“I’ll Be Back”.

Who would have thought Arnold Schwarzenegger would be the biggest advocate for video game regulation? The debate continues over free speech versus violence within video games in the Supreme Court.

Apparently, this is nothing new for Schwarzenegger, California Governor, who has been pushing for stronger regulation in the video game industry since 2005, when he signed a law for the ban of sales of violent video games to minors. However, the law did not uphold in court because the judge claimed there was no factual evidence that supported there was a connection between video game violence and psychological effects in minors.

The Supreme Court is hearing the court based on the high court’s recent vote to implement a law banning any game with animal cruelty. Both cases are similar circumstances that pertain to the necessity for a clearer definition of violence within the First Amendment.

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Foursquare

EDIT 4/12: Style of Post

Last night, Jimmy Fallon introduced the Foursquare application on his late night show. The application is a relatively new phenomena in the app world that allows you to see where others are geographically located. After mocking the app for its’ invasiveness, I decided to do a little research on it. I found an interesting article that compared Foursquare to what Twitter was three years ago.

Apparently, the idea of divulging every aspect of our daily lives to an internet site is what more and more internet users are yearning for. Foursquare.com actually allows you to get a constant update around the world of where foursquare users are. The app at its best syncs with Twitter and allows you to see ‘Tweets near by’ where people have put their geographic location, whether or not you are following them. For example, I am currently foursquaring my location, and just found out that “LostSon” is down the road, “at the hospital with wife might b havin a baby tonight”.

So even though people are doing this out of their own free will, does this not bring up some safety issues? Any user of the application can easily view your profile and your most frequently visited places. So anyone smart enough could potentially stalk you and the places you go, or furthermore look for times that you may be gone from your home and use the time to their advantage. The application is highly transparent and could be a potential risk for a number of users.

The Game of Death

CNN just recently reported on a game show in France that will be used in a documentary to determine the different ways human beings react to participating and/ or witnessing pain.  The Game of Death utilizes a familiar tactic from a 1960’s experiment, where individuals under pressure would inflict pain in the form of an electric shock on another to better their own interests.

In both the experiment and game show, participants are asked various questions and depending on if their answers are correct or not, determines the fate of the person being shocked.  The victim would only be shocked if the contestant/ participant were wrong, and they would be shocked at an increasing rate for every wrong answer by their paired contestant. The experiment was a unique method for understanding the way people learn to obey.

So if this experiment proved to be successful the first time around, why did French networks have to almost exploit it by broadcasting a fake game show? Was it truly for the documentary they claimed? Or did they just do it for the entertainment value in hoping to literally shock viewers?

Rate My Professors

As university students, we’re all familiar with ratemyproessors.com. It’s a website/search engine that allows you to search your school, find a professor, and get an opinion on the professor you’re curious about. The website offers up to 10 million opinions on 1 million professors at over 6,000 schools.

I first heard about ratemyprofessor when I moved to Chicago last August. I was signing up for classes and was new to Loyola. I was seeking some feedback on which professors to take for which classes. I quickly learned that ratemyprofessor was necessary (at least to the students I was interacting with) when signing up for a course. It seemed like an almost unwritten rule of the registration process. As I read various reviews, I started to see why the site held value. In a mater of a couple comments, you could become familiar with a professor’s teaching and grading methods, and even if they were good looking or not. ( If theres a tamale next to a professors name, you can assume this is a hot professor). As I familiarized myself with the site, I actually started to resent it. To me, it was so mindless to base my judgments on whether or not I should take a class based on the subjective comments I read of someone else. There really was no censor to the opinions left either. Comments I noticed more than others included: “NEVER TAKE HER” and “He’s a pushover, Easy A…”. However, there was also some productive feedback on the site that gave just a brief synopsis of the teacher’s methods, but these were noticeably more seldom.

What I got from the site is you can find how to get through school by knowing which teachers will grade easier ahead of time by reading these opinions. Is this not doing a disservice to yourself? Is it so bad that you might be challenged in college? Isn’t the reason you’re in college to learn? And if that’s not the case for you, that was the case for a number of the professors that are being publicly talked about right on the site. I find it degrading to a professor’s field and profession to sit and speak negatively about him or her online where they can see it. I’m not saying there are some instances where I felt a professor could use constructive criticism, but that’s why we have evaluations at the end of each semester. In the case that you had a rusty teacher, why do you wish to prevent them an empty classroom in their next upcoming semester? Don’t you think this could affect them more than keeping a comment to yourself would affect you?

Chatroulette

The recent phenomenon of Chatroulette has just recently surfaced and is sure to make an impression. 17-year-old Russian teenager, Andrey Ternovskiy, created the social website allowing users to talk via webcam to random strangers all over the world. The first thing that comes to my mind is how desperate are people for friends? However, after a first hand experience, I could see why this social website had potential to be a popular craze. I was first introduced to Chatroulette about 2 weeks ago when a friend suggested we take a break from studying and try it out. I’ve never been one for online chat rooms, but she told me she had seen the Jonas Brothers on it. Who doesn’t love the Jo-bros? Just kidding, but we decided to give it a go.

It was too easy. With the click of a button we were right there: two screens, one right below the other, one for us and one for the stranger (literally, that’s what the opposite box is titled). On the right is a chat box option, where you and your stranger can type messages. If at any point you get bored with your stranger, feel free to click the ‘Next’ button in the upper left side, and within seconds a new image will appear before the screen. Well, that night we didn’t end up meeting the Jonas Brothers, but we did interact with a couple of other interesting characters. The users ranged from people who appeared to be normal and curious to emo teenagers who didn’t speak to creepy old men fondling themselves. Now, that kind of gets me.

From discussion in class, we have learned there has to be some type of censor on a website that offers pornography (i.e. a confirmation by the user trying to access the website that he or she is over 18 years of age). So, what’s the difference when it comes to chat rooms? Are there different rules? All I know is it seems nearly impossible to monitor a site that currently has 36,516 users online right now. Is Andrey Ternovskiy going to be responsible if a thirteen-year-old boy sees two people having sex on his opposite stranger screen? Maybe since I’m new to this whole chat room business, I’m being completely ignorant to a separate set of rules that apply in this setting. I just think there are a lot of worried mothers that could have a field day over this kind of thing. As for the users I mentioned, I don’t mean to stereotype. I’m sure there are many people that could tell you of pleasant experiences they’ve had on the site. And for that matter, what may be distasteful to me could be another person’s favorite pastime. I guess only time will tell what this social website means for future censorship of communication on the Internet.