Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Technically Challenged

It's funny how mobile providers are pushing this new term around, you know 4G, as if some type of quintessential mobile network to have. 4G stands for fourth generation, which means these new phones are nothing more than a new line up of mobil devices. Cell phone companies are doing nothing more than building this fake facade of a new network when it's nothing but the fabrication of the truth. Subsequently if more consumers did there homework they would know that 4G is no faster than the EDGE network, which was the earliest stages of the 3G network. To clarify, cell phones that are being used right now as of this post are still downloading an upload packets of information at the same speed as the 3G network. So if anything more people should be outraged at cell phone providers advertising false information. In order for smart phones to be classified as having 4G capabilities they need to be able to have download speeds of 100 Mbps - 1 Gbps. So whenever I hear someone say their phone runs on the new 4G network, I can't help but laugh.

Wired Explains: What U.S. Carriers Mean by '4g'

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Future of Next Gen Consoles

Next Gen Consoles:
Next Generation Consoles, also known as NGC, is the future for digital home entertainment. NGC has become a central hub for social interaction and digital entertainment. These powerful consoles are known for their advancements in wireless technology and virtual communicational systems. NGCs are making billions of dollars due to the gaming engineers who put these data crunching machines together. Each gaming console offers a different experience. Each console caters to different age demographics. Two of the powerful NGCs are the PlayStation 3, or better known as PS3, and the Xbox 360. I foresee NGCs having games with Artificial Intelligence that are able to speak to its players as if they have known them all their lives. This is due to future developments in NGC technology. I believe that the next level of NGC will have 3-D capabilities, instant Wi-Fi downloads, clearer pictures, and a digital library with copious amounts of downloadable content. Another concept that will become a reality will be the merging of NGCs with standard cable boxes. After reading countless articles on NGCs, I found that many of the newer TVs will be able to receive data wirelessly from any Internet source. Televisions will not need any assistance from a third-party device to show downloaded digital content. The Wall Street Journal article, Beyond Gaming: Watching TV on Your Xbox, put it ever so eloquently, “Videogame consoles like the Xbox 360 and Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 3 were designed primarily to play games, but the gadgets are increasingly evolving into multimedia home entertainment devices as manufacturers add nongame features” (WSJ).

Electronic Entertainment Expo:
Every year, leading companies in the video game industry, such as Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nintendo, flock to the Los Angeles convention center for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, known in the gaming world as E3 expo. This is where small software companies and large gaming corporations showcase their work to the masses and get gamers feedback. Many of the large gaming companies use this time to have private conferences on new technological break throughs on their own particular console. The president of Entertainment Software Associates (ESA) performed a study, which showed that “Sixty-eight percent of American households play computer or video games” (E3 Press Release). Many of the video game companies use this time to put out new game titles to measure crowd reaction. They then go back and make minor or major changes depending on the crowd’s reaction to their title. So this is really a convention for gamers, owners, and creators to bring new and innovative ideas to gaming consoles.

PlayStation 3:
At this year’s E3, they announced the future of NGC. During the convention, PlayStation announced the new motion controller that has 1:1 ratio tracking capabilities. This means that the next PlayStation gaming system will be able to place both you and the controller in a free floating space. The new motion controller will move as fast as your hand moves and this is all due to a device called the PlayStation eye that tracks the motion controller’s position. Sony Computer Entertainment is a subsidiary of the Sony conglomerate. Under Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony was able to form a network of users. PlayStation Network has over 20 million users; this number continues to grow daily due to this system’s unique selling point, which is free network access. Other NGCs do not offer free network access. The PS3 console is able to access the Internet (wirelessly), instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace accounts all from the comfort of your couch. In a New York Times article, Bits; Netflix to Stream to PlayStation 3, Brad Stone announced, “Next month, the nine million American owners of Sony’s PlayStation 3 consoles will have another entertainment option available: streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix” (NYT). Thus, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. (SCEA) came up with new enhancements for the PlayStation Network by adding downloadable content such as PlayStation Store, and PlayStation Home. PlayStation Home offers users a chance to be able to download digital content such as games, photos, videos and music. SCEA was also able to add new partners to their family, such as Showtime, G4, E!, Magnolia Films, and TNA.

