Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Post #4 Future of Convergence




For years people has dreamed of a technological age in which simple everyday becomes easier and automated. We are constantly inventing new ways to solve everyday problems. Convergence culture has allowed our present society to constantly revolutionize the way things within the media are done and viewed. Our society is continually advancing with the increasing development of technology. Everything that we do now is almost completely different compared to how we have done it in the past. Games are a major example of how media has changed for the better or even for the worse.

"Simpler Times" By Jacob Andrews (Source)

Games have evolved greatly throughout the years. While it is true that games are meant for entertainment author, Steven Johnson argues that games, whether they are simple board games or video games, challenge us in solving complex problems. He proposes the idea of the sleeper curve in which games or even pop culture as a whole seemingly "rotting the brain" are in fact developing our intelligence. Johnson states "For decades, we've worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a steadily declining path toward lowest-common-denominator standards... But in fact, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more intellectually demanding" (Source).

One game in particular analyzed by a well known internet icon and animator, Arin Hanson, also known as Egoraptor, reveals how intellectually challenging video games have become. In his series of videos titled "Sequelitis" that compares current video games with their classic counterpart, Hanson shows how simple and basic game design allows for players to learn in an engaging environment, particularly in Mega Man series. Games are designed for player to learn how to play them, but the learning process within the game is more satisfying. As Johnson states "This kind of education is not happening in classrooms or museums; it's happening in living rooms and basements, on PCs and television screens" (Source). If such engaging action were applied to educational systems, surely intellectual growth would be more apparent.


 "Sequelitis: Mega Man Classic vs. Mega Man X" by Egoraptor (Arin Hanson)

Lumosity Logo (Source)
There are many applications in which games are utilized for an overall benefit. Games have been used mainly for intellectually growth but games have also been used for serious matters such as child obesity. Games are both engaging and fun, like the various "dance" games allow for people of all ages to strengthen themselves physically. Utilizing games for intellectual growth can greatly improve our educational systems. The website Lumosity.com includes various and simple games that specifically strengthen your brain in terms of memory, attention, and problem solving. There are even schools that utilize games in order to engage students.


While the future of convergence does not necessarily involve games, but the idea of engagement within media allows for progression. This sort of engagement is not limited towards games but in all pop culture and even politics. The recent political campaign utilized a wide variety and forms of media of today in order to convey their message and their ideals on leading the nation. Different forms of media are utilized together in everyday use. Technology advances leading us to a new future. Convergence will evolve as it is now into newer forms and ways to use and view media with technological aids. Everything comes together, hence the term convergence. Change is constant and convergence is only a part of that change. However it is how that change is utilized that will determine the future of convergence and media.

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