The Arrival of Facebook Games

For the past two days, I have been introduced to the magical world of Facebook Games. Now gaming on Facebook is not a new concept, we have had games on Facebook for years, but in the last few days FB has upped its game (pardon the pun!) with the use of Facebook Messenger in order to challenge users and their friends to retro arcade games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man while having newer games like Endless Lake and Words with Friends: Frenzy. What I love about this is that there are no in-app purchases right now!! *CUE Applause* My Bank Balance thanks you Facebook.

The games load super quickly, are super addictive and are perfect for the casual gamers, like me, who don’t really want to spend a whole lot of money on consoles.

Because the games are available through the Facebook Messenger App, both IOS and Andriod users are able to get involved which is fantastic. And because it is the Messenger App, you don’t need to go away and try and download any extra apps in order to play, just head into the app and away you go adding to the already ‘stickiness’ of the Facebook Apps.

Screenshot of Instant Games on Messenger
Screenshot of Instant Games on Messenger

At the moment Instant Gaming is only available in the following countries; Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, Canada, United States, Japan, Netherlands, Australia, Austria, Latvia, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, New Zealand, France, Singapore, Finland, Hong Kong, Russian Federation, Estonia, Taiwan, Slovenia, Puerto Rico, Cyprus, Israel, Lithuania, Spain, and Italy. Seeing how popular it has become in the last few days I’m sure the update will come for all Facebook users around the world in due course. This innovation on Facebook’s part is very exciting and integrates one of the most popular activities with one of the world’s most popular messenger apps.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to beat my high score in Endless Lake!!

Screenshot from Endless Lake
Screenshot from Endless Lake

Relevant Source:

Facebook Messenger launches Instant Games

http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/29/13769768/facebook-instant-games-pac-man-galaga-words-with-friends

https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Facebook-Plays-Another-Round-with-Games/1014795

A Lookback over Semester One

*In this series, I plan to put content up on my blog throughout the month of December. I am challenging myself to do this in order to fully flesh out what kind of content I want to create on my blog and see what I can come up with.*

Today is the first day of December and it is my second last day of lectures before the semester ends and we begin preparing for our exams. I felt it was a good time to have a look back at how this semester has gone for me and what I have learnt. I’m not going to lie, going to a University was daunting, to say the least, I knew no own on campus and spent a lot of the first few weeks trying to find my way around campus. Now, I’m not saying that I am an expert getting around campus these days, I still need to concentrate really hard in order to remember the directions to the DH Space, but I have a fair idea of where certain rooms are.

Then came the whole academic part of university life. It’s fair to say that whatever I had imagined the course to be when I began was nowhere near as intense as it became. And I couldn’t be happier with how it unfolded. Yes, there were some minor issues and whatever but that would happen anywhere. I got so much more out of this semester than I thought I would, I was challenged to think outside the box in terms of the how our society is evolving along with the modern technology. This course has made me more aware of the updates in the technology world both in Ireland and around the world.

t has also made me think about the fields of study that I want to pursue in Digital Humanities which are Social Media and Virtual Reality. What drew me to these topics was the fact that although the ideals have stayed the same the software and technology has improved greatly over the years. I also love how both of these technologies are constantly changing and are so versatile so that they can be used in a variety of ways. As I mentioned in my presentation, the world of Pop Culture is coming to life through Virtual Reality experiences which I find so exciting as a fan of pop culture. The world of Social Media is also a huge field that I hope to see evolve in the next few years as we see the changing of sites such as Youtube and Instagram.

And it isn’t just the Digital Humanities Modules that I have been excited about, I adore the computer science modules, too,  as I am interested in web design and using the internet for business. And these modules have given me an insight into that along with some other aspects of the internet which I think more people should be made aware of i.e. internet security and hacking.

So yes, I am very excited about semester 2 but just let me get through my exams in one piece!

Are Self Driving Cars the Future?

Two days ago, I tweeted about a video that Markiplier uploaded where he played a game where he had to make the decision as to who would survive or die in a car accident where an Autonomous Car was involved.  This made me begin to wonder about the field of  Autonomous Cars and where the technology could go next.

