Digital diversity can mean a few things; it can be used as a all encompassing word to describe the vast number of ways people use digital technology, such as social networking, online gaming, the online marketplace, music movies, etc. Digital diversity can also represent the ways different groups use the internet differently. The digital divide is another important part of digital diversity to analyze how different people have different access to digital technology and the internet within the United States and the rest of the world.
Digital diversity is the unique collaboration of people’s ideas, culture, and access to the digital world; the digital world being mainly characterized by the internet. For those with access, the internet is a digital melting pot of its users ideas and culture. The internet is used for all kinds of purposes such as sharing ideas, but is also immensely useful as an educational tool, a means of communication, and a digital marketplace. Ideas and culture are shared through its infinite applications such as My Space, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. The Internet is also a great educational resource for those with access, due to the vast amounts of information on specialty topics through encyclopedias, specialty sites, and forums. As described in Digital Media Ethics it seems that “technologies- most certainly those designed for the sake of communication – embed and favor a specific set of communicative preferences( usually those of their designers). (DME 118) This is why the internet is sometimes considered dominated by western culture, because western countries have the most stake in it.
To go back to the beginning; digital diversity is the unique collaboration of people’s ideas, culture, and access to the digital world. But there is one other aspect of digital diversity and that is characterized by the digital divide. The digital divide is the gap between people with effective access to digital and information technology and those with very limited or no access at all. During President Clinton’s presidency, in 1997 he announced that it was the nations goal to wire every classroom and library in the country by the year 2000, followed by every home by the year 2007, is expected to do no less than virtually transform society. But our country isnt the only suffering with the digital divide it is the whole world. Then there is one other thing about digital technology, the e-waste, its out of site out of mind for those of us living in the west but its a harsh reality for those living in the countries we ship it to. So what can we do with this old waste, well like mentioned in the book Technicolor ” By “re-functioning” old/obsolete technologies or inventing new uses for common ones, communities in many places have fashioned technologies to fit their needs and priorities (TECH 8).” It’s just a thought, enjoy the video!
Race, Gender and Video Games:
Video games are marketed to people of different age demographics which have been split up by the The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so consumers, especially parents, can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols suggest age appropriateness for the game and content descriptors indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern. The ESRB breaks down age demographics into six differnet age categories:
Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate
Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.
The content descriptors for each of these six age demographics can be defined as :
- Alcohol Reference – Reference to and/or images of alcoholic beverages
- Animated Blood – Discolored and/or unrealistic depictions of blood
- Blood – Depictions of blood
- Blood and Gore – Depictions of blood or the mutilation of body parts
- Cartoon Violence – Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
- Comic Mischief – Depictions or dialogue involving slapstick or suggestive humor
- Crude Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving vulgar antics, including “bathroom” humor
- Drug Reference – Reference to and/or images of illegal drugs
- Fantasy Violence – Violent actions of a fantasy nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily distinguishable from real life
- Intense Violence – Graphic and realistic-looking depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic blood, gore, weapons and depictions of human injury and death
- Language – Mild to moderate use of profanity
- Lyrics – Mild references to profanity, sexuality, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
- Mature Humor – Depictions or dialogue involving “adult” humor, including sexual references
- Nudity – Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
- Partial Nudity – Brief and/or mild depictions of nudity
- Real Gambling – Player can gamble, including betting or wagering real cash or currency
- Sexual Content – Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity
- Sexual Themes – References to sex or sexuality
- Sexual Violence – Depictions of rape or other violent sexual acts
- Simulated Gambling – Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency
- Strong Language – Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity
- Strong Lyrics – Explicit and/or frequent references to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
- Strong Sexual Content – Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
- Suggestive Themes – Mild provocative references or materials
- Tobacco Reference – Reference to and/or images of tobacco products
- Use of Drugs – The consumption or use of illegal drugs
- Use of Alcohol – The consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Use of Tobacco – The consumption of tobacco products
- Violence – Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
- Violent References – References to violent acts
With these ratings and content descriptors you can understand what people of different age demographics are exposed to in the digital gaming world. Kids and adults are able to do things that would normally be considered illegal or morally wrong ; like swearing, raping, violent body mutilation and murder, or just doing illegal drugs. But because they are acting out these actions in a fictional digital world, does it make these things OK, or is it still wrong?
To learn about how video games are desensitizing see: http://oldschooda.wordpress.com/ .