Wiki Article #1: SimCity
SimCity, developed by Will Wright in California, is a popular open-ended city building game where the player can essentially control every aspect of the city. As well as building up the city, players must maintain the satisfaction of the citizens and remain within their given budget. Players also define different zones, such as industrial, residential, and commercial zones. This game was first published by Maxis in 1989. Maxis is a division of the big marketing and distributing gaming company Electronic Arts. SimCity continues to be a popular simulation game among gamers and truly developed into a classic video/computer game. Since 1989, several different versions of the game have been released, each one containing different and unique features.
Seeing Like SimCity Article Summary
Rob MacDougall, the author of "Seeing Like SimCity" made excellent points within his article about the popular game SimCity. The main topic of his article is about different viewpoints of simulation games in terms of education. In the article, MacDougall quoted a computer scientist by the name of Alan Kay who explained how SimCity is nothing but a game which serves no use for any educational purpose. Kay believes that the assumptions of the game are what ruin it as an educational lesson for younger game players, as younger players can't always recognize every detail. In response to this, the author proposes a valid argument. MacDougall argues that simulation games can be used for educational purposes, but in the right way. Kids should be taught to "open the black box" and discover these games on a deeper level. MacDougall believes they should be taught how to hack, tweak, and recreate simulations to help fully understand them.
Importance of SimCity
Rob MacDougall highlights many different important ideas and features of SimCity. In his article, he thoroughly expresses his thoughts about SimCity and how it can be used educationally. Socially, it is important to recognize the deeper value games such as SimCity can have. These games help players develop their own personal skills. Especially games like SimCity can help players feel like they are in complete control and the health of the city is in their hands. It can teach them how to use critical and strategic thinking in a new way. MacDougall also slightly mentions cultural importance of SimCity or video games in general. Video games in the United States are basically a staple of childhoods, as most kids grow up playing video games. The educational aspect of video games can be considered cultural because of its prominent existence in the lives of many young people. As Rob MacDougall also mentions in his article, some games are created to represent a certain idea or moment in history. Once the game is played, those ideas or moments are forgotten and all that is left is the procedures. Politically, video games can create a representation for current or recent world events and make a statement about those particular events. Using the real aspects of these video games to teach young players the importance of such events can be very valuable.
Within this article, Rob MacDougall expressed some other opinions about simulation games serving as an educational gateway for younger players. MacDougall expressed his disagreement in the article with Alan Kay because of this issue. On the comments section of the article, however, there wasn't a whole lot of debate. There was an interesting amount of agreement with MacDougall and many commenters forced each other to think even harder about this topic. One commenter, Jakob Whitfield, doesn't seem to agree with the ideas of the article. He belives simulation games don't capture human history well enough, unless it is a more simpler event or idea being portrayed. Most of the comments enjoyed the post by MacDougall and even shed more light onto the issue. An important idea among the comments is if "the model consumes us or do we consume the model?" This is a very valid argument and reminds gamers that "it's only a game" and sometimes they aren't as historically accurate and perfect as they are portrayed to be.
MacDougall, Rob. "Seeing Like SimCity." Play the Past Rss. N.p., 26 Jan 2011. Web. 08 June 2015.
"SimCity" Wikipedia Web. 08 June 2015.
Wiki Article #2: Hacking, Surveillance, and the Web
'SOPA, PIPA, and Anonymous'
SOPA, PIPA, and Anonymous are 3 vital aspects of the computer privacy and hacking world. SOPA and PIPA are legislative acts which protect many internet users. SOPA is a legislative act which grants the attorney general much power over foreign piracy sites. The attorney general is ultimately authorized to seek court orders for foreign sites directed towards the U.S. for committing online piracy. SOPA works to stop any further piracy activities, specifically the pirating of goods. PIPA is a similar legislative act where the goal is to allow the United States government to cease access to sites whose main goal is the sale of pirated goods or counterfeit goods. Even with these legislative acts in place, it is truly difficult to strike down these piraters and hackers for good as their are so many different ways they can operate. Anonymous, a group of "hacktivists" who live to hack and cause controversy over the internet. Some may even refer to them as "cyber terrorists" as they are usually known for attacking government, religious, or corporate websites. One of their main goals is to provide entertainment through pranks and protests. Just this year, the Anonymous group released almost 10,000 twitter accouts in support of ISIS. This group terrorizes the Internet and is starting to take better hold of social media. The Internet world isn't always a safe place, but with the establishment of acts such as PIPA and SOPA, the Internet world may really start cracking down on these harmful cyber groups and individuals.
Online privacy is basically an oxymoron, as the Internet is anything but private. Over the age of computers and computer development, computer criminals and hackers were born and quickly figured out the ins and outs of the computer and of the Internet. According to the article "Saving Privacy" by Reed Hundt, "Criminals can use software for their own uses." The world of computers may be complicated to some users, but other users spend a lot of time trying to figure out the easiest ways to scam for their own benefits. Hacking and scamming can happen to anyone and they may not even be aware of what is going on. Efforts have recently been made by government officials to start stopping the information that is collected and shared on the Internet. The Supreme Court, Congress, and President Obama have been playing a role in stopping certain actions within the Internet. Although actions have been taken to stop certain Internet acts, hacker groups like Anonymous can still find ways to disturb the peace among different websites.
Edward Snowden is a mastermind of the privacy world. In 2013, he leaked very classified information from the U.S. National Security Agency to several different journalists.He collected highly confidential documents regarding the NSA's ways of domestic surveillance practices. He has a profound background with working in different agencies such as the CIA and the National Security Agency. From the outer, Edward Snowden is a regular American guy. Even without a formal education from the beginning, Snowden worked to get where he did and slid his way into the information technology world. Many people see Edward Snowden as a hero, yet to others he is one of the world's worst criminals. In his interview with Brian Williams, he says he personally feels like he did nothing wrong because nobody was directly hurt or targeted by his actions. He also goes on to say that, "we have too much faith in intelligence systems" and that "so many things we are told by the government simply isn't true." Snowden expresses his opposition for certain aspects of the system, yet has worked closely with them for years. This shows that maybe we can't truly ever be comfortable with our "Internet life" and that we need to be more careful about what we share. The Snowden scandal can really relate to PIPA and SOPA because these two legislative acts will help cease a lot of secret and private Internet business. Edward Snowden helped make certain issues known and he helped establish a new sense of caution among people.
Edward Snowden. (2015). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 12:56, Jul 02, 2015, from http://www.biography.com/people/edward-snowden-21262897.
Harvey, J. (2012, January 17). Blog.reddit -- what's new on reddit: A technical examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
Hundt, R. (2014, May 19). Saving Privacy. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
Macri, G. (2015, March 16). Hacker Group ‘Anonymous’ Releases 9,200 ISIS-Supporting Twitter Accounts. Retrieved July 2, 2015
Snowden, E. (n.d.). Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden from http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/edward-snowden-interview