Sonic The Hedgehog 2 -Michael Robertson

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Features the world’s first disabled protagonist, showing that no disability should hold a person back. The protagonist is a beautiful blue haired female named Sonic who has a hearing disability. Sonic does not let this disability impede her instead, she makes her way through vast mapped levels, using her ultra-abilities to assist her. The designers a Sega focused on all the amazing things that deaf people has the ability to do and incorporated them into the game. It was clear that they paid a special attention to this, as it is the first time that deaf players have been able to see themselves defined with supersonic abilities in a virtual space. This game further opens new doors to designers as it moves away from the stereotypical male protagonist with the damsel in distress model and instead, offers individuals with disabilities a sense of empowerment.

Here is a link to a video to find out more:

http://www.clickhole.com/video/progress-video-games-protagonist-deaf-woman-3048

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China replaces Workers for Robots – Kristina P.

An recent article written in Technology Review expresses the advancement of robotics to replace the millions of workers that are employed at the factories in China.The article discusses that this idea has been implemented in order to reach ambitious production goals as well as well as balance the economic, technological, and social future of the country.

The advancement of China’s economy has the potential to reach great lengths in having an advanced market for robotic technology and in the  production of labour-intensive robotic systems.

As Turkle discusses, Robots/ computers are intelligent machines. They are performing tasks to help increase the production rate in order for factories to reach the demands of the consumers they export to across the world. The potential these machines have may increase the ambitions of the economy in China. However, in being the highly populated country with a plentiful amount of low-wage workers, where will those people go if “millions” are going to be replaced by these high technology machines?

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/544201/china-wants-to-replace-millions-of-workers-with-robots/

Adrianna D. – 11 Things I Gained When I Lost My Smartphone

Billions of individuals today own a smartphone and are entirely dependent on them be it for directions, communicating amongst friends and family,  news sources, e-mailing, and for general entertainment. When our phones reach a point where only 5% of the battery is left, we begin to feel anxiety…so help us if our phone actually dies, what are we to do then? How are we going to find our way around? How are we to get in contact with others?

An article published by The Huffington Post describes a woman’s experience with not having a smartphone. You would think that the experience was an absolute terror, however this woman claims otherwise. In fact, she learned many new things without having to rely on her smartphone. To name a few things, she gained a better sense of direction and on that note also discovered as she calls, “the living, breathing alternative to Siri”, that being a person – she would ask someone for directions if she were lost. And in many cases, the individual she had asked had better described directions than Siri ever could. She discovered what silent idle time is, so instead of spending hours “relaxing” and playing Candy Crush where she would …organize… different kinds of candy, she would rest her mind. Furthermore, instead of constantly texting pointless things to her friends to fill the “silence”, she learned how to filter herself. Not having a smartphone on hand gave her an excuse to be disconnected from e-mails, gave her a full night’s rest, and amongst many other things, she had gained 75 minutes of her day back.

This article simply proves that with owning a smartphone comes an entirely different lifestyle – although in a sense it keeps us connected, it also disconnects us from reality.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/gained-lost-smartphone_n_4152055.html

Game Consoles vs. Upset Girlfriends – Jessica McNamee

Click here to Watch Angry Gf’s Destory Gaming Technologies

To my surprise there is actually a lot of videos on the internet of angry girlfriends ambushing their boyfriends while they are playing video games and destroying the game console and/or screens. Not to mention these videos are hilarious, I found myself on a YouTube video which shows a compilation of upset girlfriends expressing their anger and frustrations of “never seeing their boyfriends anymore” and also one girl in the above video states, “I haven’t had sex in a month, proceeding to bash her boyfriends computer screen with a golf club.”
What is most interesting about all these videos on the internet, is there are none where gender’s are reversed. If you try searching videos with boyfriends bashing girlfriend’s game console there is very little to none content. It is universally known that majority of online video game participants are male, and as seen within mainstream video games the male is the heroine, and the women are the damsels in distress, as seen in the Damsels in Distress video from this week. Men are not only heroes In the virtual reality but they are applauded by their online (male)peers while participating online. Women are labelled as “psycho” and “crazy” on some of the videos similar to the one I shared. Women are continuously labelled as “the other” in the virtual gaming world. Gender binaries prevail through real life intimate relationships and through the production of video games.

yup

Thanks

Jessica McNamee

Adrianna D. – How Dating Apps Have Only Made Our Sex, Love and Dating Lives Better

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Today’s generation is all about online dating and even more so, dating apps. Apps such as Tinder and Bumble have gained much recognition over the last year and have become the most common method of meeting people and going on dates. This particular article claims that dating apps have only made our sex, love and dating lives better.

