Practicum 4

I’ve been playing World of Warcraft for quite a while now, making small strides in figuring out what happens outside of the training grounds, for I have learned all that I’ve needed to learn in from my trainer (i.e. mastering the basic moves and proving myself as ready to face the outside world through battling a seamonster in the “Proving Pit”).I’ve completed a lot of quests on the “outside,” but have only went up one level, and I assume it gets harder to reach new levels the more that you play. Initially I thought that you went up a level every time you completed a quest, but now I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to do with the “Experience” you earn from completing quests along with the “Experience” you gain elsewhere (slaying beasts). This “Experience” is measured in points and is much more important that I had originally conceived.

After completing a bunch of “solo” missions, I stumbled upon a cove with a bunch of sea monsters in it. I can only imagine that there are many valuables stashed in there, and after having attempted to enter and gotten brutally murdered, I think this is a challenge meant for multiple players. The next time I log in I’m going to try and round up my own little army and see what we can do in raiding the cove.

I’m really starting to get the hang of WoW. The controls are relatively simple and everything so far has been easy to figure out. While it took some research on my part, as I am a complete novice, most things are intuitive and clearly delineated. This, and it has been getting increasingly more difficult for me to pull myself away from it…

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Practicum 3

Really not a whole lot to report. I’ve been on WoW doing a lot of experimenting, trying out my different avatars and seeing what each world has to offer(with each race of avatar there is a new world to begin in accompanied by similar, though unique quests).  I’ve decided it’s time to buckle down and actually see what’s beyond the 3rd level, so I’m going to stick with my favorite avatar, a female troll by the name of WertwaMary and see what World of Warcraft has to offer after basic training.

As of now, I am in a dinosaur-infested tropical region, interacting with the shaman trolls of my race. They are teaching me how to use my shaman powers, and I must say, it’s one of the more interesting worlds I’ve been exposed to through WoW. I’ve collected pelts from wolves and destroyed wooden targets. I’m currently trying to find a jailman to help me let loose a criminal with whom I can only assume I will be battling.

Recent discoveries include the map in the upper-right hand corner (duh…) which points you in the direction you need to go to complete tasks. It can be minimized or maximized and has been a very useful and time-saving tool in this journey. I’ve also learned that avatars can swim, which has assisted me in getting to  islands in the region.

 


Practicum 2

I’ve been doing some more gaming on World of Warcraft and am really starting to enjoy myself. I’ve completed a number of new tasks, and even got my roommate to play with me. We played together for a while in the same world, trying to figure things out – mostly just by talking to people.  While most of them tended to avoid me and dodge my questions – apparently it’s a lot easier to be rude when your identity is anonymous – Karen made a new BFF named Fendrix, who proceeded to stalk her for the rest of the game. If was interesting to see just how into this game/desperate for friends Fendrix was. Karen would continually try and run away from her, but there she’d be, 5 seconds later, talking about her new position at work and how much she hated it. This went on for about a half an hour, when Karen decided it was more than time to log off. I can’t help but feel that a beautiful virtual friendship is forming.


I-Dosing

I was really excited to see what exactly I-Dosing was and how I could give it a try myself. Apparently, I-Dosing is a new trend amid kids online wanting to get “high” off of audio sound waves. The “music” is typically loud and consists of a two-tone technique that allegedly alters brain waves, creating a sense of induced awareness. For a more technical description on how this binaural mix creates this sensation through different frequencies, refer to Mike’s post, 2 posts below this one.

There is the foundation for I-Dosing. Now the next part was to explore it’s effects for myself. I went to YouTube and found a video called “Gate of Hades,” one of the more well-known I-dosing videos. Part one of the video was 15 minutes long, so naturally I didn’t stick around for the entire show. This may have reduced the effects of this music, but I doubt it, for I felt virtually nothing after sampling the video. Perhaps I am high while typing this now, but I would definitely need some convincing. Arguably, I felt a sense of hyper-awareness after listening, but I would compare this feeling to the emotions felt after listening to a dissonant, contemporary classical work. After sitting for an extended period of time, trying to focus all of your attention on something that you would normally avoid listening to, you feel a different sentiment than you would feel on a normal basis.

I would agree that parents have a legitimate concern if their kids are experimenting with this new phenomenon, but the issue isn’t so much with I-Dosing as as it is with what I-Dosing represents. If your kid is looking to get high, this might be something you would want to address as a parent, as it could obviously lead to an actual addiction to an actual drug. Overall, I have come to the conclusion that I-Dosing is harmless, and I wish I could say I was surprised. People freak out with any mention of children getting “high,” and since the older generation is less tech-saavy, they tend to fear anything on the internet. Combine these two things, and you have a recipe for overreaction.


MMORPG

Ok, so let me start with the basics. MMORPG is an acronym for “massively multiplayer online role-playing game.” I was really intrigued by this topic, mostly because I have never been a part of this type of an online experience before. Everyone’s heard of World of Warcraft, probably the most popular MMORPG on the net right now, and I was eager to see what all the hype was about under the guise of “doing research,” as it seems to be a somewhat nerdier hobby. I started everything with this website, http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/, which is where I downloaded the game on to my computer (an approximately FIVE HOUR undertaking) and self-taught myself the basics of the game. There’s a lot that goes into WOW, and I’m nowhere near understanding it in its entirety, but this is the general idea:

World of Warcraft is a place where users can create avatars and interact with other people in the world of Azeroth. Since everyone cannot fit into one world, they have broken Azeroth into smaller “worlds,” where players’ main goals are to complete quests, given out by computer avatars. Through quest completion, gifts and rewards are bestowed upon the player along with level promotion. In the upgraded version of WOW, users can play past level 20, but with the free trial version, which I felt was more in my budget range, one can only reach level 20. This is the basis of the game, although there are many, many details I’m still trying to sift through.

So far, I have created a number of avatars, as it is quite enjoyable. The main character I have been playing with is a human I named Pumpernickle, but I’ve also tried playing as a blue thing with the computer-generated name of Ghertus(?). So far, I have killed moths for their blood, delivered messages, and asked a lot of people questions about things I don’t understand.  I still don’t have any friends, which, other than being depressing, means I might have trouble completing some of the bigger quests that require multiple people to work together. Thus far, it has been a fantastic experience, and I’m enjoying it much more than I probably should be…

So there you have it, an up-to-date summary of my online gaming experience. For further reading on the specifics of WOW and how to get started, here’s the link I used to educate myself: http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/game/guide/


History of the Internet

I would have preferred this video to have been a lot more dumbed-down than it probably already was. That being said, I found it especially surprising to see what a high degree politics and the Cold War factored into the seemingly accidental discovery of the internet. Apparently good things can arise from a large amount of fear and suspicion… Another thing I noticed was the huge gap between when the internet was discovered and when we actually decided to put it to use  in the early 90s. I wonder how much further along society would be had we noticed its potential around the time it was truly new. It has probably been one of the top, if not the top, influences on our current population – spurring grandiose technological advances, the development of virtually limitless information, and an overall interconnectedness of the planet. I can’t seem to remember my life without it, though the facts seem to tell me I did at one point, and I certainly can’t imagine my life without it now.


Introduction

Hello my fellow discussion-mates.

The name’s David Pierringer. Currently I’m a senior at the UW studying both Music Performance and Comm Arts on the TV/Radio/Film side. The internet is something that has always fascinated me – but then again, who doesn’t like the internet…? My main interests include playing and listening to dorky symphony works, reality TV shows, and making fun of people. I am bad at keeping secrets.