Archive for category Random Thoughts
I used to worry that my husband’s video game addiction hobby was bad for his health. That is, until I was inspired by a presentation at CDMN’s Canada 3.0 conference last week.
Jane McGonigal, a world-renowned game designer and advocate for the positive impact of video games believes that games can help people achieve heightened emotions such as joy, contentment, a sense of awe and wonder, creativity and pride in achieving a new skill. As a result, these emotions spill over into other aspects of a gamers’ life and inspire them to become “more ambitious, feel a sense of positive momentum and make them want to keep trying to push even further” in their careers, etc.
During her keynote on day one of the Canada 3.0 2013 conference, McGonigal discussed how video games breed “super-engaged, hopeful individuals.” She said that video games have been proven to “outperform pharmaceuticals for treating anxiety and depression.” Apparently, the prescription is just “thirty minutes of gaming per day.”
To demonstrate that games create a positive state of mind, she challenged the Canada 3.0 audience to a “massively multi-player” game of thumb war. We all had to stand up, cross arms and simultaneously play thumb war with both hands with other members in the audience. The game had everyone laughing and smiling at each other while McGonigal explained that our brains were now wired to want to help the person sitting next to us because we had just played together – a great opportunity for networking!
She also described how she developed a video game to motivate youth in Ghana to create global solutions related to local social challenges. Touted as a “crash course in saving the world,” the game was called Evoke and taught gamers new skills such as entrepreneurship and sustainability. It attracted over 20,000 local gamers and some of the ideas inspired by the game received funding to launch in the real world. One example was a for-profit model (selling snacks, electronics and more) that would fund a new library in a local village.
McGonigal’s presentation was so motivational that it made me wonder if I should actually be encouraging my husband, and possibly my son (when he’s old enough) to play more video games. That is, provided that the games are somewhat positive and/or educational in nature and that they (my husband and son) don’t completely forget that I’m in the room.
In fact, McGonigal had me so convinced of the many benefits of video games that I’ve decided it’s time that I give gaming a try. After all, I’m a new mom who is constantly trying to stay mentally sharp and creative while on maternity leave. My husband couldn’t be more delighted by my sudden approval of his favourite pastime. He is now thoughtfully scrutinizing his video game library to figure out which game to teach me first. We’ll see how it goes.
Happy 2013 everyone! I’m excited to start another great year of blogging and sharing my personal
business stories, challenges and ideas with you. This is a very special year because my husband and I are expecting our first child. I am extremely excited and can’t wait to meet our little one.
While I plan to take some time off to bond with my newborn when they arrive (thanks Canadian government for providing EI for the self-employed), I do intend to continue to blog on this website, albeit a little less frequently at first. I will also continue to participate in social media discussions on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
It’s was a tough decision to take a break since I just started my business two years ago. However, I know that I would regret not doing so.
I really appreciate all of the people who continue to read and share my stories online and I thank you in advance for your patience while I am a little slow responding to e-mails and comments. Please continue to send me your story ideas and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
I wish you all a very successful new year!
Wow, I can’t believe another year has passed! Where does the time go? During the holiday season, I like to look back and appreciate all of the things that I am thankful for having received and accomplished in the past twelve months.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my stories with you on this blog. I plan to continue to share my insights, ideas and personal challenges and successes as I work to grow my business. I am so grateful that you read, share and comment on my posts. It definitely keeps me motivated.
I am also thankful for all of the new people and clients that I have met and worked with in the past year. You have pushed me to work harder and to do things that were often out of my comfort zone. Thank you for inspiring me and teaching me new things about digital media, startups, small businesses and about myself.
Finally, I am thankful for having the privilege to work for myself and to be able to experiment and to drive my career in whatever direction I feel that it needs to go next.
I want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a successful and exciting New Year! See you all again in 2013.
I’ll leave you with my favourite holiday 2012 viral video, courtesy of Jimmy Fallon, Mariah Carey and The Roots. Warning: This song might inspire you to put on an ugly Xmas sweater, drink some boozy eggnog and generally feel warm and fuzzy. Enjoy at your own risk!
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Yesterday, I stumbled upon details of a new book coming out from John Battelle, the co-founder of Wired entitled What we Hath Wrought which will, according to his blog, “give us a forecast of the interconnected world in 2040, then work backwards to explain how the personal, economic, political, and technological strands of this human narrative have evolved from the pivotal moment in which we find ourselves now.” So, I tweeted out an interview from 2011 with Brian Solis asking Battelle about the book.
Then, to my surprise, someone on Twitter commented that 30 years into the future is too “far-fetched,” as he believes that we really can’t correctly predict what’s going to happen in 5 or 10 years in the technology industry. Fair enough. But with 2012 drawing to a close, I’ve already noticed some of the 2013 technology prediction blogs surfacing on the web. So, it’s got me thinking. How far into the future can we really predict what’s going to happen with emerging technologies?
Should we even bother trying to predict what’s going to happen (even a year from now) at all? Or, are all prediction articles, books and blogs merely “sex and fluff,” as my Twitter commenter put it, that sell well or get re-tweeted frequently (guilty as charged)?
I still think it’s worth it to provide a vision of what might happen. It can only help others to dream up new ideas that push the envelope even further. But maybe I’m just one of a small few who likes to think about that stuff. What are your thoughts? Please share your comments below.
Last week, WSJ.com published a story on how the education system is facing a massive shift due to the impact of the web. The fact that do-it-yourselfers can promote their own services online today (like the guitar teacher mentioned in the article who streams free video lessons to up to 1,500 people from his basement), coupled with the new ways that young people learn in a digital age, poses a potential threat to the number of teachers and educational institutions that will be needed in the future.
Yet, it appears that almost every major industry has been impacted by the web in some way – from music to publishing, banking and business, healthcare and education. But does this mean that there will be fewer jobs in the future? Or, will jobs simply change and adapt as a result of new technologies?
The CBC.ca recently posted a video from its 1960s archives which discusses automation and how computers could eventually wipe out millions of jobs in the future. But that’s not exactly what happened. Instead, many jobs that existed in the 1960s simply shifted and evolved as new technologies made way for different career paths. Thankfully, the “calamitous unemployment” crisis, as the video suggests would happen by 1970, was averted.
The publishing industry is an interesting example of how old jobs (like those of long-form feature writers that have disappeared to a certain extent) may simply be transformed as a result of new digital technologies. Over the past ten years, news publications were pressured to offer their web content for free because online advertising revenues were skyrocketing and the expectation was that digital ads would supplement a sharp decline in print subscriptions (because everyone was going online). As a result, online content shifted to a shorter, more blog-style format – partially due to the timeliness of the web, users’ attention spans and competition from people who were publishing their own blogs for free (using new self-publishing platforms like WordPress).
However, thanks to the introduction of social media and tablets, which played a role in the increase in readership of publications like The New Yorker, the demand for longer form content is growing online, as this PandoDaily story implies. Consequently, an entirely new generation of long-form feature writers may soon emerge to produce “New Yorker-style” content for publications that might soon be able to pay for it.
You see, because online advertising revenues have not kept pace with the needs of news publications to stay afloat, pay walls are about to go up on almost all of the major online Canadian news publications (TheStar.com is the most recent publication to announce that it will follow suit). And if these publications see a turn-around in subscription revenues, as the New York Times has recently achieved, people may finally be forced to pay to access content on the web – as they did in the past with newspapers. Although, I believe that the way that people pay for online content could still evolve.
So, it seems that the more some things change because of the Internet, the more they may return to the same as before – just slightly altered or enhanced for a digital audience. Do you agree? Will the Internet wipe out jobs or just create new demands for skills that have been temporarily lost? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.