Nothing is more fun than sharing your dating stories with your friends, both the horrendous and amazing ones, so the mentality for most is – why not do it for fun? For the stories and experiences? In addition, utilising apps eliminates the pressure of having to meet someone in person; it eliminates the ‘what-if’ questions that run through everyones minds, such as “what if he or she has a girlfriend or a boyfriend?”, “what if he or she rejects me?”, what if, what if… Instead of having to build up the courage, one can sit on their couch in their most comfortable clothing, sip on tea, and swipe left or right without having to walk up to the individual and initiate conversation. It isn’t uncommon to give or receive compliments from others, thus raising one’s self-esteem as well. In many cases, people who take part in online dating meet others who they may not have necessarily thought would be their type.

Dating apps have made meeting others significantly easier. Although there are many advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages that come with meeting people through the use of technology. Is the person real? Is he or she sincere? Is this safe? There will always be controversies, but due to the increasing popularity and dependence on technologies, more and more apps will continue to be launched. Who knows what’s next…

http://elitedaily.com/dating/dating-apps-lives-better/1304680/

 

Drone Wars vs. Video Games – Jessica McNamee

After our quiz activity in class today, I couldn’t help but think about the problematic ways images of war and death are normalized through video games. I can’t even fathom the thought of drone planes flying over my home and bombing innocent men, women and children. Drone wars come very close to the virtual realities that of a video game, the lines are blurred in that these drone planes act as game consoles in targeting locations and killing whoever is in reach, despite if they are a threat or not. The images of war zones in the Middle East have become so normalized through video games in the West, that these types of realities have already been inscribed through mainstream gaming culture.The use of drone planes may not feel real, through the use of advanced technologies, but it is problematic that the controller is in real time, killing and injuring real people despite the interface it is happening through. It is evident through this week’s readings that videogames target male participants, as does the US military, video games are used to normalize and promote this type of participation.

I’ve attached a BuzzFeed link, note: it may upset you as it upset me. The link tells the story how the U.S hit a wedding party in Yemen through the use of drone plane bombings leaving twelve dead, take a read:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/gregorydjohnsen/wedding-party-drone-strike#.mhv9xaEPl

There’s Nothing Wrong With Loving Your Computer – Carmen Chizanga

Or so Lizzie Dearden discovered while researching techno-human relationships for the Independent It appears the film Her really wasn’t that far fetched when the idea of a man falling in love with his super intelligent computer became a reality.

Futurist, Ray Kurzweil claims that within a few years (by 2029) not only will technology surpass our intelligence but they will be able to interact at human level (predominantly emotionally) by creating algorithms which match that of the human brain. Kurzweil stressed that attributes which partners are expected to have will be attributed to our computers; whether it be humour, romance, or being “sexy” super intelligence will be able to do it.

For many, this idea sounds ludicrous but the further I explored the ideas Kurzweil has put out into the public eye about the advancement of technology the more his ideals seem to become practical. We are in a day and age where utilizing technology matters more than face to face interaction, humans are far more accessible through text and social media platforms than they are in a coffee shop. Some people lust over the release of the latest gadgets more than seeing their own partners after weeks to months of being a part. The age of technophilia (a desire and heightened interest to constantly have access to the latest and most advanced technologies) has been on the rise for over a decade and 15 years from now doesn’t seem like all that long of a time frame for some to feel a mutual to their gadgets.

Kurzweil believes that we will sync to what he calls “singularity” where the lines of distinguishing man and technology will cease to exist.

Ray Kurzweil: The Coming Singularity