Kevin Aloia

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Kevin Aloia Wiki Article 1- Games as Historical Scholarship

Abstract/Game Content

This article does not talk about one specific game, but really focuses on gaming as a culture and how it could affect education and learning. After conducting some web research, one series of games that I loved as a kid came to mind and that is the “Carmen Sandiego” games. I thought these games relate to this idea of “Games as Historical Scholarship” because its purpose was to have fun while learning. The idea of the series was to have kids figure out where to go and solve the mystery. This game’s purpose was to teach kids geography and to familiarize them with important and historical places in the world.

The topic of this article is to see if games can get across educational points and topics such as writers and journalists do in their writing. The author’s main argument to push for these educational games is that they have the potential to reach broader audiences, potential to make explicit and operationalize models of change overtime, and the potential to get away from some of the inherent limitations of writing narratives.

Article Content

Games catch the attention of most, if not all children. Expanding education and implementing it in these games would catch the attention of teachers, parents, and children because it is more fun than reading books and lectures. It is interactive. The author expands this thought by talking about how “players I would imagine would be rather excited to play” these games. Historians and education professionals would participate in the game making so that you know the information and educational value of the game, but leave it to game makers to make the game fun and challenging. The potential to make explicit and operationalize models of change overtime has a huge impact on how people learn and how much they could comprehend. The author explains that having visual simulations and pictures from these games in people’s heads will probably make learning more efficient and drive the point of what you’re learning in the brain. Making models that individuals will remember rather than just reading ones writing, the author argues is a lot more effective and can change one’s perceptions of learning for the better. The potential to get away from some of the inherent limitations of writing narratives is a unique way of learning. Each character in a game has their own thoughts and opinions and can bring a different perspective and opinion to a certain question. This can make one think outside the box and maybe the individual can even relate to the character making the learning experience even more fun, entertaining, and interactive.

Social and Cultural Importance

The author demonstrates the social and cultural importance of these types of games by talking about the positives that can come from these educational games. He talks about how society and culture is now and how educational games will impact social and cultural aspects of life in positive ways. He targets the negatives of not having these games out there in society, and explains how these games could only do good for our culture of learning. Having these online games and using them for education could create a technological phenomenon that could impact the present and future school system.

Comments/Opinion

The comments for this article differ. While the vast majority of people think implementing these educational or trivial games will help studentsBold text and their learning, some do not think it is practical. One comment reads that it is hard “to accept a game as a serious presentation of one’s research” (Brian Train). One individual who commented also thinks there would be conflict between historians and game makers. The idea of this concept seems great and fun, but in my opinion I think it is age dependent and depends on the subject matter. I can see games for simple math, puzzles, and trivia games working for younger kids, but not for older people. Another great point to bring up is the time and cost of these game. I know certain computer games and video games take time to load while you are in gameplay, as opposed to just reading a textbook or looking up the answer in your book and highlighting it. If I played this game, I think I would have fun and learn, just like I did for the “Carmen Sandiego” series. I just do not see this working for older people and for certain subjects such as English or history where writing and reading would be heavily required for the course to learn the most. I do not see the jump from online learning and textbooks (this class) to making classes into games.

Works Cited

Owens, Trevor. (2014)."Games as Historical Scholarship". Playthepast.org



Kevin Aloia Wiki Article 2- Are Privacy Laws Hurting or Helping?

Anonymous/SOPA/ PIPA

Anonymous is an international anonymous group that gets involved with news stories and conflicts in different parts of the world. Usually, their supporting does portray attacks on government, and in Tunisia that is what happened. Anonymous expressed their outrage with this idea of the government taking advantage of people and said that “This is *your* revolution. It will neither be Twittered nor televised or [sic] IRC’ed. You *must* hit the streets or you *will* loose [sic] the fight” (Norton). This mysterious group made headlines and this was only the beginning of this “Anonymous” phenomenon.

While I am not an expert on SOPA and PRTOECT IP, it does not take an expert to know that these two bills are flawed. Some people are satisfied with these pieces of legislature, while others are outraged. SOPA aka Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, are intended to give more freedom to law enforcement officials to “combat online copyright infringement and online trafficking in counterfeit goods” (Wikipedia). The main goal is to stop or limit infringing activities. It is up to the Attorney General to take action against these online criminals. In theory, I believe this is a great idea and I would give up some of my personal freedoms to have law enforcement officials know what I’m doing on the internet. However some think differently “When the dust settles, piracy will still exist, and the internet in the U.S. will have entered the realm of federal regulation and censorship” (Havey). There are some inconsistencies with these two bills. The concept of what makes servers “Domestic or “Foreign” due to sites and their domain names and servers is very inconsistent and creates confusion for what makes it foreign. Another reason why these bills are being highly debated is whether they will serve justice or just “Introduce regulation and enforce censorship on what should be a free and open internet” (Havey). There is no right answer in this debate whether or not these bills should or should not be passed, and until more research and hard evidence comes out in favor or opposition of one side, this debate will remain open.

Anonymous And their Fight to Protect Online Rights

Anonymous and groups alike relate to movements to protect online privacy because they feel like it is their right to say and do what they want on the internet. Despite having controversial anti-government posts and some creepy videos, they attract a lot of positive attention about internet rights. Just like the co-creator of “Reddit”, anonymous is against these bills, such as CISPA, that allow “corporations to share your private data with the government” (Zetter). The video about privacy rights brings up a good point and relates the privacy of your home to the internet. Authorities need a warrant to search a home, so what is different about your private content on the internet? This is the stand that groups like Anonymous take. On the Wikipedia page for Anonymous, the author states that they are an internet group that posts and does things that they “ wouldn't be able to do in regular society”(Wikipedia). This is just referring to the freedom of the internet, but at the same time remaining nameless so that they are not a target for their freedom of speech because no one knows who this target is.

Ed Snowden

their freedom of speech because no one knows who this target is. Ed Snowden is a controversial figure in today’s media. There are two sides to every story and in this case, some may have to agree to disagree. What this man did was illegal, but was what this man did wrong? These online readings and videos relate to Mr. Snowden because these groups like Anonymous has come out and spoke about the government abusing their privacy powers, but because Snowden came out and had these files as evidence, the whole debate has gotten even messier. As Hundt states, “If law-abiding people cannot be protected against the misuse of their data by an alliance of government and information-gathering firms, then they lose their status as rights-holding individuals” (Hundt). Snowden, some argue, was the eyes and ears of the American people (or just people everywhere) and was the man who witnessed the government misuses their power, but yet we still have bills being pushed to again limit our power. Some see it as limiting our rights. Individual rights versus national security, versus misuses of power will always be a three headed monster that will never be resolved. There is no right answer.


Works Cited

http://www.redditblog.com/2012/01/technical-examination-of-sopa-and.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act http://socialmediacollective.org/2012/01/17/whats-the-difference-between-sopa-and-pipa/ http://www.bostonreview.net/forum/reed-hundt-saving-privacy?utm_content=buffer36c18&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer http://www.wired.com/2013/04/reddit-opposes-cispa/#