Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Essay: Social gaming for the anti-social By Dave Gilmore

Essay: Social gaming for the anti-social

Where the social element of gaming is headed, and why it may be at odds with our text-heavy culture

This is a quandary about the future of video games, but it also has a lot to do with text messages, phone calls, headsets and millennials. 

The backlash to the “Facebook Age” cries out for more human connection, more “real” interactions with those in our social circles. However, the needle seems to be moving in the other direction.

Take a poignant joke from last week’s episode of NBC’s “Community.” Two characters in their early 20s, Troy and Annie, are mortified that their friend Britta (late 20s) actually calls Annie’s phone. Troy exclaims, "She was born in the '80s! She still uses her phone as a phone!"

That’s what it has come to, hasn’t it? There was a relatively brief period where the written word was for information, while hearing someone’s voice was required to establish a sincere, emotional connection. The joke used to be that breaking up with someone over email was a faux pas, but now if it’s a well-written email, it’s almost regarded as better than a distracted cell phone conversation in which one party will undoubtedly assure the other that they “have full bars.”

Voice communication, while effective, is to some extent culturally dead or dormant (who can predict these things?). Either way, the prevailing method of social interaction now relies on something that was very recently deemed impersonal. I don’t think the advent of emoticons have all of a sudden advanced text communication to the point of being any more emotionally effective than it was when texts were purely informational.

In the world of gaming, where does this leave us? In case you haven’t already been bludgeoned with a frying pan made of articles like this telling you that everything is becoming more tied to social media: well, everything is becoming more tied to social media. At least for the foreseeable future…,0,4536599.story

Updated and related:

Related - - McDaniel College – Greg Street SmartTALK links and notes:

From Westminster to the World of Warcraft by Kevin Dayhoff

May 2, 2012

Last Monday, Greg Street, a 1991 McDaniel College graduate and the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft, shared his reality of how he journeyed from Texas to Westminster, and then South Carolina to California and Northrend, the crescent-shaped continent in northern Azeroth, in the virtual reality world of gamers.

For Dr. Street, it has been a long, strange, and wonderful trip from Westminster to the Mists of Pandaria.

The audience that gathered at Decker Center Forum on the Westminster college campus was an eclectic combination and – yes, one-third of the audience were hard-core gamers – who know Dr. Street by his screen name “Ghostcrawler” on gamer message boards, where he is a constant presence in search of feedback on the World of Warcraft.

The World of Warcraft was first released in 1994 as “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans.” The popular computer game currently enjoys a worldwide audience of 10.2 million subscribers as of December 2011…



Wednesday, May 2, 2012 From Westminster to the World of Warcraft Kevin E. Dayhoff: Last Monday, Greg Street, a 1991 McDaniel College graduate and the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft, shared his reality of how he journeyed from Texas to Westminster, and then South Carolina to California and Northrend, the crescent-shaped continent in northern Azeroth, in the virtual reality world of gamers…

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria: The media duo of Judy Woodruff, of the PBS NewsHour, and her husband Al Hunt, of Bloomberg News, also visited McDaniel College for a program entitled “Conversation with Washington Insiders,” on April 15.

McDaniel College website - World of Warcraft video-game designer to speak April 30: “World of Warcraft video-game designer to speak April 30” Monday, April 16, 2012 - -
“World of Warcraft master systems designer Greg Street, class of 1991, talks about how his liberal arts education at McDaniel helped him become a video game designer at 7 p.m. April 30 during SmartTALK with president Roger Casey in Decker Center Forum.
“Street currently works as a master systems designer at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, Calif. He graduated from McDaniel with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Philosophy in 1991 and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Marine Science from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked as a marine biologist before moving into the game design field.
“The hour-long event, which is free and open to the public, includes questions and answers from the audience.
“McDaniel College’s SmartTALK brings notable alumni back to campus for an on-stage conversation with president Roger Casey on their subject of expertise. Past SmartTALK presenters have included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Wendy Ruderman, career foreign-service diplomat Tom Armbruster, National Marine Fisheries Service director Eric Schwaab, National Teacher of the Year Michelle Shearer, champion of the environment Gerald W. Winegrad, and, senior vice-president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Bernard Franklin.”

Inside Mac Games - Interview: Ensemble's Greg Street November 20, 2006 | Michael Phillips “Games don't just appear out of thin air. Games are created by teams of designers and programers toiling in small underground vaults, unaware of the world above. At least, that's the information to which I'm privy. At any rate, games do require designers and Age of Empires III is no exception. Recently, I had the chance to chat with Greg Street, leader of the design team at Ensemble Studios that created Age of Empires III, about his role at Ensemble, what gamers can expect from this latest generation of the Age of Empires series and other industry related topics of interest. This is a good read, trust me…”

From the Miami Herald: Miami-Dade Public Schools will open its first video-game-themed magnet program this fall, with the goal of teaching students how to design and program video games, the Miami Herald reported on Monday.
The iTech Academy at Miami Springs Senior High School has 125 spots for the freshman class.
“We’re going to be a school that produces not only games, but apps. It’s part of my vision,” Principal Anna Rodriguez was quoted as saying. “I can see our students building holograms. I can really see it.”
According to the newspaper, the focus on design and coding reflects state and national efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Proponents of video-game programs say they prepare students for jobs in the 21st century.
In 2010-11, Florida had about 3,300 students enrolled in game, simulation and animation courses, the Herald reported…

The Gamer's Diet: This cannot be healthier for you than "World of Warcraft." By Dave Gilmore

The Gamer's Diet: No 'Wii Fit' required

How I distract myself from cheeseburgers by leveling up

We're well into 2012, and if you're like me, you've already dropped the ball numerous times on your new year's resolutions. Like many peers, as I approach 30, I'm trying to take better care of myself and not put so much crap into my body.

I wanted a cheeseburger really bad the other day. However, I had made a pledge to really buckle down on cutting out the high-octane junk intake. The problem was I had nothing in the way between me and cheeseburger. There were no obligations to attend to, no financial or logistical barriers preventing me from obtaining my coveted treat. I thought I should maybe head downstairs and hit the heavy bag or the elliptical. Then again, if I had that kind of drive, I wouldn't need to be worrying about cheeseburgers so much.

Idle hands are the devil's playthings, and in this case my devil was that Wendy's girl. So I picked up the controller. Within 20 minutes, I wasn't thinking about cheeseburgers, I was thinking about buckling down and completing all the side quests I had been putting off in "Skyrim." An hour later, I had forgotten about the cheeseburger. It was 7 p.m. and I was hungry like a normal person who needs food for energy and survival. Not a person who is fueled by a predominantly cheeseburger-centric diet.

This may surprise you, but I am not a qualified neuroscientist or behaviorist. However, I think I have stumbled upon a quirk that exists in my own brain and perhaps yours as well. My brain has a pleasure center. Like B.F. Skinner's rats, when I have no other pressing obligations, I generally look for stuff to send signals to that center. There seems to be a certain region of that center that responds to video games, junk food and watching my favorite television shows. I think that I can divert from one by substituting it with another. This sort of makes sense…,0,6869976.story

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