Thanks to CollegeHumor, you can witness the evolution of early adopters through the ages:
“Fire was the original iPad.” – CollegeHumor
Web 2.0 is so pervasive it has really hit the mainstream (I know, it is a huge understatement), with movies such as David Fincher’s The Social Network coming soon, and already getting the full Web 2.0 treatment with abundant trailer parodies on YouTube, my favorite being the Twitter Movie Trailer: Rated Awesome from Indy Mogul.*
An interesting question for me regarding the audience of the movie itself and of course that of the parodies by default, is if there is a digital divide built in, and what this might mean. Yesterday, I actually met a charming twenty-something gal, who is not on Facebook, and I was a bit shocked. Tattooed and fashionable, I felt sure she would be totally plugged in. Perhaps she is a neo-luddite. Or perhaps she just doesn’t own a computer. Who knows, but I seriously doubt this movie or the delightful parodies of the trailer will resonate with her. Either way, the divide between the haves and have nots is certainly apparent when thinking about the potential audience of The Social Network.
Do you remember the educational game “Oregon Trail” from your grade school days? Well, thanks* to the folks over at Half Day Today, you can imagine a live action version of the high stakes ups and downs of life (and death) along the Oregon Trail with their “faux” movie trailer on YouTube.
Half Day Today:
In 1864, a family embarks on an impossible journey into the untamed American West. Based on the classic educational computer game, The Oregon Trail by MECC.
As a kid, I remember dying to go to the computer lab where we played Oregon Trail. In the 1980s, classrooms didn’t yet have computers of their own. But I loved playing that game (so much so that when my husband found the game app for our BlackBerries, I enthusiastically downloaded it for our young nieces and nephews to play). It was such an innovative way to capture the attention of 4th graders (or whatever grade I was in). And I took it so seriously and was so disappointed when we all died of dysentery or broken legs and didn’t make it to Oregon. How very tragic. I’m not sure that I really learned a lot about the pioneer spirit or the pioneer reality, but I certainly did have my imagination captured by technology, so really I learned something else, indirectly through the experience: that technology is cool and can be fun.
At around this same time, I discovered the MS-DOS based version of the game Adventure (aka Colossal Cave, Colossal Cave Adventure, or ADVENT). I loved it, and spent hours trying to map out the cave on huge sheets of drawing paper (this method did not work very well, as I never really could tell where the neighboring cave rooms should be). I think it just goes to show, and here is my big library tie in, that new technologies, gaming, and environments such as Second Life really can capture the imagination of kids, and libraries do and will have a place in providing some of this, through education and outreach.
Related Articles & Posts:
Classic Gaming’s Apple II Game of the Week: Oregon Trail
Digital Humanities Quarterly’s Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther’s Original “Adventure” in Code and in Kentucky
Nicholson, Scott. (2007). The Role of Gaming in Libraries: Taking the Pulse. White paper available online at http://boardgameswithscott.com/pulse2007.pdf