As I’m sure you care all aware, Self-Driving Cars are not just things that could happen, they are indeed happening right now. Google has done pretty substantial research into the project and by using sensors and software to distinguish where the car is going and who is on the car, the self-drive car could become a very influential piece of technology. However, there are some flaws in the software that Markiplier highlighted in his video. For instance, if you were in a self-driving car and there was an incident where the car had to make the call whether to save the occupants or the people outside the car in the general area, who would the car choose to save? It is this kind of moral compass that the technology is missing right now and that could have serious repercussions if not addressed. Saying that however there are some incredible pros attached to the self-driving car since 81% of car crashes are due to human error then it would be wise to think that the number of car fatalities could decrease if enough people began to use the self-drive cars but as I have said there could be some issues with that too. Self-driving cars would also be hugely beneficial for people with special needs in order for them to get around independently and safely. The oblivious one would be that the application for a Driver’s Licence could be shorter as you mightn’t have to go through the same procedure’s, if any, to obtain a  Driver’s License to operate the car.

Of course, the pure cost of putting a self-driving car on the road could be so huge, at first, that not everyone will be able to afford the new technology and thus make it exclusive to the elite of society. From a security standpoint, we are not sure how easy or difficult it could be to hack into the car’s computer which could lead to unknown consequences like data breaches.

Which I think is why this technology is so interesting as we don’t fully know what the full extent of this technology would be and yet it seems like it is coming just around the corner. So, should we be worried about it and are we prepared enough for it??? I’ll let you guys figure it out for yourselves!

 

A Fangirl’s VR Presentation

 

Today I gave a presentation in front of my class in my Digital Humanities Class with Orla Murphy. We were allowed to choose the topic and I decided to go with the use of Virtual Reality in Pop Culture. Although there are many uses of VR which were also highlighted today in other presentations, I find the beginning of VR concerts and experiences to be very exciting and interesting both as a Digital Humanities student and as a Pop Culture fan! Here is my presentation:

 


Two Weeks in One

Sorry for the lack of posting, but I was sick over the last two weeks and are only now getting back into a routine. First off, I cannot believe that it is November already?!? It only seems like yesterday I was only starting in UCC and trying to find my way around campus. But to realise that I am almost finished semester one is completely mind boggling.

Anyway, to ease back into the whole blogging game I thought it would be a good idea to give you an overview of the topics that we have been learning about in one of our Digital Humanities modules. Last Friday, we got to hear from one of the PHD students, Pedro Fernàndez Dorado, about his project involving Catalan writer Manuel de Pedrolo. Not to give too much away, Pedro’s project is based around digitally mapping the narrative of Pedrolo’s work alongside the development of the Catalan National literacy space.  During his presentation, Pedro brought up the subject of censorship as he had run into issues with Wikipedia, where he had tried to edit Pedrolo’s Wikipedia page to change the writer’s nationality from Spanish to Catalan.

Personally, I think that this idea of censorship has been around for the last few months, especially on sites like Twitter where we feel the need to almost triple check our tweet before we send it for fear it would upset someone or trigger someone. The term trigger or triggered has popped up more and more in recent months online and as the Urban Dictionary describes it, “An emotional/psychological reaction caused by something that somehow relates to an upsetting time or happening in someone’s life.” Don’t get me wrong, this is a natural response but lately I feel like the word is being overused and my worry is that somewhere along the line, it might lose its meaning and could take on another meaning, which brings me to this weeks class where we had another PHD student named Jack who began new lectures on the topic of the media and the idea of remediation. 

For those who don’t know, believe me, I didn’t until this morning, the term remediation means to transform the original media into a new media. For example turning a traditional book into an ebook or film. Naturally, this interested me as an English minor who is very protective of her beloved book collection which is constantly growing!

But as I said in my previous blog post, I have made the move to digital when it comes to my college work purely as I have discovered a number of apps that have made my college experience a lot easier. One of these apps is Notability which is one that has taken the place fo my refill pad and my A4 binder for storing handouts. If you don’t know about the app, it allows you to take down notes along with the ability to import and annotate PDFs and Lecture Slides with all the documents then stored in your iCloud. For me, this is a type of remediation that right now I can’t live without!