Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Throw away the rule book!
(Watch the video Throw away the rule book! or read on...)
The instruction book for PacMan was around 10 pages long. The user manual for the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role playing game) EverQuest is around 300 pages long. No wonder kids today have thrown away the rule book!
But it's not just pragmatism that has caused digital kids to turn away from unwieldy manuals, it's a shift in attitude and behaviour that favours experimentation and short-cuts. While their parents may extol the virtue of putting in the hours to know what you're doing before you set about it, kids think that's dumb. So this is also a values shift, not just a behavioural one.
Young people think it's smart to find a quicker way - whether it's knowing the keyboard shortcuts, or quickly sourcing information online for a project, or appropriating existing online content and reinterpreting it as 'original' work (otherwise known as a software 'mashup'). Older generations might interpret it as laziness, even plagiarism. For the Web 2.0 generation, it's just life.