I was used to writing about how DSP chips could be used to find signals
buried in noise for military purposes or to enable complex
communications algorithms to run, or as the basis of image compression
for video transmission. This audio DSP just seemed trivial to me.
pointed out that while delivering the sound of a movie faithfully was
clearly a good thing, altering it on play back seemed pointless and not
the sort of thing most people would be interested in. The salesman came
back to me that it did not matter whether something was a good idea or
not, but only on whether people would buy it. The engineer's job was to
put such features into consumer equipment – even if they were pointless –
because the features would help the equipment sell.
salesman explained to me that consumers often buy pointless things if
they are sold well. He added that when the basic technology is pretty
much the same across competing products, having some additional feature
or check box – such as the pre-programmed cathedral reverb – could help
make the sale even it was never used subsequently.
Since then of
course consumer electronics has continued to rise in significance in the
global electronics market. Games consoles and games applications have
come and not gone. Smartphones and tablet computers are now judged,
partly on their ability to host games and social media with which people
can distract themselves.
But is that a good thing?
As I enter the Olympic park it is likely the phrase "bread and circuses" will come to mind.
Even bidding online has become a game. And now hat ebay is introducing bidding options for kids where do you think they will be at 3 am; probably home outbidding each other on the screens. We have finally made computer games fun for girls: http://www.benzinga.com/news/12/07/2777881/ebay-to-tap-into-the-kids-market
You are right. I really don't feel bad, exactly. It's just that I could be using my time more "usefully." But I'll never give up an interest in sports and games and other "distractions" which are, in the end, therapy for the soul.
Games are fun, computer games however are in many ways a sign of decadence. I could never understand grown-up people who spend hours and hours a day playing games on a computer or a console. What a waste of human energy...
"The salesman explained to me that consumers often buy pointless things if they are sold well."
I like to say "There are features you can sell and there are features you can use." The internet capability on pre-smart phone phones was well hyped but pretty much unusable. It did help sell phones though. Cameras tend to have loads of features that get little actual customer use, but still help to sell the devices. I don't agree that this is a good condition, but it is pretty much accurate as far as I can see.
Watching young people in action I tend to agree with @any1...many of them spent several hours a day playing games, this can't be healthy no matter how you look at that...most end up having diffuclty copying with real life...Kris
I do think video games are having some adverse affects on American culture. I think adolescent boys in particular spend too much time on games to the exclusion of other more important activities - such as school work. I believe it tends to make them more isolated and less likely to engage in general society. And it's a factor in why girls are now outperforming boys academically.
why should you feel bad, Dylan? I don't understand why you would feel guilty for being interested in sports. You're right, it's an escape, and so what!? The world is mostly a very troubling, sad, stressful place, but luckily we don't HAVE to deal with it all the time. we can chose to be interested in other things, and that doesn't make us less intelligent people, it just makes us happier. Sport, and games, and time with family.... it's all stuff that makes us happier as people, and I for one would never feel sorry for enjoying that more than 'serious grown up stuff'
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.