Technological Advancements:
Game consoles have come a long way since the Magnavox Odyssey, which was the first generation console. It wasn’t until the Atari 2600, along with the creation of Pong, that home consoles made their mark in gaming history. However, the gaming industry has made quantum leaps since the first generation console. Video game companies have gone from cartridges, to compact discs, to wireless. In an online article, Profiting from Social Gaming, David Perry says, “…the long-term future of the game industry is digital, and will not include physical media at all. Consoles and even handhelds connect online and the hardware makers such as Nintendo (7974.T), Microsoft (MSFT), and Sony (SNE) have all launched their own online game stores” (Business Week Online). So this means that broadband capabilities have to be widely accessible and robust enough to accommodate large amounts of users on gaming servers. Major companies such as Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony will get rid of cartridges and compact discs because they will become antiquated due to digital downloading. An article from the School Library Journal called, The Future of Gaming: Gamers and gaming are changing with the times - are librarians? Beth Gallaway makes the assertion that, “With ever-increasing access to higher bandwidths and high-speed Internet connections, more and more games will be downloadable and played digitally” (SLJ). Multiple sources have come to the same conclusion that as the Internet becomes faster, more and more gaming fans will get the majority of their games by downloading them. Many of the NGCs have Bluetooth wireless controllers. This is due to players not having adequate seating near the console. So gaming companies took this into account and made the game controllers with Bluetooth capabilities. This allows players the ability to move freely without being restricted to the length of a cord connected to the system. However, the battery life of each consoles controller does limit each cycles charge. Each console has two USB ports that allow players to hook up a USB cord to charge the controllers. On average, the battery life for each charge should last 20 hours.

Project Natal:

The next console that has something even better than PlayStations motion controller, with 1:1 ratio is the Xbox 360. Microsoft’s secret project named, Project Natal, showcased new and groundbreaking ideas dealing with interactivity and new game dynamics. Project Natal has full body motion capture, facial recognition, controller free entertainment (people themselves become the controller), playing games together as a family, scanning capabilities, connect and share (video chat w/ friends), and voice recognition. Milo was shown at 2009’s E3 expo, it was a demo game where an artificial boy recognized a person through facial recognition. The artificial being is also able to show human emotion through facial expressions. The games are becoming more engaging as far as human interaction is concerned. With this type of break through in technology, games such as Milo show promising results. One of the benefits would be game users becoming more fit due to the amount of physical participation needed to reach a desired goal. In a design week magazine article, The next level, Iain Simons said, “… Natal has taken controller reduction to its logical conclusion. Using a combination of depth-sensing RGB camera and a multi-array microphone, the system is able to read full-body gestures in three dimensions and recognize individual voices and faces—all within a small add-on to a standard Xbox 360 console” (Design Week).

Social Aspect:
The people who own these gaming systems range from kids to adults. Many gamers play with people in foreign countries and friends from school for what seems to be a global network of friends with a common interest. Due to the game industry’s global network of people, NGCs allow players from the United States to interact with players from other continents and enjoyed their camaraderie. Because of the need of those who want to be socially interactive with others, it’s only a matter of time before players will want to pause in the middle of their game, access their social networks and have their friends join into their game. But one aspect that is already a reality is the freedom to check Facebook and Twitter from the console’s home screen, however, the option that is not available yet is checking these updates and speaking with friends while in the middle of a game. While reading a Wall Street Journal article, Beyond Gaming: Watching TV on Your Xbox, I came across a college grad student from Sanford University who owns an Xbox 360 console and had this to say, “…[I am] interested in trying the console’s Facebook and Twitter features. But [I expect] them to be integrated into the videogame experience in a way that’s not possible through [my] PC—allowing users to find friends on Facebook that they can play games with, for example. ‘I think it all depends on how it’s been implemented,’ he says” (WSJ).

