Future Culture

Futurist Writer Lei Kalina writes her tongue-in-cheek musings and ramblings on the growing worldwide phenomenon of the growth of the Future Culture in the 21st Century

Future Culture In The 21st Century

Future Culture In the 21st Century

Futures Studies, Foresight, or Futurology , according to Wikipedia, is the science, art and practice of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. Futures studies (colloquially called "Futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue, what is likely to change, and what is novel. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends. Futures is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday's and today's changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies, and opinions with respect to tomorrow.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wii Will, Wii Will ... Rock You

And you thought you're glad that Halloween's over, and you can finally get some peace (!) from those trick-and-treatin' craziness. But truth is, it isn't.

At least that's part of the observations from blogging technology vigilantes , smirking and letting out those roll-my-eyes exasperation over the latest from Nintendo's Wii adventures.

Sure, you already became a virtual Guitar Hero with your cruel virtual guitar a-weepin' and a-wailin' like a Led Zeppelin lead guitarist running wild, and you have already perfected your metaphorical tennis racket swings ala Andre Agassi, did the virtual hula to your heart's delight, and harrumphed in Evel Knievel driving fashion with your virtual steering wheel.

So what could possibly be next for the Wii? Hold your breath.

Listen: "The upcoming Wii-exclusive Baby and Me takes the whole special edition thing to a whole new level - it comes with a creepy doll."

"Better yet, you're supposed to strap your Wii Remote to it for a stunning display of just how far humanity has come. By rocking the disturbing creature in your arms, you'll also be rocking an on-screen baby in
Baby and Me. That's intense. But just check out all the other features!

"Your baby reacts by giggling, gurgling, or crying through the Wii remote, ten Baby Mode games including "Feed Baby " and "Send Baby To Sleep' ; eight Play Mode games including "Rattle, Catch, Clap and Balloons", Balance Board support via "Rock Baby To Sleep", "Burp Baby", and "Teach Baby To Walk"; and "Customize Baby with New Clothes, Accessories, and Playrooms."

Still awake??

Popsci.com writes:

"A new Wii-exclusive Baby and Me arrives just in time for the holiday season, so that every Nintendo-loving household can stick a wiimote in an anatomically correct doll's back to rock it lovingly via accelerometer and hear its gurgles, giggles and wails through a tinny Wiimote speaker."

"The game uses motion control to create 18 game modes that include the usual feeding, coddling and playing activities which keep hordes of zombie-like parents awake long into the wee hours. There's even balance board support for rocking this Rosemary's baby to sleep, burping it, or teaching it to walk. Note: if nothing else, we would definitely advise against teaching the terrifying tot to walk."

Funny feeling I get: this Baby of Nintendo is not too welcome in the world of , at least , tech geeks.

And they further smirk and up the ante -- that the kids rocking these "babies" in their arms get to see themselves in the virtual world as well, their virtual alter-egos also rocking a virtual baby onscreen. The Wii-mote, further , comes with a holster so that it can be attached to almost anything -- appliances, pets , even to your Grandpa's forehead ( just about anyone who wouldn't budge and who wouldn't mind).

Still , you haven't seen worse: there's still more roll-your-eyes incredulousness from Nintendo's Wii applications. Wait till you hear about the Wii saddle .

Yes, the Wii saddle : an inflatable saddle, for your virtual horseback-riding, right in the heart of your own living room . More embarrassing flailing in store for Wii enthusiasts, making them rock back and forth in this crotch-controller inflatable.

Popsci.com says: "Your regular Wii remote attaches to the saddle cushion, sensing movement with its accelerometers and an attached wand can be held in the hand to represent reigns, a lasso or maybe even a sledgehammer (Wii polo?). Who knows? ' And the so-called 'horse" doesn't really have to be a "horse" : could be a land or sea exploration vehicle, and maybe even a magic carpet. "Frankly, the line drawings of a large-headed boy mounting the saddle cushion are a bit on the disturbing side, and that's without seeing him bob up and down . Yikes."

Through all these, you may heave your resigned sighs. Funny how life was simpler back then, you muse: when Nintendo launched Wii Fit in North America in New York City's Nintendo World Store on May 19 2008 after its initial release on December 2007 in Japan. Today, a whopping, record-breaking feat: more than 50 million units sold worldwide, totalling to world sales made by both Microsoft's XBox 360 and Sony's Playstation combined.

Nintendo's Wii video game system was borne from the President's Challenge, a program of the US President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports encouraging Americans on daily exercise. And the Wii enthusiasts were treated to various yoga poses and gym exercises, even slalom skiing and jump skiing poses, hula hoops, and its own version of the "Dance Revolution".

Still, another one of Wii's latest: the Wii CPR . And this may have the most thumbs-up for Nintendo-loving households, and most especially those from the health industry.

Newsweek reports:

"The American Heart Association has pledged $50,000 to fund the work of four undergraduate biomedical engineering students who designed a computer program that teaches CPR using only the handheld Wii remote and a computer screen. Students James McKee, Jack Wimbish, Haisam Islam, and Zach Clark began working on the program in January as part of their senior design project for the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham."

Hopes are up as researchers get ready for its public release by middle of 2010, expressing optimism that the program will help improve the quality of CPR self-instruction.

“We’ve discovered as we’ve done research in CPR that when you just tell people to push two inches at 100 times a minute, they aren’t very good at being able to do that,” says Greg Wallcott, a project adviser. “The hope is that if you can give people feedback and tell them how they’re doing in a real-time fashion, then they are able to complete the task much more effectively.”

The development of Wii CPR is part of the American Heart Association’s larger attempt to use technology as an education tool. The association launched an application for the iPhone this week and a YouTube video earlier this year.

Wii now treading to preventive health measures and saving lives. Now, that's swell.

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