Archive for ‘Video’

December 15, 2010

Is virtual reality just fun or dangerous?

Anybody else born in the 1990s will remember the Sims computer game which created a virtual family which you could control. A popular 3D website is ‘Second Life‘ which was first launched in 2003. Last month, up to 21.3 million were registered with ‘Second Life’ and one can wonder, is virtual reality safe or dangerous?

Some individuals have a problem distinguishing fantasy from reality as has been seen by many crimes, especially concerning children, where the media influences have been a problem. Most in the UK will remember the case of Jamie Bulger in 1993 where the young two-year old was taken from a shopping centre and subject to torture and was finally murdered by two other children, Robert Thompson aged 10 and John Venables also aged 10. It was suggested after the murder, in court, that the two children enjoyed watching ‘Child’s Play‘ which was a disturbing film and that’s when the question was asked, can media influence actions?

In 2007, the popular television series CSI: New York, made an episode entitled ‘Down the Rabbit Hole‘ where a trained assassin was using ‘Second Life’ to track down victims by gaining their trust through the game and meet with them. In reality, several claims have been made against ‘Second Life’ regarding their privacy settings and their avatars. Some have argued that ‘Second Life’ can’t force people to log out of their Avatars so they have no control over how much time some people are staying at the site. This could have bad consequences for the fantasy vs. reality debate but also imply serious health risks. In 2007, Islamic militants were suspected of using ‘Second Life’ to hunt down new recruits and to practice real-life terrorism in the virtual reality world. This in not uncommon with the increase of technology and the availability of social websites where people are free to roam and talk. It’s unclear how many Islamic militants were hired from the avatar website but it’s clear that it did work.

There are even more examples of individual behaviour which can effect others. In Cornwall 2008, a woman was granted a divorce from her husband when she found him conducting several affairs with avatars in ‘Second Life’. It’s hard to believe, but I found several other divorce cases where the spouse was having an affair on ‘Second Life’. It’s unfortunate but that’s what being another character all together can do to some people. They forget they have real-life consequences.

However, some have claimed that virtual reality sites have positive implications for individuals who use it. ‘Second Life’ has been praised by many for building a strong online community. You can help build a community space for yourself and there have been projects for the community such as building a replica of the Eiffel Tower. The site also encourages people to search for their existing friends and then make more friends through them. The virtual reality element helps make the impossible possible. You can travel around by teleporting and even flying to a destination. The community is made real by even having their own currency called ‘Linden Dollars‘. It has been praised by postmodern surrealists who love the ever-changing scenery and the complex characters.

There is the danger from virtual reality websites such as ‘Second Life’ where the online community can become a reality for those who find it hard to distinguish from real life. Even though there have been cases of criminal activity linked back to the users on the site, these are apparently isolated cases. Mostly, people praise the site for it’s escapism and individuals can delve into a world of flying, avatars and projects. It is fair to say that most people need an escape from everyday life such as watching the television, having a stiff drink or participate in a virtual reality world. As long as those who can distinguish between their online life and their real life do not pose a threat, then it can be just seen as harmless fun.

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December 13, 2010

Paparazzi vs. Celebrities

Who hasn’t had a skim through a magazine and seen a celebrity in a compromising position? Or had a look on HeatWorld or Perez Hilton‘s blog to read the latest celebrity gossip? Many may just think of the images as a crucial element to any article or feature but now there are several celebrities who have said that they want the “stalking” by the paparazzi to stop so they can live a normal life. Should celebrities been granted more privacy or, having their careers made by the public, should they just accept that this is the lifestyle of being a celebrity?

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December 13, 2010

Are student protests helping or hindering?

University Students all over the UK have been participating in protests in the last few months to protest against the proposed rise in University fees under the coalition Government. These protests have been posted in news all across the Country but some have claimed that the protests are getting out of hand after protestors attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla last Thursday. These events have sparked a major security concern over the royals and it could be claimed that the student protests are hindering the image of students more than helping the cause.

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December 5, 2010

Abuse of Children- Spotting the Signs and Stopping it.

If you have been one of the thousands on people on facebook who have changed their page picture to a childhood cartoon character then you will know that this is to show support of the NSPCC, the charity to help stop abuse to thousands of children across the country. However, many do not know of what else to do to help children of child abuse. The NSPCC makes hundred of suggestions and ideas for those to help them show their support and help to stop the horrible statistics. Some are as easy as keeping your eyes and ears open.

The NSPCC has reviewed that almost 40% of children on the child protection register were under four years of age in 2006 meaning that babies and toddlers are at risk from child abuse and that two thirds of children killed at the hands of another person where under five years of age in 2005. Children over this age are also at risk of harrowing abuse with 16% of children under the age of sixteen experiencing sexual abuse. This is also a risk of boys as well as girls with 11% experiencing some form of sexual abuse under the age of sixteen.

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December 2, 2010

Festive Merriment!!

If, like us, you are lacking in Christmas ideas, you may want to try some of these. Some traditional, some not, always entertaining and believe me, except one game, all these increase in fun the more alcohol you have! These games are perfect for a household and will be brilliant to play if you divide the house into teams. Just make sure you don’t have any sore losers or people who oppose team work. They’ll just bring you down!

 

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November 29, 2010

Eastenders Christmas Polls 2010

As my housemates and myself have finished watching yet another episode of the BBC soap ‘Eastenders‘, we have now created several scenarios for the Christmas Day special. A year of so many revelations, Stacey killed Archie Mitchell, Peggy finally hung up the ‘Last Call’ bell and Kat and Alfie Moon‘s return to the show, the only thing that can top off a scandalous year is an outrageous Christmas Special.

While sitting and watching we have concocted several scenarios. Please comment and rate, if you have any suggestions, please include them!

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November 29, 2010

The End of the Hollywood Icons

With the death of the legendary Tony Curtis in September, 2010 many may start thinking that all the Hollywood icons of the 50s and 60s are gone. In a way, it’s true.

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November 29, 2010

Modern Family- Season 1 Review

The ABC comedy mockumentary has been critically acclaimed by many saying, ” Modern Family was one of the best new comedies of the season.”. I agree with this completely. Set out like a fly-on-the-wall documentary, this comedy show explores the new age of family in modern times. First, there is the nuclear family of Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) Dunphy with their three children, all with various…personalities. There is Claire’s father, Jay (Ed O’Neill) who recently married an extreme attractive woman (30 years younger) Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and her young son Manny. Then finally, there is the token gay couple consisting of Mitchell (Jesse Tyler-Ferguson), son of Jay and brother to Claire and his partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) who recently adopted an Vietnamese baby called Lilly.

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November 28, 2010

Milburn- Cheshire Cat Smile- 2006