Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Coding or would you like to play a game?

Since there really isn't a major assignment I figured for this entry I would write about a few topics at a much shorter length. Last week’s last class was actually quite fun. As a university student I had never really thought about coding or website design of any kind, in a number of years. The last time I even attempted coding anything was in mid-high school trying to get basic html to work at home after learning in an introductory computer programming class. Despite the difference in the type of coding, I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with some basics of coding like some of the others in the class. This really made me realize just how much more work is involved between simple text based webpages and the more advanced like YouTube which has embedded video, constantly updating suggestion bar, and in video links.[i] I can’t imagine the work involved in the early days of macromedia flash based websites, when that technology was initially introduced to the marketplace. This makes me think more carefully of how to properly put together my course project and appreciate the level of work involved with creating an interesting and well thought out web page or exhibit.
On far different note, our class spurred some more interesting technology focused conversation namely the novel “Nuromancer” A key entry in science friction literature. This brief discussion made me remember the technology focused film, War Games. “War Games” was a 1980's sci-fi movie focused on a young computer genius who ends up hacking a NORAD supercomputer and challenges it to a game of thermonuclear war.[ii] This movie, although before my time, is really interesting and entertaining for both its topic or more specifically for its portrayal of technology at the time and how many people viewed computers, especially home computers, as the cutting edge of technology. This film's portrayal of hacking and coding is actually not too farfetched as it depicts simple command lines and key phrases. As with almost any movie over five to ten years old, the perception of “modern technology” is off, even when the technology is claiming to be "futuristic". I find it funny that people claim to know that this depiction of technology is wrong or outdated when the general viewing audience has no idea how new technology works.  For our society that is so dependent on technology, it seems only right that we should at least try and understand how some of it works and not make fun of Hollywood's renditions of hacking or coding.  

[i] A whole lot in information but very ugly.

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