Virtual Reality:
Video game companies want to use the new 3D technology that many of the movie producers are using. The one major set back is televisions not having 3D-enabled capabilities. The older models do not have the proper refresh rates as some computer monitors, which need 120Hz for the necessary displaying capabilities. Newer TV models will have the capabilities to display 3D movies and games. In a Video Business article, Games push 3D at home: first stereoscopic titles launch this fall, Ubisoft, game company, feels “…so confident that advanced 3D at home is the future, it will debut a stereoscopic Avatar for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, which are connected to TVs, later this year” (Video Business). Three-dimensional gaming offers endless educational possibilities for medical students to deal with real-life situations. They are already using this application on TV shows. It’s only a matter of time before society starts using holographic images to teach doctors how to cure and/or operate on patients. In addition, there’s also the possibility of using this technology to solve crimes. A PC World article talked about how criminal investigation teams will use videogame technology to help police forensic scientist to virtually re-create crime scenes.

My vision of the NGC:
Based on all the information provided above, I believe that the future of gaming will involve everyone. Games will not be played alone anymore; social networking will become more and more popular; DVDs and CDs will be a thing of the past; and many of the new games and movies coming out will be digitally downloaded to a hand-held hard drive. People will have to start carrying most of their information as digital copies of originals. I think a lot of the gamers will be downloading far more information that can be stored on current storage devices. Game companies will have to think about people saving terabytes of information, on a daily basis to their gaming systems. Also, due to game physics becoming more complex and requiring more processors (e.g., microchips), data are moving faster than any game designers could imagine. A Design News article explained what the PS3 could do and what engineers had to take into account to get this small electronic device to work like a small, super computer. In the Design News article, PS3: Fast and Cool, Steve Murray, a senior technical editor, had this to say about the system, “There, engineers built atop an IBM 64-bit PowerPC core, creating a multiprocessor CPU by augmenting the original device with seven specialized co-processors based on a single-instruction multiple-data (SIMD) architecture. Known as the Cell Broadband Engine, the seven-core device is targeted at data-intensive processing applications, like those found in cryptography, high-end science and gaming… The work with Rambus, meanwhile, endows the machine with two big bandwidth channels, providing an extraordinary aggregate bandwidth of 65 Gbytes/sec to the PS3” (Design News). With this type of speed, we are playing games that require the processing speed of several computers. Next, I believe that 3D virtual realities will naturally become part of NGC. They will have gamers immersed in a world were they are able to take on the roles of the major protagonists in games, thus broadening players’ minds to a world of bountiful story plots and twists. Another aspect that will begin to spread like wildfire is cloud computing. Starting this year, new NGCs will be the wave of the future. Read about the new system in this PC World article. Many of the gaming systems already have characteristics of a supercomputer, and many of the games will be played in real-time without levels having to load before a match starts. One games in particular that showcases massive multi-players online playing together is the game MAG, which stands for Massive Action Game. This game will allow 256 players to play in real-time on a battlefield. Sony had to upgrade their servers to handle 256 players to log into a game and play over three days to see what team would win. Servers will also have to be reconfigured to handle even larger amounts of bandwidth for player accessibility. Without a serious upgrade to bandwidth and servers, the future of NGC will cease to exist.

How I Envision New NGC:

I envision the new NGC to be similar to Project Natal. The human body will become the controller, while all the data are stored onto a small device that will fit into the palm of your hand and everything will activate through voice recognition via a small optical device. People will not have to buy CDs and Discs to enjoy game play. All games will be stored on super-fast, high bandwidth servers that are digitally transferred to TVs or a small hand-held box. Body gestures will be read through the small camera device to allow users to feel as though they have become a virtual avatar. This brings up interesting issues. One of these issues is, will this cause future gamers to become more dissociative with reality? Only time will tell!

Keywords: PlayStation 3, Project Natal, The future of Gaming, Next Generation Consoles, Gaming Networks.

