A letter to The Daily Telegraph sparked off what is now an inferno of regular coverage of the issue. The reasoning behind classification of gaming as ‘junk’ follows the regurgitated, simplistic and ignorant arguments of the past, whereby video games coerce kids into staring at a screen rather than socialising or exercising in the fresh air. The fiery letter furthered the fodder for my rebuttal by alleging:
“Since children’s brains are still developing, they cannot adjust. . . to the effects of ever more rapid technological and cultural change,”
The letter was fronted by people whom should be role models and authority figures to children – 110 teachers, psychologists, and children’s authors contributed to the wording. It would seem that the above quote would be better applied by removing the first six words and applying it to the authors of the comment.
I’m writing another article attacking these kind of themes at the moment and already have material enough for two or three more. I think it’s going to be open-season on the small-minded and the ignorant. Too many people are allowed to attack what they don’t understand (and therefore fear) without any real response from us technophiles.
I look forward to alien archaeologists examining our long-dead culture and attempting to decipher the meaning of amusement parks.
The British media are using videogames as shorthand for â€˜youth in crisisâ€™. The very idea of videogames has, over the last decade, been transmuted from that of a closeted, nerd-driven hobby to something that must be vilified for the sake of the children. Games, far more than television, are seen as a key danger to health, both physical and mental. News reports on violence, obesity, or education are readily and unquestioningly illustrated with reference to videogames. In fact, it seems that games are now being implicitly associated with any image of problematic youth, no matter how tangential.
Also have a read of Craig Pearson’s rebuff to the precepts of the recent Tonight With Trevor MacDonald programme:
The me that stayed in Clydebank has a grim collection of tattoos, a bigoted attitude, an addiction, and I watch and believe trash like Tonight With Trevor McDonald. Itâ€™s not an unusual character portrait. There are thousands of what I could have become all around. My parents made sure it didnâ€™t happen to me, and they used video games to help them.
“Engineers in the Paris suburb of Villepinte make clever use of road noise between tires and crushed rock asphalt by designing a corrugated ?euphonic road? surface that gives a twenty-eight-note melody when driven over. Complaints by neighbors result in the road being resurfaced in 2002. A subsequent visit establishes that one can still faintly hear the melody when the road is driven over.”
And here’s a link to the original source of that quote.
When will there be more sonic architecture? Roll on fictional future urban design.
Speaking of which, take a look at the designs over on Gage / Clemenceau architects. This one is called ‘Surfacescrapers’.
Finally, a future building from 1980s Bangkok, built by Sumet Jumsai.
So I’m scouting for Japanese PC games based on the manga fanclub scene and
come across one called: “Record Of Rozen War Alibat: Anecdote Of Alice Game”. Now that’s a title.
IN 1922 WALTER LIPPMANN PUBLISHED HIS BEST selling book Public Opinion. He was only thirty-three years old, but already well on his way to becoming mid-century America’s preeminent public intellectual. His argument in Public Opinion was radical, and disturbing. Democracy did not work as it was commonly thought. In theory humans-as citizens-act rationally. They inform themselves on the issues of the day, weigh the evidence, discuss it with their fellow citizens, and then vote to maximize their interests. Democracy in practice, Lippmann claimed, resembles nothing like this. Citizens-as humans-act upon evocative symbols, evaluate according to feelings, consult their desires, and vote to fulfill their fantasies. Leaders who realize this can control democracy through the “manufacture of consent.”
Today, Lippmann, while certainly not forgotten, is not exactly celebrated. His conclusions are too unsettling and his recommendations too pessimistic for mainstream political consumption. Among progressives he’s recalled, if at all, as the whipping boy of the well-known left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky, who regularly condemns him-with some justification-as the architect of modern technocratic rule. This neglect and censure is a shame, for lost with Lippmann is the knowledge of how politics works in an age of fantasy.
Via the consistently excellent intellectual web aggregator, 3QuarksDaily.
Lippmann was big trouble and terrifying in lots of ways, and that makes him useful. As the writer of that piece notes: “Progressives can learn from Lippmann without following him; we can study his prognosis without taking his prescription. But learn from him we must.”
Lippmann was the person who first brought the phrase “cold war” into popular usage.