Technological Artifact: Kaleb Parrish

Growing up as a kid, my family and I were always around sports, mainly football. As far back as I can remember I could always be seen playing, watching, or being around sports in general. At a young age of 4, most boys weren’t able to play the game of football ’till they were 6, unless they played flag football or outside with friends. At the same time, video game consoles and handheld electronics started to become more of a thing, slightly upgrading Dreamcast’s, Nintendo’s, etc. I remember my first Christmas getting a handheld device, I was stoked. The technological artifact that I chose to do was my retro handheld electronic football game.

This is the retro handheld electronic football game that I got for Christmas last year that I used to play all the time when I was younger (Photo by Kaleb Parrish, August 2018).

How this device works is that the light flashes and blinks, at the same time it ticks and players run. The bars of light show you where the offensive player is and where the defensive player is, a darker bold red for offensive and lighter red for defensive. Just like in football, the object of the game is to score as many points before the four quarters are up, whether that is scoring a touchdown or kicking a field goal. Just like any other handheld device, at some point in time I would get hooked to this game and not play outside at times. This object defines our generation because it seems like kids nowadays aren’t playing outside all the time like we used to in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Everyone is on their phone playing a game or the latest new video game console, instead of balancing video game time and outside activity. Don’t get me wrong, I like to play my game still to this day and other game consoles as well, but I still like to get outside and get some activity with friends.

After reading the assigned reading the Media Archaeology Lab, it made me think how far we have come with electronic devices used for gaming. In the lab, it seems like they have been keeping a bunch of old gaming consoles and handheld-gaming devices for a good amount of time. For years and years, developers and been creating new consoles and devices to help adapt to the new technological advances that we keep building on and seem to find interest in. For example, who would have thought in the 1990’s that the Wii would be a thing? Being able to play all the Mario games like Mario Kart, Mario Party, or Super Smash Bro’s on a controller that calibrates with your motion, yet still can hookup Nintendo GameCube controllers to it? It is crazy to see how far the original gaming systems have come along and I imagine they will continue to keep getting better.

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