I think it is getting increasingly difficult to get bored if you’re “connected” to the web in the 21st century. If you are connected to the Internet and are online, it may indeed be impossible to get bored. There is value in boredom, because creative thought often takes flight when the mind is idle or at least not focused on an attention-demanding task. A few books that address issues similar to this that I’ve read, am reading, or hope to read soon are (in that order):
- “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi)
- “In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed” (Carl Honore)
- “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder” (Richard Louv)
This evening after I posted a new podcast episode to our “Digital Dialog” channel I used the “much lamented in schools” NEXT BLOG link on my blogger site, and stumbled upon the “Cool Moms Rule” blog. “Viv,” as she identifies herself on her blogger profile, has a ton of advertisements in her blog sidebar, but does have some really good links. Two of the ones I checked out tonight and added to my del.icio.us links were heromachine (where you can create your own superhero or other character– think SL but just a 2D avatar) and Every Video Game.
All video games are not there, I searched for some old Atari 2600 titles like “River Raid” and came up with snake eyes, but LOTS are there including my old console favorites Joust and Galaga. Joust and Galaga online and playable for free? Yes, it appears so. Amazing.
I know that the video games folks find most engaging today are far more complex than games like Galaga and Joust, but I wonder if they are more addictive? It is probably hard for younger XBox, Wii, Gamecube and Playstation gamers to imagine that people like me used to spend a fair number of quarters to play Joust, Galaga, Pac Man, and other similar games. 🙂
I checked and these games play fine on both Firefox on WindowsXP and in Safari on Mac OS X. I can’t vouch for the website, however, in terms of malware and scripts. One of the things I recommended to attendees last night at our second “Digital Dialog” class for parents was running Firefox on their Windows-based computers with the free plug-in “No-Scripts.” Often malware is installed on Windows-based computers (and theoretically could be installed on Mac and Linux computers too) from scripts that run from webpages as they are viewed by a user. According to founding Internet father Vint Cerf, at least a quarter of all computers now online are infected with malware. That’s really unfortunate, considering the types of Internet-based extortion rings which now proliferate thanks to zombie botnets. (I wish I was making this up, but it’s really not science fiction. Check out the latest “Security Now” podcast– episode #82 for more on cyberwarfare.)
Gamers beware, there are many sites “out there” that are sharing cool stuff just so they can get you to click on ads or get your computer to download a new zombie botnet malware program. Running “No Scripts” with Firefox on the Windows-side and most frequently using my Mac to surf the web, I think I’m pretty safe from malware– but there are no guarantees.
There’s even less hope, I’m afraid, for the cause of boredom in the evenings. Maybe it’s time to go camping with the family, WITHOUT any technology. Temperatures were in the 70s here in Oklahoma today, so maybe winter is about over… Let’s hope so. I’m ready for some boredom! 🙂
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- The Coronavirus Pandemic and Media Literacy - 2020
- March is Teen DIY Tech Month at OKC Metro Libraries - 2014
- Free K12 Lesson Plans from K20ALT for STEM & More! (Audio Podcast with Adam Zodrow) - 2012
- The Legacy of Sandy Garrett in Oklahoma: A Case Study of "Whistleblower Needed" - 2012
- Summarizing the 2011 MACE Keynote with Mobile Video and Glogster - 2011
- Presentation Links from the 2011 Heartland eLearning Conference #heartlandconf11 - 2011
- The Visions of Students Today by @mwesch #heartlandconf11 - 2011
- How to Boil the Ocean: Lessons of Blogging for Online Discussions by @berlinf #heartlandconf11 - 2011
- Cloudy is a Good Thing!: Enhancing Instruction with Tools from the Cloud #heartlandconf11 - 2011
- Michael Wesch Keynote at 2011 Heartland eLearning Conference #heartlandconf11 - 2011