Archive for August, 2012
An interesting thing about this time we live in now is its juxtaposition of high technology with perennial human traits like communication. But what perhaps is more interesting is the fact that many classicly human behaviors actually are being revived, by the Web and mobile computing. One of these is the simplest word-of-mouth sharing of news and information — the Web gives people powers to bend this figuratively 'viral' phenomenon for social awareness, about such vital topics as the environment.
A Complete Turnaround
Many feared the end of literacy during the TV generations; however, anybody can see that the Internet is much different and using it well requires using language well. What if the entire Web experience was re-framed by educators as the world's largest language classroom?
Children in so-called third world or developing nations may be using the Internet for educational pursuits far better than the privileged kids of the world, who have the leisure for games and distractions.
One of the most exciting possibilities during this century is teaching environmental awareness and stewardship to the youngest generations using the Web. In e-learning and special education topics, a game model is one of many irresistible new teaching methods.
The Web gives certain industries and businesses a golden opportunity to expand the reach of what they offer as well as reducing their unnecessary land-based operations. When that happens — and the Web facilitates it — the quality of services can improve while pollution and waste can be cut drastically.
One example you may not have heard about yet is the gambling industry. At the global level, even during the recent recessions, online gaming for real cash has been booming — this business model has profited hundreds of billions already. Its profitability has even influenced the changing of laws to allow regulated gambling in states that could use extra tax revenues.
And what is it? Basically video games for adults, with bets in real cash, which can be played on computers or mobile devices. But the underlying implications of the fact that these games are becoming more lucrative for casino companies than land-based venues.
And that is great for the environment. Whenever a brick-and-mortar casino shuts down but offers its gaming entertainment to the world at large online, this is great for the environment. Think of all the parking spaces eliminated, all the immense air-conditioned halls, all the electricity running endless rows of slot machines.
Now, the economic force of people's fondness for games like poker, blackjack, roulette and others is undeniable, but so is the example of online learning. Many of the new players must learn the apps and games, and are taught by their memberships with online casinos. Kids could be learning in powerful new ways (although obviously through more appropriate content) with exactly the same logic operating in today's adult gaming industry: everyone loves to play a fun game.
Tablet casino popularity was probably not something you had associated with educational trends or environmental improvements through limiting physical sources of waste. Such is the age in which we now live, when the Internet is becoming a platform not only of online content but also significant changes to the offline world, sometimes including great environmental victories.