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Culture Photo Challenge Photography photoJournal

The round jumpman

Processed with VSCO with fr4 preset
Photo by Wells Baum

The original Jumpman wasn’t Michael Jordan; it was Mario! But the name didn’t stick because it wasn’t marketable enough according to Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo’s American boss in the early 1980s. Luckily, he got some outside inspiration.

From the Economist:

“His name was an afterthought. Top billing on the game was always going to go to the gorilla. (“Kong”, in the context, was more or less a given; “Donkey” was found by consulting a Japanese-English dictionary for a word meaning silly or stupid.) The protagonist was simply called “Jumpman” for the one thing he was good at. But Minoru Arakawa, the boss of Nintendo in America, wanted a more marketable name. Around that time, writes David Sheff in “Game Over”, an authoritative account of Nintendo’s rise, Mr Arakawa was visited at Nintendo’s warehouse outside Seattle by an irate landlord demanding prompt payment. He was called Mario Segale, and he had a moustache. Thus does destiny call.”

By 1990, the pudgy plumber who gained energy from mushroom fluff became more recognizable than Mickey Mouse. And if the lost hat from a Halloween costume I found on the street yesterday morning is any proof, Mario is still king!

Photo by Wells Baum
Categories
Creativity Tech

This professor describes the future educated person

future education
Illustration by Clay Rodery

Dear digital denizens, please rest easy.

That so-called ‘internet addiction’ you have is an evolution of what humans have been doing along — curating, collecting, and sharing. We just do it with more often with the assistance of our screens.

According to professor Kenneth Goldsmith at the University of Pennsylvania, “an educated person in the future will be a curious person who collects better artifacts. The ability to call up and use facts is the new education. How to tap them, how to use them.”

Professor Goldsmith named his course “Wasting Time on the Internet”– an incentive that gets his students to sign up. However, it has the opposite effect. Instead of screen-staring, his students are more likely to create and collaborate.

“They became more creative with each other. They say we’re less social; I think people on the web are being social all the time. They say we’re not reading; I think we’re reading all the time, just online.”

The web is the world’s biggest copy-paste machine. On top of this, Google is our second brain. The fear is that humans will lose their ability to think. However, what happens instead is that we allow more ideas to have sex. Remixing ideas is what Maria Popova of Brainpickings often refers to as “combinatorial creativity.”

“When a D.J. brings a laptop full of music samples to a club he doesn’t play an instrument, but we don’t argue that he isn’t doing something creative in mixing those sounds to create his own effect. In the online world the only thing you’re the master of is your collection, your archive, and how you use it, how you remix it. We become digital archivists, collecting and cataloging things. I find it exciting.”

It turns out that wasting time on the Internet could be productive rather than harmful. To think the Internet also means the end of books and face to face communication is also an exaggeration. Of course, like any tool, it depends on what you are using the Internet for — playing games is not the same as sharing research and new ideas.

What’s your opinion on learning in the Internet age? Tweet at me.

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Uncategorized

Joystick or Leash, It’s All About Love

like all games, owning a dog is about the quiet magic of doing. The love comes from the doing.

Dogs take work.  They own you.  Love that.    

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Uncategorized

Now Hear This: Why Video Games Rule

On youth’s preference for video games over books:

…we will always read. And when we are not reading, we will play games.

Kids love video games mainly because they’re engaging, rewarding, and fun. Reading, on the other hand, is mostly a passive and stagnant experience.

Games also combine elements of reading, music, and decision making.

All in all, video games are a major force of distraction from traditional learning. What they teach is actually more indicative of real life skills like negotiating, building, and making decisions on the fly.

Note that music has taken a backseat to video games and reading. Music used to be at the forefront, a solo experience on its own.

The Internet basically turned music into an overly consumed commodity with no intrinsic value. Music is now but a mere background for many.

As we get older, video games take a backseat to books yet music remains the same; we’ll take it when we need it or when we’re doing something else.