Reading # 6 – Jane McGonigal TEDtalk

This was an interesting perspective on games. Hearing a designer talk about the future of games as a way to move culture forward is an oddly intriguing concept. I’m back and forth between whether or not games are helpful or otherwise. I’ve learned various concepts such as history, economics, and strategy through games like Civilization. As a kid learning how to use markets and learning about Napoleon well before it was taught in class certainly has helped me gain an edge in these topics. Not to mention the popular fun games like Sonic was just good to play with my brothers.

However knowing a few gamers myself, I find that the all consuming games have created zombies who withdraw from culture and don’t develop good communication or social skills. Games like Call of Duty create an opportunity for vocal gamers to trash talk in ways that wouldn’t be appropriate for real life. Often times, these are little kids playing with older men who pick up on these cues and become confused on what is acceptable and not. I think there needs to be caution in driving people further into the realm of virtual reality. Games can provide constructive education but they can also decimate a persons potential.

Reading #5 – Video Game Addictions

I always enjoyed video games growing up as a kid and even well into my 20’s. Even today, I still will sit down and play a game here and there with my brothers or buds. I started off with Intellivision, jumped on board with Nintendo, got caught up with Sega, graduated into the Playstation’s (I&II) and ended on the XBOX 360. I couldn’t tell you how many hours I’ve put in but I can do battle with the best of them on any controller. I was pretty good on the PC taking over the world time and again with the Civilization and Total War series.

What I find interesting in this article is what draws people into games and gets them hooked. In retrospect, served a number of purposes. Early on I loved technology and wanted the latest. Sega had the coolest graphics and I couldn’t wait to show my Nintendo friends. As I grew into my teens, games served as a place I could build and be by myself. As one of the awkward adolescents, I had friends, but I was also bullied. So I found games as a way to withdraw. Later in high school and grew into myself and out grew the bullies I found life outside the walls and socialized once again. As I became an adult in my 20’s, games served as a way for me to connect with my younger brothers. The three of us were in different places in life but it served as a common place for us meet.

I get why people become addicted. I’ve seen the appeal. However when I started living outside that realm, I moved away from the virtual to the real. While games fed a desire to succeed, win, and conquer it was time to apply that mentality to reality. The outdoors has become the new appeal. It’s real, it’s fresh. It’s life and needs to be conquered. In many ways what I wanted in video games transitioned well into the outdoors. Kayaking, camping, mountain biking, dating, entrepreneurship have all benefited from this. The way I’ve started looking at it was that there is only one life. No redo’s, no 1ups. I didn’t want to waste it and I realized that I was on something that was false.

I hope that those with their heads in the games open up the window and desire to go outside. It’s a world waiting to be conquered.

Project 1: The Big Idea Website

I enjoyed doing Project 1 with my team. It was a good experience building a site from scratch. I was comfortable doing the design but would have liked a taste of doing the coding. At first I was a little hesitant to try that but in retrospect I think it would have been a valuable skill to learn. I’m sure our project would have paid dearly for my inexperience. It looks like Tim and Erika are doing a good job in their roles and I am curious to see the final cut.

There are a few things I would have liked to have done given more time. I would have liked to spent more time on the products page. I used the color coded blocks for each of the tasty drinks but it was supposed to match the photos of each drink. I also wanted to abbreviate the titles of the drink as a little quirk for branding similar to how Adobe abbreviates their products. For example, TD – Turkish Delight. Graphically I think it could have looked cool with the colored boxes. Given more time I would have liked to have tried it out.

I also would have liked to spend time working on a better logo aside from a simple text one. I could have spent more time working on it but I’m glad I didn’t because of the time it took to get the pages in order.

Overall I’m happy with the layout of the page. I quickly sketched it out first on Wix to get an idea of what I wanted it to look like. I’ve used Wix for many sites and am used to the program which helped me to test out some of the layout before I had to commit to making it happen on photoshop, a medium I’ve never used to design a site. It worked out great though and I’m glad I was able to transfer the idea in between the two.