Works Cited:
Ault, Susanne. "Games push 3D at home: First stereoscopic titles launce this fall." Video publishers push 3D for home. Reed Business Information, 24 July 2009. Web. 26 Nov. 2009. .

"E3 09: Motion Controller Demo Part I: PlayStation 3 Video Game." E3 09: Motion Controller Demo Part I: Game Trailers & Videos, 2 June 2009. Web. 2 June 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. .

"E3 09: Motion Controller Demo Part II." E3 09: Motion Controller Demo Part II: Game Trailers,. 2 June 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. .

"E3 09: Project Natal Intro." Project Natal Video Game, E3 09: Project Natal Intro. Game Trailers & Videos, 1 June 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. .

Hewitt, Dan. "Sixty-Eight Percent of U.S. Households Play Computer or Video Games." Electronic Entertainment Expo. Entertainment Software Associates, 2 June 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. .

"Idustry Facts." THe Entertainment Software Association - Industry Facts. 1 Apr. 1994. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. .

Kane, Yukari I. "Beyond Gaming: Watching TV on Your Xbox." Watching TV on Your Xbox. Les Hinton, 12 Nov. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. .

Murray, Charles J. "Fast AND Cool." Fast AND Cool. Reed Business Information, 5 Feb. 2007. Web. 28 Nov. 2009. .

Next Gen Consoles. 2007. Photograph. Tokyo. Digital World Tokyo. 2 Mar. 2007. Web. 2 Dec. 2009. .

Perry, David. "Profiting from Social Gaming." Profiting from Social Gaming 18 Aug. 2008: 14-14. Research Port. Web. 25 Nov. 2009. .

Reuters. "Videogames Help Real CSI Solve Crimes." PC World. International Data Group, 27 Nov. 2009. Web. 28 Nov. 2009. .

Shuman, Sid. "OnLive: Will it Beat Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii at Their Own Game?" PC World. International Data Group, 24 Mar. 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2009. .

Snow, Blake. "Which controller has the best battery life?" Which controller has the best battery life? Bob Huseby, 1 Feb. 2008. Web. 26 Nov. 2009. .

Sony. Sony Computer Entertainment. Remarkable Milestone Achieved in Only 2 years and 3 Months Since Its Launch on November 11, 2006. Release- Registered Accounts on PlayStation Network Exceed 20 Million Worldwide. Sony Computer Entertainment, 25 Feb. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2009. .

Steven Levy, & N'gai Croal. (2006, November). PlayStation Strikes Back; Sony's long-awaited new console has the computing power to bring games to the next level--what gamers call 'total immersion.' But good luck trying to find one :[U.S. Edition Edition]. Newsweek, 148(19), 71. Retrieved November 27, 2009, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1161454271).

Stone, Brad. "Bits; Netflix to Stram to Playstation." New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr., 2 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. .

Wifi_bluetooth_logo_200. 2009. Photograph. Wired Magazine, San Francisco. Bluetooth 3.0 is Official, and it’s Fast. By Charlie Sorrel. Condé Nast Publications, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 2 Dec. 2009. .

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Journal #10: Neoteric Frontier

The accelerated rate in which this generation’s social networks are growing is illustrious in the sense that everyone has seen, heard or had the privilege to interact with one of the many communication systems. I see the future of social networks being used as much as, or more than, text messaging. I feel as though people will walk around and access communicational systems more because society tends to naturally form its own way of how it wants to communicate. For instance, in the past two decades, communications started with a simple Bulletin Board System (BBS) and from that it has grown into facebook, tweeter, instant messaging, google chat, etc. Each generation comes up with another form of communication. This generation’s form of communication is live streaming text communication. I see the next step will be live streaming video feed as optical lenses are becoming more compact, cheaper and sharper.

Due to the rapid growth in technology, processors are becoming more compact and faster. The next thing I foresee happening is that cell phones will have longer video storage. Currently cell phones only offer users to record short clips. Whereas in the future people will be able to record from their own cell phones live stream without being hindered by short recording life. Just imagine people who want to show news companies live action in real time. All people would have to do is to record the action and then send a message to the news company, such as CNN or the local news station, stating that you have some late-breaking news and they can go live with the real-time footage.

