, your comments are not anonymous. There is always someone watching them. If I felt threatened enough at any time by one of my commenters, I could easily get in touch with law enforcement, who can then contact the web administrators to look up the personal information of any username and IP address and find the heckler. Or I can contact a web administrator myself through a “contact us” or a “report abuse” link. On my personal Instagram I’m constantly deleting, blocking and reporting people for their comments (daily if not hourly) and I hardly put up a selfie.

This isn’t so much a post about an issue we aren’t familiar with, but a reminder that the internet is compiled of humans who are not as emotionless as the desktop or tablet beneath your fingertips. Be responsible. Smh.







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