Basically a virtual scrapbook of everything I like from the net and random ideas following through my brain.
Day 21: The last video game you played
SUPER MARIO 3D LAND
I’m a big gamer, I love playing games on all format (although I never really got into PC gaming) and I remember not too long ago when I would spend long nights running through Halo or Left 4 Dead campaigns with Christina, Jozelle and Shane so thinking about what was the last game I actually played was difficult. I remember playing Arkham City not too long ago and I know that I started Mario Kart on the DS not to mention few times I popped in Halo or Left 4 Dead on the XBOX during the dead week at work but I think the last game I actually played would be Super Mario 3D Land.
I love this game because it uses that “Tanooki” suit which is my favorite of Mario’s extensive wardrobe and even has the glamourous White Tanooki suit that is given to you when you suck at a level once too many times and makes you invincible. It’s great fun and brings back memories of playing Mario adventures as a kid.
So yesterday a teenager was shown a cassette tape and said “What is that?” She honestly had no clue what it was. While the knee jerk reaction of most was to have the whole “I’m so old” reaction, for me it sparked an amazing annoyance and anger at the laziness and ignorance it detailed.
Having been born in the 80s and grown up in the 90s, I was privy to a world without the Internet. I went through high school before Wikipedia. “Google” it wasn’t popular amongst the lexicon of the common people. The thing is that we found a way to educate ourselves. I’m not talking about the traditional education with all the information within textbooks that realistically hasn’t really changed in decades save a couple of paragraphs updated every seven years but actual world knowledge.
I’ve never had an 8-Track player but I knew what they were, what they were for. My parents had records but by the time I was a child they were all gone and the record player had no needle. I still knew what it was for and how it essentially worked. Laserdiscs were around for five seconds, we didn’t have one and I didn’t look at the disc and yell “What sorcery is this?!”, I didn’t think “Why the hell is there a huge CD here?” We just found things out. We figured it out. I didn’t look at an Atari and wonder what archaeological dig just turned up this relic of humanity. Despite being firmly in the age group that owned and used Nintendos.
The thing is now it’s amazingly easier. Most phones have internet access and finding out information is literally seconds away at someone’s fingertips. With resources like TinEye you could have a picture and reverse search it to find out where it came from or what it was theoretically. Not to mention how many of us have been caught in the productivity Bermuda Triangle that was Wikipedia or YouTube links and spent hours until you arrive to something you have no clue on how you got there like the Curling Champions of 1978?
So the laziness comes in from the lack of clicking. I looked up CD, which brought you to Compact Disc, which talked about LaserDisc technology, Cassettes, Vinyl, Stereos, even going forward to technologies that replaced it. All you had to do was click on the hyperlink. So people simply look up one thing and say “No, my quest for knowledge is over, I shall not inform myself on anything past the basic paragraph blurb within the top of the page?” They were fine with being ignorant past the fact of looking up anything ever? They didn’t see the extension .mp3 on something and never said “What the hell is that?” “What does it stand for?” Hell even within the page for mp3, it discusses CDs with a clickable link to backwards to a cassette.
Teenagers right now aren’t even that old where cassette tapes of any fashion, music or video are strange alien fare. Just a few years ago most schools still had stereo boomboxes and VCRs within their classrooms to show films or play audio. Are these magical teenagers living in a place where their parents simply ignore older technology and are first to move ahead whenever something new is adopted? I think not.
I’m sure one day I’ll be old enough to sound like a grouchy old man who shakes his head at the youth and says “these kids” but right now I’m more the thirty year old man who is astonished on how someone on this planet with knowledge so easily accessible can decide to remain utterly clueless about anything. If I were 14 again in this day and age I don’t there is anything I wouldn’t do to learn everything about anything just because I could. Now that I’m shaking my head at.