This would be great for people to get out and view the world. Also this would be a unique niche of communication for the younger generation. I think this would become a hybrid of You Tube meeting CNN. Since a lot of people look at You Tube on a regular basis this will only make it grow in another direction. It would be a great thing to see a new social network develop out of live streaming news. The only thing that the FCC would have to worry about is the raw and uncut content that people would record. I think that the changes in social networking would alter forever how we view issues in the world today. This would be a new venue for people to put issues in the public’s face and show that we as a society need to do something about the current situation.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Journal #9: This is a Public Service Announcement

My one-word critique of this novel, Little Brother, is, “Wow.” The first thing that came to mind was the movie, V for Vendetta. The same way that “V” wanted the public to put fear into the government is the same way that Marcus wanted the “Xnet” users to put fear into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The technique that Marcus used to lead the other users on “Xnet” was absolutely ingenious. His excessive paranoia was the one thing that kept him one step ahead of DHS. Then I asked myself what is it that our government does that makes us feel like we are criminals or terrorists. I came up with a list of things that the government does that makes us feel like we are no longer U.S. citizens. My list includes, jury duty, red light cameras (traffic cameras), airport security, wiretapping, and illegal internet surveillance. If you pay attention to the types of surveillance that they use to keep tabs on the public in Little Brother, then you would realize that our government uses the same things, which makes the reality of this novel really scary.

The first item to talk about would be jury duty. It seems like anyone who does not show up for jury duty is scrutinized. And if people don’t show up for jury duty, then the court will send out a body attachment and place that person in jail. Now, if anyone were to ask me about this situation, I would respond that it sounds like they (meaning the judges, meaning government officials) who are suppose to be upholding the law are sending more innocent people to jails, which are already overcrowded all because of a missed jury duty session. This just goes to show that the government is optimally taking advantage of your freedom to do as you choose with your time. This seems unfair because it feels like the person who was called for jury duty is missing out on a day’s paycheck because some other individual felt the need to break the law. However, the jurors are forced to use their own time and energy to listen and render judgment on the case. I know several people who absolutely despise being called for jury duty and I, for one, agree with them.

The second thing the government uses to keep tabs on U.S. citizens as if they were a bunch of law-breaking criminals is a red light camera. This I find to be an absolute pain and is as invasive as other forms of public surveillance, or “Big Brother,” for lack of a better term. Intelligence agencies use “Big Brother” to monitor and report on activities across multiple nodes in a network. This means that all the law enforcement and intelligence agencies have their hands in everything. I find this to be a huge problem because it is an invasion of privacy. Whether people are on the internet or at work or simply walking down the street, all of it is recorded and invades what little privacy we may think we have.

Thirdly, airport security remains on as high an alert as it was after September 11th. The method that airport security uses to interrogate and invade the privacy of U.S. citizens makes you want to lock them up. I had a friend that was traveling to Italy. When he got to Italy, the security man told him that he did not look Italian. And my friend’s reply was something smart like, “Well you don’t really look like white, either.” So they took him into an interrogation room and told him to strip naked, and then they did a cavity search on him. They did it because they could and not because they thought he looked suspicious. My friend said that he had never felt more violated in his life. He was absolutely outraged. There was also another incident involving a student in my ethics class who is Indian. He was not wearing any attire that would indicate that he was Islamic or Muslim. Yet the airport security police automatically chose him for a random security check because they said that he looked suspicious. However, after they searched him, they could find no reason to hold him. So now when he travels out of the U.S., he wears a shirt that says, “I am not a terrorist I just look like one.” So making fun of the situation is his way of dealing with the whole terrorist issue.

