Worlds apart

I feel like I’m going to be getting my AARP card, and saying things like “Get off my lawn!” soon.

I recently got involved in a project that wanted to use “DIY and sustainability” to solve some real-world problems of some local non-profits.   Since I’m in the maker community, I figured I’d drop by, and see what they were up to.    I was a bit wary of the whole setup, but told myself to “keep an open mind.”

One of the potential problems to solve was in local organic farming and getting locally grown food to people who need it (involving a lot of urban youth to do the work), and to help the organization that runs the program get funding.   The person who helped run the program gave us the big overview.  The program has been running for 20+ years, so they’ve got their system figured out, but they were looking for help in expanding, streamlining, learning from their current alumni, etc.  You know, basic, real world problems.

Yet, when the discussion on options started, it seemed as if we were in an alternate world.  A few of the participants, a bit younger than me, really struck me as out of touch with both DIY and sustainability, in that they wanted to solve some of these problems with GAMES.  Most notably, mobile app games.    Yeah, Jane McGonigal and the TED talk, and all that.  It was crazy.  At one point, I had to start writing things that were being said:

  • “foster”
  • “lessons about justice”
  • “sustainable mobile platform”
  • “develop a network”
  • “link the connections”
  • “mapping”
  • “that’s beautiful”
  • “that’s awesome”
  • “it is easy to make mobile games”

A few folks were really stuck on games.  Even if it was easy to make games – is that what the problem needs?  It was as if people had just come out of some “How to speak like a hip TED presenter” seminar, and were angling to speak with as many buzzwords as possible.  It was mindblowing.

If I stick with this, the cold water of reality is going to have to be doused on the flames of insanity.


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