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School maps for FPS games - John C. Kirk — LiveJournal

May. 18th, 2007

12:22 am - School maps for FPS games

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Date:May 18th, 2007 09:49 pm (UTC)
One of the things I thought was interesting about it was the effect of new technology. The way people react to stories seems to me to be a pretty rational way of dealing with word-of-mouth data in a world without telecoms and press. Not a consciously rational way - but a rational behaviour hard coded into a set of instincts. What breaks it is the world changing faster than the instincts - mass media, etc. The TV becoming a trusted storyteller, and then telling you about improbable things.

So, how best to deal with that? Regulate the media? Seems dangerous... Try to change the way people interact with it? Seems hard... Build something new, that supersedes the old media and interacts more naturally with the public? Also hard...
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Date:May 19th, 2007 10:50 pm (UTC)
I think you're right about the challenge of trusting the media. However, I also think that there's a related concern, in terms of the effect of new technology.

As per my comment to terpsichore1980 below, I'm guessing that most of the people who are in positions of "authority" (e.g. headteachers, concerned parents, journalists) have never tried to create a custom map for any kind of computer game, so it's unfamiliar behaviour, and therefore it seems suspicious.

In a similar way, I ranted a while back about a guy who was charged with child porn offences, since the prosecution lawyer said that he'd built a "super computer" (direct quote) to store the images, i.e. a desktop computer with three hard drives. There's nothing particularly impressive about that spec (under 80Gb of storage), or the expertise required, but it's still unknown territory to most people, so I think that they fear what they don't understand.

I remember a case a while back (probably via Schneier's blog) where some Muslims were arrested for praying in an airport, because they'd been speaking in a foreign language and mentioning the word "Allah" which scared other passengers. There may be an analogy to that here - the foreign language isn't new, but other people don't understand it.
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