Illegal wiretapping is also another form of “Big Brother.” People have to be in a constant state of paranoia about that feeling that every word they say on the telephone is being recorded. This is no way to live. We are supposed to be in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” And the sad part is citizens have no recourse but to conform to this form of invasion of their privacy. But this is one change that the U.S. public is hoping will be accomplished when there is a change in the Presidency. The public believes that Barack Obama will keep his promise to listen to them about eliminating illegal wiretapping. U.S. citizens will have their voices heard once Obama is sworn into office on January 20, 2009. CROSS YOUR FINGERS.

And this concludes our public service announcement.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Journal #8: Virtual Wealth

I found this novel quite interesting since I did not know that virtual worlds actually have virtual banks that can also be converted to real money. Upon reading Charles Stross’ novel, I thought that the book was dealing with real people. But as I read further I realized that the reader had to deal with both virtual users and the real world as well. Which made the read all the more captivating. However, I did not like how the book kept jumping from character to character. I wanted the book to keep with one person and finish with them before reading about another character.

It was quite clever how Jack came up with a solution to find the items that were stolen from Hackmans economic consultancy firm which houses valuable items. Jack said, “The insurance claim request got fifty-one responses before I kicked back last night. I fed them in and set the spider running on the two largest auction sites that handle cross-game Zone trades. Twelve of the items turned up immediately, in a single stash that KingHorror9 is trying to shift. KingHorror9 is currently logged as active in Forgotten Futures, and a quick ping test suggests they’re local latency is under ten milliseconds.” Wayne took the active account name KingHorror9 given to him by Elaine. Once Wayne ran this in the database, he called back Elaine and Jack and told them the suspect’s name was Wu Chen. The way that jack came up with the idea is similar to what they use for search engines and member look ups. Except Jack was smart enough to house both of these search engines into one application.

I felt that Charles Stross’ book was very realistic at times and at other times I thought it was a fantasy. One example was when Elaine said, “Finally, you pop back out into a stonily pompous Victorian satellite town centre: except that back home, buildings don’t usually have battlements with cannons carved into them.” The reason I use this example is because the book starts out as if it depicts a fantasy world but the more you read, the more you realize that it’s hard to tell reality from virtual reality.

The real bank robbery is actually a virtual bank robbery. Now this made me ask the question, “Why would someone want to rob a virtual bank?” But the next thought that came to mind was that the robber could take all the things that he stole and put them on eBay and sell it for four times the amount it was worth.

The direction that I see technology going for virtual users would be a global virtual banking system. This system would have all users globally logged into one central global bank that deals with all banking transactions for all virtual worlds. I believe that search applications and virtual world economic banks will one day merge. And if there were a crime like the one in the book, law officials would not have to go through the same expanded procedures that the characters in the book had to go through. Whereas if there were a global banking system, there would be a global search engine that would provide the assailants’ names, addresses, and credit card information all with a few keystrokes of the keyboard.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Journal #7: Trends of Social Networking

After reading what other individuals thought about Second Life, I found it interesting how they communicate with one another. Mark Stephens quoted Byron Reeves a Stanford University professor by saying, “ People respond to interactive technology on social and emotional levels much more than we ever thought.” This comment by Reeves makes perfect sense as to why people make virtual avatars. And to think that a virtual world economy is doing better than the real economy is absolutely astonishing. To further elaborate on this thought, our economy is global figuratively, and is laterally perplexing. The way that users actually feel the need to keep the economy going in a virtual world would a part of Maslow’s law fulfilling love/belonging. With a social network, you have to feel the sense of belonging to a group or organization. In Second Life, you belong to a group of virtual users who feel the need to have a virtual avatar.

The reason people play Second Life is because they fill their lack of social obligation by adopting an alternative lifestyle. And Mark Stephen agrees with this point when he said, “Social worlds are socially driven systems in which a player tries to achieve social position under emergent rule sets.” Also, in other articles that I read, most of them dealt with businesses that wanted to advertise their business through a social network. From a business aspect, this is very important. This is how you gain both new followers, and show others that there is no limitation as to how businesses can convey their messages to designated audiences. Also very few wanted to have live video and audio feed. With this form of communication, select individuals felt that they would be able see and hear the other persons, and identify who they are. In this way, two or more individuals would be able to feel closer to one another. However, there is also a sense of anonymity that goes along with video and audio use. Users of Second Life lose that sense of privacy.

