The readings for this week brought back a lot of fond memories from my childhood. After reading through Seaman’s article, and reading all about how she was able to join these sub-communities and build strong connections with people she never intended on meeting, I was brought back to the early 2010’s when I joined my own online community, the Xbox Live community. Sure I would join random games and play with random people, but I made some friends along the way. For a number of years, I would play with the same group of people, whom I considered to be friends of mine, and I had no idea who they really were. And even though we lacked that actual human connection between each other, we all felt as if we were our own little community. We would all log on at the same time, join a voice-chat party, and play games until the sun came up. As we got older, we all didn’t have as much time and eventually stopped playing together; and even though I never really knew them personally, it still felt like I was turning the page on such a large chapter of my life because of how close I felt to this group of guys. To this day, I still think about some of them and wonder where their life took them after we had played our last game together.
I’m sure some people (mostly older generations) would be hesitant to call that a “friend group” because we only knew each other by screen names and never even got past where we were from. But I, and I know more people from my generation and younger would back me up on this, wouldn’t doubt for a second that we were all friends. I even see the same thing happening with my younger brothers. I’ve seen them join a random game with a random person and I’ll watch them a couple days later and they’ll still be playing with that same random person. It’s just something about the video game (and others) community that can form such strong bonds between people without either of them having to leave the comfort of their own home.
Aside from the Personal Anecdote
One thing I really liked from this week was the Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds interactive game. Seeing how thoughts and behaviors can spread rapidly reminded me of this video from CGP Grey which talk about basically the same thing, just not interactive. I would also suggest checking out some of his other videos, they have nothing to do with DigPINS, but I find them very interesting, specifically this one about the future of automation in our world. Again, it doesn’t really relate to DigPINS, but as a Computer Science major, this really peaks my interest.