Creativity found on watching simple cartoons

An image of the original Digimon series

To lend you some background… A couple of days ago I enjoyed the view of an old movie I remember watching in a VHS like a decade ago. It was “Digimon: The Movie“, an animated movie based on the anime series “Digimon“, in which digital creatures exist in a digital world, with which selected (digi-destined) kids can interact. The story is as much irrelevant to you as relevant is the fact that the series is aimed to younger audiences, to kids.

It wouldn’t be relevant if that consisted in the drawing (along with the plot), and it were somehow simple. In a children’s cartoon, the plot can take complex turns; they do, some times. But in a children’s cartoon the drawings can’t be too detailed. The children get bored with such “seriousness”. My question was always “Why?“.

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Why science-fiction, fantasy and toys are so important to a geek person

Two people with lightsabers

When I think of the word geek, I’m never sure of what it is. I’m not sure if a geek prefers Star Wars to Star Treck, or the other way around, or if that choice is irrelevant to the fact he or she enjoys a science-fiction work. And about science-fiction, I’ve never seen it as something different from a sub-genre of fantasy: They narrate nonexistent plots, with nonexistent inventions, science or even worlds, but trying always to explain it in with existent resources.

It doesn’t matter if it might exist: in practice, it doesn’t. And as so, it’s part of a fantasy. So… What does fantasy has that attracts geeks, and what do toys have to do with it? I’ll write this from a geek’s point of view.

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Why do children like video-games?

A kid using a Nintendo DS

That’s a question I never thought about, until some days ago, when I was reading through some web forums’ posts, and some random worried parent asked what was the deal with his son playing video-games so much. I was curious about the question, so I kept digging, and found tons of other parents complaining about how their children are not going out as they used to, how they spend most of their time online, or on console games…

Well, I just started wondering, and came up with a few answers to that question…

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It might happen, but it probably won’t

Dices rolling in a wood surface

Sometimes when we try to look forward, to think in what will happen just to plan an action ahead of time —say, guessing someone is going to ask you about your black eye after a fight— we think too little about the real possibilities. In a case when we ask something and foresee a possible answer, for example, we usually just think of one or two answers, and if you’re following this thought: there are thousands.

Thousands of possibilities, and yet some have more probability to be, to happen, than others. The funny thing, of course, is that we believe we have some sort of magic power to guess right those probabilities.

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Inside-jokes and knowledge create communities

Two stormtroopers (from Star Wars) in a hangman kind-of game.

I talked in a past article on how inside-jokes work, and how they help building relationships, as individuals, or groups. I also highlighted the fact that there’s no need for them to be jokes, rather than plain knowledge. Specially if that knowledge brings you some kind of emotion: sharing that emotion with someone else, and only with that person/group will give you the same feeling the knowledge gives you, plus the feeling of getting closer to someone thanks to the sense of exclusiveness the knowledge has created.

Now, take that to a greater scale and what do we have? Entire societies based on the existence of that knowledge.

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Stereotypes are bad… But they have a function

Lego arms of different colors

When we think of stereotypes we think of general stereotypes like “asians are smart”, “blacks are thieves” or “irish are alcoholics” (I’m sorry if this insults somebody, but it’s a fact that those are stereotypes built years ago and well-known around the world). In the end, it’s impossible for that to be truth as we’re all different people. Are you the same as “your kind”? There’s no kind, We are just born as we are.

This racism thing has been around since… always! And I hate it. But I have to say that there is a reason behind all that. Several, actually. The historic reason is that thousand of years ago groups were formed, and with time those group differentiated themselves from others and some rivalry started. With centuries we begin to talk about civilizations. Wars are mostly caused by this, or something derived from it. People don’t like “others”, and sometimes that turns into hate.

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Inside-jokes for relationships?

Two teenagers sharing music using same pair of earphones

I don’t know if it’s a well-known fact —or if it’s a fact at all— that inside-jokes help a lot in build a relationship with anybody. Friends, colleagues, even people you like in a “couple” way, as far as I know, feel closer to you when you can establish a joke only the two —or few— of you understand (few, if you’re a group of people, in such a case people feel closer to the group, and not anyone specifically).

I don’t know the reason, and I don’t want to discuss it here. What I want to do instead is to relate this condition to a different angle. What if it doesn’t have to be a joke, but some sort of knowledge piece?

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