The social aspect that drives Second Life is the sense of depth. What I mean by “depth” is the environment that plays an integral part in Second Life. Some of the users commented on the fact that Second Life as it is now, is not like it used to be. Back when Second Life first started many of the early developers were not as knowledgeable with the use of HTML as they are today. However, users are now more erudite with their utilization of this virtual world as a medium in which to get a broader audience. Especially since the developers are going in a new direction with Second Life.

The future of Second Life looks very promising. I read that Linden Labs is going to make Second Life open source. This is especially unique in the sense that users will be able to design this application in ways that they see fit. Users can change the code in the game, which will give them limitless options as to how they view Second Life both as a user and also as a developer. Linden Labs are also going to allow users outside of their network to plug up their own private servers to the grid. Subsequently, the company feels that they need to stress the point to “professionalize” the way that businesses conduct themselves “in world.” Mark Stephen said, “Evidently they thought they were selling products to humans. But they weren’t they were selling to avatars. And that’s a different market with different needs, desires, and fashion sense.”

The way I interpret the gaming culture is that it is an avenue for growth both for corporate businesses and individual talent. There are many individuals “in world” that have a lot of talent that would be beneficial to both small businesses and large corporations. And that is why companies tend to open their businesses virtually in Second Life so that they can tap into this new market and gain new talent.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Journal #6: Personal Interactions

Being somewhat use to Second Life now I still feel limited or controlled. If I were given the opportunity to get a “Second Life” there would be no such thing as money. If there wasn’t such thing as money then individuals I feel would have a better “quality” of life. They would not become so attached to material things like today’s society. In Second Life everyone starts off with nothing. Similar to reality everyone in Second Life has to go out there each inlife day and make money so that you have a house, car, boats, etc. Also after reading I Avatar I realized how some people’s perceptions have been altered. As a citizen of Second Life people realize that their sense of security cannot be compromised in this game because other individuals have no idea who you are. For individuals who wish to be another gender, they are allowed to do that in Second Life

In Second Life the developers created an environment that somehow engages the user to click on things all around them. And by the developers design, Second Life propels users to immerse themselves in this unknown environment, which creates a natural bond between the user and their environment. Now in reality this is somewhat a problem. In reality people cannot walk up to other objects and click on them and see how they react. In reality you have to engage with other people and ask them questions. I think it all comes down to where you are at any given time. Certain environments make individuals more aware or responsive to their surroundings than others. So if someone were to ask me is your environment more or less responsive to you I would then ask them what are the natural forces that are making me interact with my environment.

For instance in Second Life if a character wants to dance they have to look at a globe on the ceiling and right click it to get the option to dace. However, in reality if a person goes to a club and wants to dance they do not look up at a globe and right click and start dancing. In reality the person goes on the dance floor and starts dancing. I could not figure out how other people in Second Life were dancing until I asked another person how to dance. And when she explained to me how to dance I was still a little puzzled. I said to myself why don’t you just walk up to the person similar to how you would in a real club and start dancing with them. However, if you don’t want to dance with the other person then have a conversation first and then start dancing with the person. That way if your not feeling the vibe of the other person you can simply walk away. And this is similar to the way that people act on the dance floor today.

After reading the article I agree with Lynn Hershman when she says, “Therefore perceptions are the drive to action that influences, if not controls, real events. Perceptions therefore become the key to reality.” I believe that perception and interactivity require one another. Users have their own perception of what’s going on in the world today. People also have to interact with the world every day. Today’s society has to interact with their environment, systems, networks, symbols, and media. Subsequently, due to all the information that is being thrown at individuals today it is hard for people to cypher all the symbols and meanings of objects. And depending on their perception of reality, it will help them determine how much control they have over their life.
due to the users lack of identity. So in retrospect the question comes up again on how much control do users really have?