Since it’s ridiculously late (I just got back from an AMAZING concert at the black cat: the dirty projectors), my post probably won’t be too long. But there were a few things that I wanted to think through. First of all, I really liked Turkle’s statement that “video games are interactive computer microworlds” (501). When you step up to any game or console, you are stepping through the threshold into an entirely new Wonderland. By playing you learn the rules of the game, of the world. The repetition of learning a new set of rules for a new game teaches you how to learn. In other words, by playing video games, according to Turkle, we are learning to learn. (Meta-learning maybe?) Also, I think that its interesting that by learning the rules, we learn how to manipulate them. This is something that I had never considered. I always assumed that once you understand the rules, you abide by them. However, by existing within a set of parameters and working your ways through a problem, you are learning to manipulate the rules you follow. I now understand that video games simply emulate this process in a very succinct way. Behind every game is a precise set of rules and situations outlined by a program. By understanding the program, you can understand how to master the game (by manipulating rules).
Another topic that Turkle discusses that really interests me is the evolution of culture. Personally, I like to believe that this is an event that takes place at a snail’s pace. However, this article showed me that it does in fact change quite frequently. It has changed a lot since I was born. The development of new technology is what catapults the society forward. Children today are growing up taking technology for granted. This puts off parents and, therefore, they begin fighting against the computer and anything connected to it. Turkle’s statement that “ti feels like a chance to by time against a new way of life” really resonated with me (501).
In fact, it reminded me of the fear that Mary has in Simak’s short story “Immigrant.” I think that humans in general are afraid of change. We like to feel capable and are adept with the current situation and technology. Moving forward challenges our ability…we have to learn something new. Mary, similarly, seems to be afraid of moving forward in a foreign world. She currently has communion with the humans. She lives a life similar to theirs and paints for a living. However, she has picked up some of the skills of the Kimonians and doesn’t want to let go of her past. Moving up in the society of Kimon would force her to completely leave Earth behind. Abandoning her past is a terrifying task. At the same time, she is curious about touching the infinite, reaching her full potential. I think that the mix of curiosity and fear causes her to respond so harshly to Seldon’s requests.
The last thing that I wanted to discuss is “The Kugelmass Episode” by Woody Allen. I know that Turkle only mentions this short story…but I love Woody Allen and had never read this text. So I looked it up and read it. And I LOVED it. Instead of having an out-of-body experience (watching the plot like a movie while reading, or feeling as though you’re watching yourself read), Kugelmass has an IN-body experience with the character Emma Bovary! It is really strange for me to think what would happen if every individual’s interaction with a book could forever alter the text. How much would literature change? Could we still appreciate literature at all? Every book, every text would become one giant Wiki!