Lost Souls of Video Games

Are you as excited as I am about the new Disney Infinity console video game? Joy oh joy, now our female children will want to stare at their computers, laptops, ThinkPads at the same rate as our male children.  Now that is something to cheer about.

Disney’s Infinity game, which allows their characters to interact on-screen, has hit the four-quadrant property mark.  According to Business Insider, “A four-quadrant property is when something appeals to young people, old people, females, and males.” For those of you who are gamblers rather than gamers, that’s like the Triple Crown of video game sales, only I guess it would be called the Quadrant Crown, which sounds pretty awesome.

Honestly though, I don’t know whether to cheer or to cry.  The part that wants to cheer is that which finds the news about death threats to game developers and journalists appalling. To those who threaten I say, “take that you trolls”.  Some people think female gamers, developers, writers are worth pursuing (in a positive way).  The part that wants to cry is that which understands that video games are one more way for those with addiction in their health histories to get lost to the world.

Bottom line , if addiction is in your background, it is a daily struggle to prevent a healthy, pleasure-producing pursuit from becoming a compulsion. Toss on top a little depression or anxiety, and it amazes me what a person battling addiction has to overcome.

Despite research indicating that “key factors that influence susceptibility to addiction [include a] person’s genetic makeup, vulnerability to stress, and the age they start engaging in the behavior” (BrainFacts.org), today I’ve decided to celebrate Disney’s success at addressing the gender disparity in the gaming industry. As an IT professional, I am pleased that women’s interests are being addressed by the video game industry. Maybe, games geared at females will inspire young women to pursue careers in IT.

But then again, my children are grown.  I don’t have a ten-year old child with a genetic predisposition to addiction.  The question is, do you?

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Wkly Brief – Pop Url Word Cloud

Suppose you want your news, but you just don’t have time to surf all day.  You could try PopURLs, a site that aggregates all of the top social media stories in real time.  You can run through the latest Huffington Post articles or check out what’s trending in YouTube.  For example yesterday I found two ever-popular stars performing together: Jimmy Fallon and Barbara Striesand.  Lovely.

 

At PopURLs, you will find Buzzfeed, Googlenews, and the N.Y. Times one page.  The Flicker and 500px photos break up the lists of headlines with stunning photos. They are literally at your fingertips (take that Weird Al, Continue reading

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Cool Encounter #2

Mount Hope Bridge, Bristol RI

Mount Hope Bridge, Bristol RI

It could have been any toll bridge looming before us in the middle of the night. It was there, standing between what we left behind and where we hoped to be; unseen in the blackness of the night, yet we could hear its presence in the sound of tires switching from asphalt to metal.  It was the last major hurdle before I would deliver my friend, devastated by a breakup, into the care of his big brother. It could have been any bridge; but in our case it was the Tobin  Bridge and our destination was Boston.

Trevor1 lived across campus, but somehow, even with 5,000 undergraduates separating us, we had met and our friendship had grown. Perhaps it was because we were both tall, gangly, and just a wee-bit nerdish, but whatever it was we were pals. Continue reading

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Wkly Brief – Today I Remember

September 11, 2014

Today I will remember.

I will think of those that lost their lives when people chose violence over peace.

I will pray for strength for those who lost their loved ones;

Those, who today and everyday, live with this loss.

I will think of the men and women who have left their families behind to protect our country and to provide aid to those in need.

Freedom Tower

I will pray for peace throughout the world.

My God bless us, one and all.1

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1) Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

More NYC Moments.

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Gratitude

2014-09-Attitash (23) Gratitude has taken over Facebook.  I wonder how difficult it must be to list three things daily for which you are grateful. How do you decide what goes on day one and what waits until later? Do people fret over what they should list first? Are they afraid to offend someone?

Last night I was speaking with some friends about gratitude and how living life with gratitude is a choice. Their words made me realize that I had been harboring anger with someone who was not living a life of gratitude, but rather was choosing resentment. How sad for both of us, first for the person who, in choosing resentment, is unhappy and bitter; Continue reading

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