MSNBC: Turning Adults into Kids

Moviegoers have a new way to interact with theater screens, and it doesn’t involve throwing tomatoes.
As part of a multimedia campaign to get people more involved with its Web news content, MSNBC.com has launched a game, called NewsBreaker Live, that plays in movie theaters. A motion-sensitive camera in the front of the theater measures how the audience is moving its arms. The camera then translates that collective motion to an onscreen paddle that players use to bounce a ball back up to the top of the screen to knock out blocks.
NewsBreaker Live is a version of a Web-based video game, NewsBreaker, that MSNBC.com is presenting on its site. In that game–a play on the old title Breakout–MSNBC.com headlines float to the bottom of the screen. When players hit 25 of the headlines with their paddle, they gain another life.

Game turns moviegoers into human joysticks | CNET News.com

Okay… so it doesn’t have anything REALLY to do with kids, but I got a kick out of this article (click the link above to continue reading).

I have split thoughts on this. One– I love the idea that MSNBC is presenting their information in a goofy, off-beat, interactive way. You got to a movie to be entertained… if they’re going to present their information to you, might as well make it entertaining too, right? Plus, it sounds fun.

Two– this seems to be the trend with everything these days. No one can stand silence, or pause, or waiting. There must be something visually stimulating EVERYWHERE! And it must be interactive on a minor, base level. We shall all be needy-media zombies! Can’t you just see the audience of a movie theatre droned out as they wave their arms in the air making “eeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhh” noises with large, saucer-sized eyes.

It’s this second thought process that reminds me of my kid-worry. We stick DVD players in minivans and music-players in cell phones and advertisement TVs at cashier stations at grocery stores and televisions in bedrooms of kids. We are MAKING a nation of zombie-fied children. GONE are the days were they must be content with their own thoughts. GONE are the days of relying on imagination for self-entertainment. GONE are the days of uncomfortable conversations in the car with mom after school.

It’s like we’re distracting our children from life. Allowing them to bask in media instead of their own headspace. What is this going to do to future generations– after they grow up and realize they never really lived by themself– entertainment & technology was always offered up.

I don’t know. I’m all for fun, but perhaps society needs a little reminder to chill out. The overzealous interactive media-lifestyle is great, but can it go too far? And is it wrong for ME to be asking such questions? Hmmm.

Perhaps it’s just the “choice” I miss.  Ya know?  Life seems to be HANDING us the quick-easy entertainment.  We don’t really have a choice in the matter any longer.  Or maybe I’m just being overly sensitive.  Could be.  Twas a crazy day here at the ‘farm’.  Hmm.

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