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Tell us about what you’ve found most surprising so far this semester? What have you learned in class that most changed your thinking or your way of working?

The most intriguing thing I’ve learned so far this semester is the world of online gaming. It is more in-depth than I had previously given it credit for. My dad always says never assume things because you end up making an ass out yourself, so I will just say… I honestly thought the online gaming community was compromised of people brilliant young men, no women , like the guys in Weird Science and Revenge of the Nerds or any of the other great films about Nerds.

I was shocked to learn that was an unfair characterization of the gaming community and that 64% of the online gamers are female. I guess boys are not the only ones who like to blow shit up or build pixellated cities. Just check out Mighty Ponygirl’s Feminist Gamers or the site dedicated to women gamers. And Wynthea has written about the myths surrounding female WoW-ers that she encountered over the years. The virtual world is more elaborate than I imagined.

The thing that I have learned in class to change my way of thinking other than MMOGs is Google. I never before consider Google anything more than search engine. But now I know Google is the gate-keeper of all information. It is no longer the boogie man we need fear it is Google. We fiercely protect our privacy when we feel it is being threatened, but we unconsciously give it up freely to Google. CNET has great article about people’s apathy about privacy as long as it is in the name Google. Under the notion that they are making your life easier and convenient. But now you can find out just how much Big Brother G. knows about with the dashboard. Interesting stuff.

But all in all, the promise, bargain, tool is good way to look at social media. As the adage goes, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Nothing in life is free. There is always some sort of cost involved — maybe not monetary, but somehow, someway you usually end up “paying” for something that may appear free.

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