This blog post intends to strike discourse regarding my experience playing “Gone Home” last week. Growing up, the video games my brothers and I played were Call of Duty, Supersmash Brothers, Madden, NHL, MLB and FIFA. Although I enjoyed these video games, I could never play one for a particularly long time before losing interest. Due to my previous experience and Call of Duty being my favorite game, I went into this video game pessimistic.
The opening scene reminded me of games on “Addicting Games” I would play for several seconds before getting frustrated for not being able to find the key. However, I was pleasantly surprised by my interest in “Gone Home.” Will, Cam and I searched the downstairs thick and thin to piece together what family life was like. We all found it particularly startling that a family member was coming home from a year abroad and no one was there to greet her. This fact alone made us very intrigued. From here, we didn’t really know what our objective to the game was until we saw the locked locker in Sam’s room.
Now, the game got interesting, we being searching for the key, looking for maps and any clues we could find. By the end, I wanted to go back to learn more as this game was similar to the patchwork girl. You never really know if you saw everything, read everything and completed every task.
Throughout this process, I kept asking myself what qualifies as a “gamer?” We touched the surface of this in class, yet I still find myself confused. I personally don’t consider myself a gamer, but does the fact that I still want to play Gone Home another time make me one?
Yesterday’s class is the inspiration for this post. During our allotted time, our group experimented with playing a song using sounds downloaded from the internet and bottles. At the time, I thought it was a great activity and a successful cyborg. Myself, for example, was able to play the drums to my beat without actually knowing how to play the instrument. It wasn’t until afterwards that I thought our group or any group may not have touched a boundary object.
Thinking back to the Cyborg Manifesto, Donna Haraway examines how boundaries of human/nonhumans, humans/animals, physical/nonphysical, humans/machines are crossed. Other than being a human and using a machine, I can’t help to think that my group specifically didn’t cross any boundary object. Rather, we just played music using bottles.
I wonder if, given more time, we could have actually crossed a boundary object. Using the “makey makes” what would this have looked like? What should we have done differently? We were given such a powerful system and I feel as though we didn’t make the most of it.
As you can tell by the title, this post examines the stereotypes underlying our culture. Most little kids, including myself, picked books out of the library or Barnes and Nobles based on the cover. If I saw a baseball on the front, I automatically assumed that I would enjoy reading the Mike Lupica story. Sometimes, it was the cases, and often times it wasn’t. After spending time with, “Coding Like a Girl” and “Computer Geeks replaces Computer Girls,” I began to think how we can’t judge a “book” by its cover in the real world.
The two article examine female coders and the lack of “recognition” they receive from fellow coders strictly due to their gender and appearance. In one of the articles, a female coder went to a conference in a dress with makeup and her hair done. The results of her day were shocking. Not one person approached her to discuss work, coding and the future of female coders. The only interaction she had with fellow coders and computer geeks was when she asked them questions to demonstrate that she was extremely intelligent. That night she went home and debated not going back to the conference the following day. Instead of staying away, she wore jeans and a tee-shirt. Couple with the change in wardrobe, she didn’t do her hair and didn’t wear any makeup. When she showed up to the conference, the two days couldn’t even be compared.
Not only does this happen with gender, but it also happens with race. Davidson College Men’s Basketball team is not ranked 24th in the AP top 25 Poll as well as the USA today Coach’s Poll. Do to the general stereotypes of the top 25 and basketball players in general, outsiders with little knowledge of Davidson would think that our team was very athletic, tall and a majority of our players would be African American. Look at Georgetown University. They are number 23, only one spot ahead of us. There team is almost completely African American and they have 7 players over 6 feet 8 inches. Davidson College has four African American Players and only 4 players over 6 feet 8 inches. Davidson has an extremely talented team but you cannot look at the number 24 before our school an make assumptions about our roster just as you couldn’t with the female coders.
In today’s world, it is extremely hard to generalize certain jobs, sports teams, schools and genders in particular fields, yet we find ourselves doing it all the time. Why do we judge “books” by their covers all the time just to find ourselves making common mistakes due to stereotypes? This fact is very concerning to me and is the driving cause for this post.