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Everything Bad is Good for You - download pdf or read online

By Steven Johnson

ISBN-10: 1594481946

ISBN-13: 9781594481949

Omit every thing you've examine the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification tradition. during this provocative, clever, and convincing endorsement of today's mass leisure, nationwide bestselling writer Steven Johnson argues that the popular culture we soak in each day-from The Lord of the Rings to Grand robbery Auto to The Simpsons-has been starting to be increasingly more refined and, faraway from rotting our brains, is basically posing new cognitive demanding situations which are making our minds measurably sharper. you are going to by no means regard the glow of the game or tv monitor a similar approach back.

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Extra info for Everything Bad is Good for You

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During my twenties , I 'd wager that I spent somewhere shockingly close to a thousand dollars buying assorted cheat sheets, maps, help books, and phone support to assist my usually futile attempt to complete a video game. My rela- E V E R Y T H I N G B A D I S G O O D F O R Yo u 29 tionship to these reference texts is intimately bound up with my memory of each game, so that the Myst sequel Riven brings to mind those hours on the automated phone support line, listening to a recorded voice explain that the lever has to be rotated 270 degrees before the blue pipe will connect with the transom , while the playful Banjo-Kazooie conj ures up a cheery atlas of vibrant level maps, like a child's book where the story has been replaced with li near instruction sets : j u mp twice on the mushro o m , then grab the gold medallion in the moat.

In­ variably these stories point to some new study focused on a minor side effect of gameplaying-often manual dexterity or visual memory-and expl ain that heavy garners show improved ski lls compared to non-garners. (The other com­ mon let's-take-games-seriously story is fi nanci al, usually pointing to the fact that the gaming industry now pulls in more money than Hol lywood. ) Now, I have n o doubt that playing today's games does i n fact improve your visual intelligence and your manual dex­ teri ty, but the virtues of gaming run far deeper than hand­ eye coordinati o n .

When it works, it can be exhilarating, but when it doesn't-well, E V ERYT H I N G B A D I S G O O D F O R Yo u 3I that's when you start shelling out the fifteen bucks for the cheat sheet. And then you find yourself hunched over the computer screen, help guide splayed open on the desk, flip­ ping back and forth between the virtual world and the level maps, trying to find your way. After a certain point­ perhaps when the level maps don't turn out to be all that helpful, or perhaps when you find yourself reading the help guides over dinner-you start saying to yourself: Remind me why this is fun ?

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Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson


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