The Face Book

One of the things that many folks don’t realize about Facebook the social network is that it took its name from The Face Book, a physical sort of yearbook that many colleges and universities publish in order to help socialize incoming freshman classes.

Referring to it as “the Face Book” is something of a colloquialism and colleges would refer to it by some other, more official-sounding name like “The Freshman Record.”  But students referred to it on campus as the Face Book, and everyone knew exactly what they were talking about.

I arrived at Washington & Lee University in the fall of 1990 as an emotionally immature freshman with almost no idea of what I wanted to do with my life, nor any idea of how college was going to help me figure out who I was going to be.  The only thing I was sure of at the time was that Things Needed to Be Different when I got to college.

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Donkey Kong

Nothing quite matches the nuclear meltdown that follows on after taking my kids’ iPads away for a day.  Well, maybe telling my oldest son he can’t play Xbox…

Any responsible parent witnesses how kids react emotionally – and sometimes, physically – when we take their electronics away, and wonders if they’re in the grips of some awful addiction.  It’s hard to come reasonably to any conclusion other than yes, they are addicted to their screens and the windows those devices provide into other worlds.  While parents my age are mindful and cautious, we also deal with kiddie addicts by taking a step back and remembering that we’ve seen all of this before.

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What the Hell Is This?

What the hell is this?

Call it a creative outlet for some fun stories, expressed through the lens of video games.

From the late 1970s all the way through the present, I’ve been a video gamer.  Over the years, I’ve come to understand that if you were someone who came of age in the 1980s, the experience of video gaming being at the forefront of many of the events of your formative years was an experience a lot less rare than I had initially thought.  People of that era have experiences connected to video games even if they never considered themselves a video game enthusiast.  Games were so ingrained in pop culture that it would be impossible for someone born to a middle class family in the U.S. in 1972 to not have some stories connected with a standup arcade game, or their first console, or their neighborhood arcade.

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