It’s Just a Game

To keep from fainting from the splattering blood and flying gobbets of flesh, I had to lie down on a desktop.

Clever, eager eighth graders had convinced me, their teacher, I just had to see the video game Halo and they would be glad to bring in all the equipment needed. Using an Xbox toted to school in a backpack, the students poked buttons on virtual weapons of mass destruction, in after-school hours of course, to tear each other’s characters to bits.

(Here’s a nice explanation of the Halo game series on Wikipedia.)

I remembered those days as I saw a presentation by Carlotta Eaton and Jeff Levy on the Game Technology and Animation Program of New River Community College (NRCC) at the new Mall Campus. We did see student projects with fine movement of machines and simulated motion through rooms. But where were the entrails?

Not showing spilled guts to the 75 or so attendees of The NewVa Corridor Technology Council (NCTC) meeting was probably a good idea given we had just been served a delicious lunch. We viewed the equivalent of a genteel animated stroll through the park. I could have gone for a glimpse of what the students are really animating in the park.

As does VT KnowledgeWorks, NRCC hopes through its programs to foster local community and economic advancement. Its game tech program might be part of the development of a local economy of game technology companies. According to NRCC’s Carlotta Eaton, New City Media, a local company, is already doing game technology.

I wonder if they need product testers.

What possible choice does an adult have when a kid says, "Come play!"?  Complaining all the while that I found the blood excessive, I didn’t like not being able to see into the character’s eyes, and where was Halo anyway, I got pretty good at blowing up bad guys with that tractor thing.

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