Matt Barton on Chatterbox Videogame Radio

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Last night I was interviewed by the team at Chatterbox Videogame Radio concerning my book Dungeons & Desktops. It's a terrestrial show based in Phoenix, but they are offering downloads of their past shows, including mine here. I think I even managed to get a plug in for Vintage Gaming towards the end! Unfortunately, I think only one of the hosts actually enjoys CRGPs. ;)

These guys are lots of fun, so enjoy the show! Hopefully I didn't make myself sound too bad.

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Calibrator
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Joined: 10/25/2006
Advanced Deficit & Disorder, 4th Ed.
Rowdy Rob wrote:

AA is indeed "classy," which is why I come here. I am an "old" guy that likes videogames, but being older, I appreciate videogames on many levels that perhaps a younger person cannot or will not. I am not a "dude" or a "chode" or whatever; I am a reasonably-intelligent (stretching a bit?) adult with many responsibilities and interests. I have been on sites that were populated by youth (the old "Gamehippo" freeware game site, for example), and it was a bear to post on such sites (when it was necessary).

Hear, hear!

But the classiness isn't only in the content! It's also in the form with clear, uncluttered sections that attract people who don't need fluff.
All the elements that lure "cool gaming kids" are missing: Countless posts every day, excessive signatures with pictures that need more bytes than a venerable 8-bit had on a floppy disk, a section concerning everyday stuff (I surely don't want to read about their puberty experiences, about their school or about the latest - what they call - "music" or cell phone ring tones) and cool nicknames (ahem! ;-)

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I am an "old" guy, buy I'm not the oldest gamer I know (my neighbor is a business-owner in his 50's who regularly plays XBox games). It's sites like this that give us an intelligent outlet. Perhaps we "older gamers" need to somehow make our presence more noticeable in the supposedly-kid-dominated gaming world.

I'll play until I'm dead (or blind - which is the same to me) but the things that I play change. The fact that I'm more and more interested in older machines would have made me shake my head had I thought about it as a teen. I was only concerned with faster, bigger, better back then (first an 8-bit Atari, then an Amiga, then PCs and their annual upgrades...). I'm more and more disgusted with games that need 10.000 files on my harddisk because they were either rushed to the market or their designers were either incompetent or simply lazy as hell.

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P.S. I find that supposedly "ADD" diagnosed kids are usually very intelligent. Perhaps it's society, or the American public school system (i.e. the "slow learner" system) that has failed them. I knew a few "ADD" kids, and there was nothing wrong with them except they were failing school. I know, that's a whole other off-topic subject.

I don't think that Matt really meant ill children but the generalized picture of a modern child that isn't really interested in doing stuff that needs a larger amount of time (like reading a book or watching a complete movie). The problem with the kids of today is that they are bombarded with stuff all the time (Buy this! Watch that! Play this! Listen to that!) and the internet is just another medium that makes it easy for them to skip to the "interesting parts" - even if it needs an active effort compared to TV.

Kids are no less intelligent than they were, say, twenty years ago - but they are clearly different. Their handwriting is generally worse (I'm astounded of the spelling mistakes - even though I'm not a native English speaker - but it's the same situation in Germany), they have a general knowledge which often seems completely different to kids back then - and thanks to the internet they already know things they shouldn't at this age. Cell phone porn being only the tip of the iceberg.
How many children have had more sex partners with 12 years than their parents in their whole lifetime? How many experimented with drugs at that age? The kids in Germany are exactly the same - except perhaps with less weapons ;-)

How should a kid react to all this? If the parents don't have time to bring them on the right track when they are young because both struggle with earning enough money to stay afloat in this world. Children aren't pets - they need attention and they need direction until they can judge by themselves. In other words: They need love and they need time - for example by "baby-sitting" them in the internet to show them that this is a fascinating and powerful tool and not a train station toilet.

Enough off-topic stuff from the single, childless, know-it-all
Calibrator

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Mark Vergeer
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I often get kids / young adults for ADD ADHD diagnosis....

SUPER OT continued: As a shrink I often am presented with the request to diagnose a kid or young adult with ADD or ADHD. I believe it is a bit if a hype dianosing kids the last decade but there are also quite a few older individuals that have not been diagnosed and had a tough time in school. Ritalin (R) (which is actually low doses of Speed) or comparable meds not always work so taking them is not always the answer. Psychoeducation and practical guidelines for day to day living always are. There is a huge overlap with depressive symptoms, personality disorders and bad parenting (no consistent role models present, no clear boundaries, instant gratification behaviours).
Kids are being exposed to so much stuff these days, you cannot compare it to the time when this old geezer was a kid (38 going on 39). But this is also thing of all ages, where the old think the less of the young in some form. There are old Greek and Roman texts that report on the young just hanging around pointless, not showing the proper respect to adults, not putting enough time in their schooling bla bla. It's just for a large part the forever present generation-gap we are experiencing now. You can't help it, when you reach 30-something and above it just happens.



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Man, I get so pissed about

Man, I get so pissed about the Ritalin/ADHD crap that is swarming the schools. Here's the deal--take my little brother David. The kid was so hyper he couldn't play a CARD GAME. He'd play for a few minutes, then start spazzing, throwing cards around and such. The behavior was carried over into school. The answer: Ritalin, of course! Never mind the obvious problem--total lack of discipline and a diet consisting solely of Cokes, ice cream, potato chips, and whatever sugar-caked candy he could get his hands on. I think the closest he ever got to real food was pizza and chicken nuggets. Let me ask you something: Do you realize that the effects of caffeine/sugar are greater for kids than adults? Yeah, we drink a cup of coffee and get a boost. They drink a cup of coffee and can't sit still for four hours. QUIT GIVING KIDS HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! Try that on for a change! How about some of that?? EH? EH?

I know that some parents get carried away and end up abusing their kids, but come on, what's wrong with telling them NO once and awhile? What's wrong with NOT giving them a reward when they don't behave?

AND DO NOT OVERREACT the other way...I honestly don't know what I hate more. The negligent parent or the neurotic ones that worry about "Dakota" or whoever it is so much that they kid isn't allowed to eat non-organic foods. These parents soak up the Dr. Phil or whatever pop psych they can find, then try to tell teachers and principals how their kid is perfect and society is to blame for all ills. A good example of this is the "It's time out, Dakota! Now go to your room and watch Teletubbies because you didn't eat all your SpongeBob granola flakes. And don't forget to take your ritalin!" Good Lord, what have we come to?

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
While I'm on the topic, I

While I'm on the topic, I also hate this obsession with "learning styles" you're starting to see all over the place. "Oh, my kid's not dumb, he's just a kinesthetic learner. He needs hands-on learning." Well, no shit. Readin' them thar books is hard work, ain't it, Otis? Why the hell do you need school to teach you hands-on learning? What ludicrous crap is that? You go to school to learn how to read and write, and hopefully how to become LITERATE. And don't give me that crap about "different literacies," you can either read at the proper level or you can't. And if you can't, the answer is to work on that skill, not pretend you can somehow get by without it or that it's the teachers fault for emphasizing the need to read.

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