Author Archives: MrsAforcer

Wait, Wait, Wait!

Okay, hold up, I can’t believe class is over already! This is the only class I still enjoyed and it’s just.. done… just like that! I’m so sad… I had so much fun.

Anyways, guys, you all are an awesome bunch of people (even if a lot of you use Macs, including you, Professor, but I forgive you~), I enjoyed the discussions in this class more than any other I was taking this semester — people were actually ope-minded and smart. It seems like there’s a massive lack of open-minded, smart people at the Claremont Colleges (well, or at least at Scripps, where if you’re not feminist, you’d better not take any of their classes), which is odd, because isn’t that what colleges are supposed to be famous for having? I don’t know, but you guys were great~ I hope you all have fun the rest of your college career; maybe we’ll meet again~!

4/26/10 Reading: Thoughts

Honestly, I can’t say I really disagreed with any of the points made in Gamer Theory. It made a lot of associations that I had never thought of before, as well as reaffirmed quite a few I knew to be true but had never seen put down in writing (or typing, I suppose).

Nevertheless, the presentation of the reading, at least in my opinion, was a huge turn-off. We addressed this a bit in class already, and I’m glad we did, because actually the way the text was presented deterred me more than it did attract me to the text. I could see the usefulness of the paragraph-by-paragraph comment system, but at the same time I imagine this could be executed a tad more smoothly and seemlessly. My biggest issue with the form was that you had to continuously click those arrows to keep reading. There was not shortcut, you couldn’t hit the right arrow key on the keyboard, you couldn’t scroll — and if you had been multitasking and/or simply couldn’t keep your mouse hovering constantly over the annoying little arrow, every five minutes was a distraction from what you were reading because you had to pull yourself out of the text to go to the next segment.

Also, considering that commenting had been disabled for sometime now, the effectiveness of the system seemed to have been lost.

The argument could possibly be made that “Well, you have to turn the pages of a book — that takes more effort and yet no one seems to mind it.” True, but first off, the pages in a book don’t end after every brief paragraph, so you’re not turning the page nearly as often. Secondly, books are not written in hypertext, a medium with the supposed ability to “break free from the constraints of the page and redefine linear text.” Books can be forgiven because linear, page-based text is all they will ever be able to display. They are archaic and simple, but hypertext has new expectations going for it because it incorporates new technology and potential. I expect more out of a hypertext because I know for a fact it is capable of doing more, and when a hypertext simply mimics page-based linear text (in an admittedly very frustrating way), then I’m made to feel quite disappointed.

Also, as someone mentioned, getting from, say, page 001 to page 010 (in the same chapter), or even page 040 (which would be in another chapter) was a massive hassle. In a book, flipping back to, say, 5 or 50 or even 500 pages ago isn’t to difficult. You simply just thumb to that general area and then look a little more closely at the page numbers. This text’s system, however, is more analogous to shutting the book, pausing, reopening it to the table of contents, finding where it is you want to go… then finally thumbing to the page you want to go to. Admittedly, the steps take a lot less time because the internet finds the pages faster than your thumb can, but the excessive amount of steeps it took to get to a page that as not in the group of 5 pages you were looking at at any one time was a huge pain. It would’ve been nice to at least implement a “Skip to page…” button or something!

Ebert "Too Smart" for Video Games

Article

Very relevant to the class, I think — especially right now.

Thoughts?

Personally, I raged.

4/19/10 Reading: Thoughts

The first few paragraphs of this reading immediately made me start thinking about something my parents used to say when I’d ask them if they could buy me an N64 as a kid (and later on, if I could buy a Gamecube/PS2 with my own money) — “We don’t approve of you playing video games because it’s just as mindless as watching television.”

I used to always think of this retort as somewhat misinformed, but at that age, I simply couldn’t articulate why exactly it was misinformed. I think this article shed a little light on the matter when it said that video games are “actions,” and without interaction, they’re pretty much nothing. And that’s what separated them from the “mindless” activity of watching television — wherein the viewer has no ability to affect what goes on in the television, much less interact with it.

I think, considering this, it can easily be proven that playing video games takes more mental capacity and intellectual interaction than watching television. Perhaps this level will never surpass, for example, the amount of mental capacity it takes to do a calculus problem or write an essay, but on the same note, that’s not a role video games are trying to fill. I feel like they’re trying to fill an entertainment role, but at the same time require more than just passive watching — they take something more than just watching television.

By this logic, I think it’d’ve made more sense for my parents to ban me from watching cable television and grant me the right to play video games. I always thought it was a bizarre double standard that I was allowed to park in front of the tube for hours every Saturday morning to watch Pokemon and whatnot, but not have an N64 or a Genesis at the time.

And, at the same time, I think my ability to finally articulate this argument was what led me to get my (beloved) Xbox 360.

What do you guys think? How do video games intellectually rank up with watching movies, or perhaps even reading books? Does it count for something that the latter two require less interaction with the medium to be able to enjoy it as intended by its creator, or does that not matter?

Sophie Project

Okay, so here’s hoping the file works after being uploaded. If there’re any broken/lost files, I would love if someone told me so I can fix the upload. As I’m sure we all know by now, Sophie is a fussy program, and this project has literally given me nothing but hardship (for example, I had to do the entire project at my job because it was, like, the only computer that seemed to be able to open my project without “forgetting” where all the files were).

