But, before I could answer these questions I needed to do a little research on whether or not there was a firm link. What I found was a lot of research working toward establishing a solid connection, such as a 2007 study conducted at Stanford University School of Medicine that found evidence of video games having addictive characteristics. While I think many researchers are on the right path, there is no diagnosis of video game addition to date. I would like to point out, however, that there has a been a proposal to include video game addiction in the upcoming version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I will admit that I am not 100 percent convinced that video game addiction should be considered a disorder, but I definitely feel that excessive video game playing can be very detrimental to relationships.
As for the gaming industry, as long as there is no factual evidence linking video games to addiction and disorders, there’s not much they can do. Are they supposed to put disclaimers on their games? Or restrictions? Some countries have taken matters into their own hands, including the People’s Republic of China, which attempted to exert online gaming restrictions. The restrictions lasted for a mere two years until it was “relaxed.” Other countries, including the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands have introduced video game addiction clinics and prevention programs. As we can see, this issue is not being taken lightly. Unfortunately, until we have solid evidence, I don’t think the industry will be joining or acknowledging the discussion anytime soon. So, what do you think: Is video game addiction fact or fiction and what role should the industry play?
Anyways, after really sitting down and pondering what I’d like to accomplish, I realize that the standard, typical New Year’s Resolutions aren’t really cutting it for me. Of course, I’d love to work out more, tighten the budget, and get good grades. But, this year I’d really like to focus on being a better person. What I mean by this is being more involved in my community and participating in volunteer opportunities in the DC area. I’ve done my fair-share of volunteering gigs, but it was always tied to work or an event. While the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment was always wonderful, I want to volunteer solo and have no strings attached. I want to volunteer because it’s the right thing to do and making other people happy is what makes me feel whole as a person. I find that it’s way too easy to get caught up in the day-to-day nonsense and drama, and at the end of the day you’re left feeling like you haven’t made an impact on another human being’s life. I know a few people that have recently become involved in some volunteer initiatives for the first time and the change in their attitude is unbelievable. I’m talking stressed out, self-absorbed people who finally decided to give something back to the community and it has changed their life. A few hours of helping those in need can flip someone’s perspective upside down…almost immediately.
I’ve already signed up to volunteer at a local soup kitchen for the holidays and am researching opportunities at local women’s shelters to be a life skill volunteer. Every little bit helps, and I really hope to make an impact on another person’s life even if just for a few hours. Helping another person and seeing a smile on their face is the greatest satisfaction ever. Now, this is one New Year’s Resolution I can stick with… Happy New Year!
Imagine this: A 9th century village that winds around and within the steep Mount Bastide, which is more than 500 meters above sea level. No vehicles are permitted inside the village, as the pathways are just wide enough for donkey carts. You enter the village on the paved hillside and climb the narrow stone pathways higher and higher until you reach the very top. At the top you reach the summit where the Le Jardin Exotique offers a full view of the entire village below it, as well as a breathtaking view of the Mediterranean sea. At this point, you are almost 1500 feet above the sea and have a 360-degree view of all that surrounds you. I remember having to pinch myself because it truly seemed unreal; the beauty was one-of-a-kind.
While this moment was magical,it was the trip to the top of the village that really amazed and overwhelmed me. I say overwhelmed because not only is the journey arduous, confusing, and ridiculously steep, but the life and culture that bustles within the mountain appears untouched; you can picture exactly what it must have been like during its prime in the middle ages. We took our sweet time soaking in every ounce and detail of the village, ranging from the stone, moss and terracotta tile roofs with heavy wooden doors and secret passage ways. Every corner is adorned with flowing flower vines, lush greenery and cacti. The tiny shops and craft boutiques, which are hidden in tiny caves dug within the rocky hillside, are advertised with hand painted wooden signs and lanterns. Even the smells are ancient and the scent of fresh-baked French bread flows throughout the village. I also can’t forget the village church, Eglise Notre Dame de l’Assomption, which was built in the 1700’s and is absolutely magnificent.
As you can see, I could write about my experience in Eze for hours if I had the time…I’m thankful that I got to visit this sacred little village and hope to make it back some day soon. In the meantime, I’ll keep the memories fresh in my mind.
Au revoir et salut!
Reine des abeilles
What’s even more exciting is that with layar, the worlds first augmented reality browser, people can now access augmented reality on their mobile browsers. See this example that we watched in class where the phone displays real-time digital information on top of the real-world locations it sees through its camera. Layar is currently available on Apple Inc’s iPhone 3gs and Google Inc’s Android-based mobile phones.
Advanced augmented reality is definitely a growing trend, which is currently being applied to many industries and areas of study,including architecture, sightseeing, industrial, navigation, advertising, and emergency and military services to name a few. While the future of AR is definitely growing, it is also very expensive and dominated more so by major industries that have the resources to utilize the technology. If the costs can be reduced, then I think we can expect AR to become a lot more widespread and used in many day-to-day aspects of life. Soon enough, everything online will become a physical experience.To further confirm this reality, New York-based ABI Research reports that revenue associated with AR will grow to $732 million by 2014. Last year, AR revenue was at $8.3 million. I will be sure to stay tapped into the progress and emergence of AP and am excited see where it takes our society.
The most recent posting taking place on November 19th, 2009 is a post about World Toilet Day awareness and the 2.5 billion people who do not have access to toilets and sanitation. Other bloggers share stories about cyberactivism from families raising awareness about the lives of children in Ethiopia and the serious need for clean water. One family created a site dedicated to this project.
As I continued to dig through older posts (2006), I continued to find varying topics, many which discussed politics, health, and culture in Ethiopia. Many of these blog entries touch upon Ethiopian bloggers and their unsympathetic feelings toward the ruling government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the teetering democracy. Smaller-scale entries included the story of a young, suicidal boy without arms, which led to the Boy Without Arms Campaign. Here is an example of a local story that caught the eye of Ethiopian bloggers and sparked a national campaign.
In all, I found that Ethiopia’s blogosphere is not afraid to discuss and explore the critical issues facing the country and does a good job at writing emotionally-charged entries. Many of the bloggers work to communicate a cause and create a strong call to action. It’s great to see that this blogosphere community is facilitating a conversation with its dedicated followers, while creating a sense of awareness for their country.
Add a comment December 2, 2009
Add a comment December 2, 2009
So, in terms of accuracy,what more can Wikipedia really do? Not a whole lot. If I had one piece of advice for founder Jimmy Wales and his team, it would be to possibly beef-up their content editing team. I don’t think it would hurt for them to do a bit more scanning and patrolling. But, then again, too much control really ruins the entire point of crowdsourcing and an open-access encyclopedia. For me, exerting more restriction and control is a slap in the face to the intended originality of Wikipedia. Moral of the story, if you’re going to use Wikipedia do your due diligence people!
1 comment November 18, 2009