It’s arguable, but in the last decade or so nerd and geekdom has come to be celebrated by the mainstream. Pop culture is attempting to cater to geek tastes, and we don’t deride people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for not extremely attractive or sports personalities. The 80’s certainly didn’t give as much credit to those of us on the more niche end of culture. Times have changed.
Have times changed for the better? Sure, when I was in college it was acceptable that some friends and I could found a video game enthusiasts club and wear shirts featuring Pac-Man and the Konami code. But we’re at the point where video games are so embraced today that motion controls are flying off the shelves so parents can get their children to incorporate some movement into their lives. In some schools, DDR was accepted into the gym curriculum. Games are simply accepted as a part of young culture and require workarounds to make sure kids are physical. There’s something wrong with that.
Then there’s the culture empowered by acceptance. This is a problem largely found on forums and large-scale blogs, but enthusiast clubs and conventions will reveal their fair share. Empowered geeks find it acceptable to condescend to others, mainly because the source of geek identity is internal and can only be expressed through words. No one has a problem with people sharing their knowledge or preferably anecdotes, but there are those out there who believe that they are entitled to belittle others and eschew common courtesy. Why? Because they know stuff. Read the rest of this entry
The truth is, children shouldn’t be receiving their lessons in empathy from video games. Video games are not a source for that, and any game that tries to directly teach that lesson will not be received well by the intended audience. Putting the blame on games is just a sad and seemingly endless exercise. Read the rest of this entry
I have been thinking more and more about user interfaces(UIs) lately. Maybe it’s the proliferation of devices in our everyday lives, but I cannot shake out of my head that individuals designing interfaces seem to shrug off the idea that there should be rules governing their choices. The two rules necessary for UIs are as follows: simplicity and accessibility. Read the rest of this entry
Welcome to the end of 2010, a year that is certainly remarkable for one reason or another. Just like every other year encountered. It is as remarkable as it is unremarkable. It just depends on how you want to label it. 2010, for me, is many things. I could affix many descriptors to it but those will not serve it any justice. The experience of 2010 is more important than anything I can say about it. Read the rest of this entry