If you ever want to get into someone's brain, just ask them the types of books they enjoy reading and why. I wouldn't call myself extreme, but I think , sometimes, I am heading there. I just finished a book entitled, " All Alone Together"- Why we expect more from technology and less from ourselves by Tuttle.
This book was very fascinating and very disturbing. The author has written two other books prior to this one, the first in the 80s when computers and humans first began interacting, the 90s when America Online took off and so did chat rooms, and then finally now.
I am not going to go through the whole book, it was long and full of statistics and studies but I enjoy these types of read. Anyways, the basis of the book was this:
We provide our children with electronic/robotic/battery operated games, dolls, animals, etc and what studies are finding is there is now a huge disconnect with the emotional attachment of the "Gen Net" kids to real life objects and humans. The Internet world, facebook, myspace, chatlourette, etc all allow us to objectify, isolate and create worlds that will look and feel how we want to control them. Dolls that talk, cry, pee, poo, and shut down if they are thrown or shaken do not actually teach that abuse is wrong, ironically it teaches that there is no consequential effects from shaking the baby. The baby simply shuts down. However, if you shake or throw a real baby, you could kill them, cause swelling in their brain, paralysis, and the list goes on. There is no simply shutting down.
Killing someone on a video game removes your emotional and moral attachment in your brain and you understand that this is not real life. However, again, studies are finding that this is bleeding off into real life. Whether intended or not intended. Our children are growing up with less and less attachment to their parents, friends, and people. Making fun of someone over facebook is easier and harsher because there is not another actual human being standing next to you. Men and women are absorbing themselves in avatar related games, second life and Internet games that seek to bring about feelings of community ( and these feelings are felt in the moment) but studies conclude that once the game is over, the participant is left feeling even more depleted for human intimacy and interaction and goes back to the game for another "fix".
This book was very interesting and I highly recommend it. All of the studies that I alluded to are documented in the book. There are parts of it I do not agree with in the intro, ie: evolution. However, overall, I felt that it was compelling and further motivates me ( as you all know my stance on toys, games, childhood) to keep on going on. I could careless what is popular or fad or "cutting edge". Generations are becoming lost due to our ability to "plug in" to inanimate objects and "disconnect" from human, face to face interaction.