Entries in nerd alert (2)


Getting Things Done

I've been working on and off for the past couple months and have noticed a pattern.  Getting things done when you don't have all the skills to accomplish these goals is difficult.  I set out to develop a physical therapy application that would track and test hand motion.  By using the large touch interface available on the iPad, for example, I could build an app that would provide various stretches to strength range of motion.  However, I don't know any programming languages, nor have used Xcode.  

I made the decision to pursue psychology during my numerous years in school.  Three psych degrees later, I have limited my abilities to research methodology and technology user research.  If I had changed my mind a little earlier on, I could have had a stronger computer science background, thus providing me with the skills I now desire to get things done.

Moral of the story: it's never too late to learn.  It is, however, too late to be really really good at something you didn't set out to do from earlier on.  I will continue to push myself and grow my breadth of understanding, even if I'm not the best of the best at something I picked up recently. 


The next game changer

On a recent podcast from 99% invisible, Roman Mars talks about game changers in basketball.  Basketball used to be played with a closed off net, meaning as soon as a player scored a point, the ball would have to be removed with a stick or ladder.  There was no hole in the net for the ball to fall out.  This remained for a decade until a net was cut and the ball fell down after points were scored.  Game: changed.

Thinking about the state of video games and technology, the exact same thing is happening.  Objects moving on a screen based on player input can only go so far.  Game mechanics can change, online cloud-based gaming can seamlessly and quick work, and graphics can appear so real it's hard to tell what is live action and what is CG.

When is the net going to get cut for games?  Full body motion gaming is doing well, but it's not astronomically changing the way games operate.  Ultra real graphics are gorgeous and fooling the human eye.  So, what will it be?

I am convinced the next best thing to hit games, to take them to the next level resides with mental and physiological integration with the game.  Ernest Cline and Valve are on the right track...