Monday, October 23, 2006

Welcome to the New Generation of Geeks

Welcome to the New Generation of Geeks
"MyPod Generation, Video Games, and Cyber Terrorism"

The current geeks of this generation are ones of the New Silent Generation as Neil Howe and Bill Strauss would dub us. We're Generation Z to the market reseach companies, or Generation Alpha to some. BusinessWeek has named us the Myspace Generation - a revolution similar to that of the social upheaval of MTV; all the cool kids are so into it, that Corporations are taking advantage of it and using it to advertise themselves. Look at MTV - it's now sponsored by millions of companies. It became a way for most markets to advertise and publicize. Just look at the unsheathing of the Xbox 360 on MTV. Whoever's the Public Relations director of Microsoft obviously knew how to reach out to their targed audience. Now, Myspace is the new way of publicity. For crissakes, just look at the "Feature Profile", the advertisement banners and the movie and music profiles. And now, another staple has come into the PC/Mac/Linux lifestyle aside from Myspace - the iPod. Hundreds of hours of music available to fit into a small compact, sleek, attractive MP3 player. What really distinguishes the iPod from those other MP3 players is not just the no-memory-card needed feature and it's click-wheel tool, but also the way it can be personalized. Hundreds of accessories, thousands of ways to customize a playlist, with millions of songs available. BBC News has come up with a punny name for this generation because of that - the iGeneration. However, one name that is more self-explanatory - the MyPod Generation. What has motivated the MyPod Generation into existence is the motivation of the internet and the geeks that work to further enhance and take advantage of everything that the internet has to offer: information, communication, and recreation. It's exactly what the World needs - all with the click of a button.

The Geeks of Generation Alpha is driven by the pursuits of technological advances... for video games.The Gamer culture is a strong one, with millions upon millions of people being influenced by it everyday (Or so the media, Jack Thompson, Hilary Clinton, and more than half of Congress wants us to think). And the interesting thing about it is that it isn't just limited to geeks. Some of you might remember or at least seen the effects of the
Golden Age of Arcade Games. Remember its image? It wasn't just snot-nosed, suspender wearing, glasses-toting squares who ran to the arcade - a whole generation ran to the video arcade. It was an age of Pacman, Galaga, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Dragon's Lair that made video game junkies out of the adolescence. Video Gaming was - and still is - an area of Geek media open to all. You can buy a game, and not come off as a Nerd/Geek. Look at the sales for Halo 2. Say "Halo 2" to anybody within our generation and they'll know what you're talking about. Mention Mario, and the first thing to come to mind is not the Italian guy down the street with the same name or Mario Lopez (AC Slater during the days of Saved by the Bell). No, instead what comes to mind are mushrooms, an Italian plumber in red, and fireballs along with the gleeful stomping of those poor Goombas... It's obvious the effectt that gaming has on popular culture. Not to mention, it's only amplified our geeky needs. Look at Geeks now; thanks to the video game home console, we had another reason to isolate ourselves from the world. Who needs D&D when you can have a LAN party! And then there's the internet - and MMORPGs have now captivated us. Hardcore Geeks of the New Silent Generation are occupied with playing World of Warcraft, trying to level up our Paladin to level 60, survive a quest, and fight off monsters in a traveling party for experience. And guess what? You don't have to do it in your mother's basement with your buddies - you can now do it online. I'm sorry D&D but RPGs seem to be reaching out to a larger audience; because of that, it's become more successful. Look at Geeks now. They're tweeking out their harddrives so it can be able to handle a non-stop 24 hour LAN party, putting in coolants that can make a penguin freeze to death (Oh, if only...) The internet, the personal computer, the video games for PC and console - it’s a technological revolution within Geek Culture. Instead of the throwing dice that every true geek has been throwing throughout the Consciousness Revolution of 1964-1984, we’re throwing money to get the latest Expansion pack for Guild Wars. Instead of going out and buying comic books, we’re online reading webcomics. And it just doesn't stop their. We don't need to go to a live auction, we have one on eBay! What? Go out and buy a book? Ridiculous! Why go through the trouble when I've got Amazon right here! Oh, bloody hell, can't find what I'm looking for at the library... why, look at what Google has found for me!

With all this convenience and all the attractive features of a computer and the internet, people have now
accepted these works of Geekdom. But many of them don't understand the power that technology has. And not to mention, they're vulnerablity for not understanding this power. Many of us have been able to use this to our advantage, thought its not something we go parading around. We’ve got internet piracy, hacking, and cracking into computers. We’re creating malicious viruses that are doing several million dollars in damages. Because of all this, we have a term for these invasions and destruction of computers: Cyber terrorism. We've finally found a way to fight back using what we have to our advantage. Why? Because society has become too lenient towards technology. That's the thing - too many people have become too reliant on technology, but not enough of them understand its complexity, or how it even works. They just know what it can do, and how to use it. And for once, the nerds/geeks have found an upperhand. With knowledge of computers, that certain class of geeks who understand the ins-and-outs of a computer have the power to do some domestic spying on others. They have the ability to dig through your computer, shuffle around, plant whatever they want in there, either it be trojan, virus, or worm. Hell, hackers out there might be keystroke logging right now as you are reading this, typing away to your friends on IRC, AIM, ICQ, or MSN messenger; every single key pushed on your keyboard is recorded and logged, and from there people can find passwords and encryption keys to make your computer vulnerable. This is mostly used for law enforcement and espionage. However, keylogging program is widely available. It is so easy to get them that it's scary. And this is just one of many vulnerabilities that a normal PC user has... (Don't get me started on Macs). Sure, keep on loading up your firewalls, your anti-virus internet security, and your algorithms. But that will only slow down the inevitable. Those are merely challenges before they find a loophole; a way around your various ways of protection. Be warned. Be afraid. Don't bully us. We're more threatening than we seem.

Slightly disturbed and working frantically to update my firewall,

Henry "Pootie Chang" Pham

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