In any case, I suppose I was lucky that I was doing my project on a topic I enjoy. If it weren’t for the trouble of the software, I imagine I could have actually called this a fun project, ah, but alas…

Oh, and one more thing — I’m uploading this on MegaUpload as opposed to the Pomona student server in hopes of cutting the amount of steps between the original location (the Scripps student server on my work computer) and the upload location (and thus, hopefully eliminating the chances of the file getting corrupted). I hope this doesn’t cause any issues.

[ LINK REMOVED ]

Alright, so evidently uploading just the book file makes it so all the resources disappear. I’m not sure how to remedy this, but I can guarantee you I have the file — I just have no way of getting it to the class. I will email the professor on the matter and get it up ASAP.

Alright, new link is up and running! I did exactly as Professor Fitzpatrick instructed and double-checked all my steps. If this doesn’t work, so God help me!

Once again, I uploaded it on MegaUpload simply because this is easier than getting it on the Pomona net storage (from a Scripps campus computer). I hope there’s not problem with this method, and if there is, I can reupload it later. This is just the best I can do at the moment.

[ NEW LINK ]

4/14/10 Reading: Thoughts

Y’know, I used to be a part of the whole slash-fic/fanfiction scene when I was in junior high/high school, and if you had asked me about it then instead of now, my opinion would be entirely different… and probably more positive. I was the biggest fan of slash pairings, and I would always look up fan-fictions and fanart of the (non-canon) couples I followed (stuff like Harry x Malfoy and what not).

In retrospect though, I can’t understand the fandom. I feel like I was entirely different person back then — I look at old files I collected as a high school frosh and wonder what I thought was attractive or appealing about it. To be honest, it’s actually kind of disgusting to me.

Well, at least slash.

I mean, not to say I have anything against homosexuality, I just don’t find it… “hot,” if you will. At least not anymore.

I don’t even understand how I did.

Has anyone else gone in and out of the whole “slash” fandom? Is anyone still into it? I just… kinda wanna know what I saw in it that was attractive so long ago that I don’t see now. Maybe it was just a phase. I don’t know.

Chrome Cynicisms Continued

Okay guys.

I need to know.

Why does Chrome run via seven processes instead of just one like all the other programs?

For a program that has significantly less features (and menu bars, cough cough), it sure uses up a lot of memory. Needless to say, FireFox ate up its own fair share of memory, but, um…

It let me have menu bars to click on.

So, yeah, there any computer whizzes out there that at least know why Chrome insists on generating so many processes to run itself? Because I’m stumped!

4/7/10 Reading: (Brief) Thoughts

I never used FriendFeed before.

To be honest, I had never really heard of it up until I did these readings.

However, from these readings, I think I can tell that I probably would have disliked it, so…

Yeah, don’t expect too much commentary from me tomorrow.

Google Chrome

So as I said last night, I finally got around to downloading Google Chrome, and all I can say now is…

That’s it?

I was expecting something along the lines of the virtual Second Coming or something, and to be honest, this isn’t nearly as exciting as people made it out to be. Honestly, it just feels like I’m using a shiny Mac version of FireFox, what with all my Menus being crammed under a couple of buttons since I guess my puny brain can’t handle too many menus all at once.

I mean, it’s nice, it’s just not that nice. I must say, I am disappoint.

4/5/10 Reading: Thoughts

These were fun readings, I have to admit. I did the Boyd reading first, which gave me a good overview and summary of the whole FaceBook New Feed disaster (which occurred far before  Grandma Mrs. Aforcer became an active FaceBook member), but at the same time I felt like the author treated the subject a little negatively. It didn’t quite seem to have the after-sight that the Thompson reading did — nevertheless, though, it explained to me why people were so freaked out about the News Feed.

It got me wondering though — do you think people were cautious with the new feature because it made FaceBook more like real life in the sense that you had to hide certain facts about yourself for fear of being judged/seen/etc.? Or… maybe it made it feel less like real life because you couldn’t be secretive with it (well, at least not at first)? I could kind of see it going both ways and the question intrigued me.

The Lenhart article was interesting more in a statistical sense; however I did find it amusing that it mention GaiaOnline in its talk about social networking sites. I used to be a part of that forum — oh, boy, talk about (unpleasant?) nostalgia!

Finally, my last thoughts: I really enjoyed the Thompson reading. For a good 6 months now I’ve been wondering just why is it people like sites like FaceBook and Twitter? What’re their appeal? What real use do any of them have outside of mundane, fruitless entertainment? Well, I feel that text gave me a somewhat rational, logical answer to my inquiry, which puts me at ease, actually.

I’m a very logic-dependent person, you see, and I can’t deal with things I can’t make any sense of. Every feeling I have, every thought I think, every action I do — I force myself to rationalize it and make some sort of (sometimes arbitrary) sense of. And yet, I could never quite do this with FaceBook and other such things — at least, not outside of the idea of “It’s just fun,” which was never enough for me.

So, who knows, maybe you guys’ll see me on Twitter soon!

Oh, and speaking of catching up with the times, you all can stop buggin’ me to download Chrome, because I’m finally going to get around to doing that tonight. So, ha!