Thursday, August 31, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
The Netherlands: Farming and dating... and the Internet
Farmdate.nl had asked Google to install a filter that would prevent links to sex sites from appearing alongside query results for "farm date," arguing that it harmed its reputation.
The Amsterdam court judge ruled that the words "farm" and "date" were too general to be granted exclusivity by Farmdate.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Shanghai: Halfway house for Internet addicts opens
The government has attempted to implement policies aimed at to curbing the 'hookage' by issuing a number of restrictions, including fining cafes that admit minors and the like. But to no avail. The country has an estimated 14 million participants in computer/online gaming, a number that is only increasing as the country becomes more wired (but trying to be less 'hooked'?).
My take on this halfway house of sorts is--go for it, but for this reason: In a country like China, where things are changing so fast, there are a number of social issues that fall by the wayside. There are going to be troubled teens no matter what. My ethnography from Korea says that much and has eerie parallels. That the services are centered around the ideas, baggage, and rhetoric of an "Internet addiction" is just part of the equation, but if it gets troubled teens the services they need to better deal with their changing circumstances and culture, then it's better than the services not being offered at all. Rather, it seems that this is a socially acceptable, rationalized reason to 'get help,' where there would not be any for a teenager saying "look, I'm getting into (insert socially deviant activity like heavy metal music here) to deal with my angst over my changing culture and my parents just don't understand me." Heck, kids HERE need these kinds of services but that's the problem with a fragmented/ing society and institutionalization of social services, or lack thereof. You get it where you can.
See the full story here>>
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
You're never too old to construct amusement
The views for his videos are quickly approaching a quarter of a million as of this post.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Democratizing the 360
The full story here>>
Thursday, August 10, 2006
I (heart) Stephen Colbert
The guy is amazing. Maybe I can be influential enough to wreak cyber-havoc on Wikipedia and Hungarian websites with a single utterance too someday:)
Steve, hats off to you for constructing amusement!
Hungarian government, you've been put "on notice," like milk.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Games and everyday life
My interest in addiction has me reading his 2003 book, Gambling Life. It's great to see this perspective on games from a cultural anthropologist too, as I've also been working on the idea that games, while having elements of play are not 'play,' in the classic sense of the word and really do have relevance and consequences vis a vis the everyday lifeworld. An example of this is my chapter in the "Gaming as Culture" reader, found here as well as here for those who are far away!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Places I've constructed amusement...
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Richard K. Smith quoted in Vancouver Sun
Smith, a professor with Simon Fraser University's School of Communication, said he's not convinced heavy Internet use has a negative effect on family life. What it is doing is changing the way people communicate and interact. That, in itself, is not a bad thing, he said.
Inventions come along that displace things that people are used to doing, Smith said, citing the telephone as an example.
"Go back a hundred years, when people suddenly had the availability of this new technology called a telephone. People started chit-chatting on the phone when it used to be normal to go to each other's home," he said. "And yet now we think of picking up the phone and talking to one another as completely normal.
"In fact, a lot of what is compelling about the Internet is not that it is you and the computer, it is you and other person you are interacting with through the computer."Read the whole story here>>
They found it...?
Researchers at the California Institute of Technology asked subjects to choose two cards from a deck and place a $1 bet on whether the first or second card would be higher.
As the wagers were made, the subjects' brains were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging to see which parts of the brain are activated by risk-taking compared to anticipation of a reward.
They found a gambling circuitry in the brain's subcortex that is controlled by the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is also involved in learning and motivation.
"Pathological behaviours ranging from addiction to gambling, as well as a variety of mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, are partially characterized by risk-taking," the team wrote in Thursday's issue of the journal Neuron.
"For example, a bipolar subject during a manic episode may invest in a risky business proposition either because they misperceive the risk to be lower than it actually is, or because they accurately perceive the risk to be high but may have impaired learning, attentional, working memory, or choice processes."
Until now, scientists didn't have a way to tell if pathological decisions were made because of misperception of risk or the high-level cognitive impairments.
The new technique may offer a way to better understand the role of risk misperception and cognitive impairments in pathological cases, they said.
Brain's gambling centre found Last Updated Thu, 03 Aug 2006 14:30:54 EDT CBC News