IS GAMING A DISORDER?

By Randell Leak

In January, the World Health Organization (WHO), located in Geneva, Switzerland, classified gaming as a disorder. The organization thinks that people consider gaming more important than other interests and daily activities. The correct term for this disorder is called the ICD (Impulse-Control Disorder.) OK, put your pitchforks down, just like you ,I’m also upset and angry that WHO decided to classify gaming as a disorder. It was not too long ago that gaming was considered weird and nerdy. Calling it a disorder is somewhat disrespectful.

Before I dive in, I want to make sure we all know what an Impulse-Control Disorder is. An article from Psych Central, posted by Daniel Ploskin stated, an ICD is when people can’t resist the urge to do something harmful to themselves or others. Impulse control disorders include addictions to alcohol, drugs, eating , compulsive gambling and behaviors involving non-human. Impulse-control disorders involve  problems in one’s ability to control his or her emotions and behaviors. This lack of self-control causes the children and adolescents suffering from these disorders to experience significant distress or most areas of functioning. To summarize, its failure to resist temptation.

ICD is when people can’t resist the urge to do something harmful to themselves or others. Impulse-control disorders include addictions to alcohol, drugs, eating , compulsive gambling and behaviors involving non-human. Impulse-control disorders involve  problems in one’s ability to control his or her emotions and behaviors. This lack of self-control causes the children and adolescents suffering from these disorders to experience significant distress or most areas of functioning. To summarize, it’s failure to resist temptation.

Now that we know what an ICD is, I don’t see how gaming is labeled ICD. Of course, there are people that put their gaming first and daily activities second. But, does that mean they all have disorders? I wonder what WHO has to say about Esports players, gaming Youtubers,or even gaming journalists who get paid to play games and write about them. The biggest Youtube star, Pewdiepie, with over 60 million subscribers, is a gaming channel.  Instead of just labeling gaming as a disorder, WHO should bring awareness to the subject and try to help, instead, they turned it into a disorder? Don’t get me wrong, playing games all day and night is bad for your health, but should it really be classified as a disorder? While researching the WHO, I was dumbstruck about what WHO sees as dangerous and what WHO sees as a disorder.

Recently,  WHO wants to decide whether or not gaming is hazardous? Come on now, when I play Grand Theft Auto I don’t think, “Hmm, that was fun, I wonder if I can do this in real life and get away with it?” this never crosses my mind. When I play Final Fantasy, do I think of becoming an attractive teen with abilities to shoot fire out of my hands while fighting daemons? I mean wish, but you get the point. Games are here for our entertainment just like TV shows but I don’t see anyone talking about TV shows as much as games.

I’m sure we all can agree on one thing, violent games do not make you a killer. If it’s not true, I guess we can have a serial killer play Just Dance and he’ll be the nicest guy in the world with some sick dance moves. At the end of the day, with gaming becoming so popular, there is only a matter of time before WHO starts calling everything that’s mainstream a disorder. “Ohh anime? DISORDER!!!, cryptocurrency? DISORDER!!!, mumble rappers? DISORDER!!!” Actually……..I wouldn’t mind if that last one was a disorder. But I hope you all understand it doesn’t matter what the WHO says. People called gamers nerds and we embrace it so much that other people wanted to be “nerds too.” They call us lazy, told us to get a job,but look at the companies that are actually paying people to play games. WHO said gamers have a disorder? Well, then,I guess we all have one.                

Advertisements

COLLEGE NETWORK

By Randell Leak

During the fall semester, students and the faculty noticed something wrong with the Internet. Students, faculty, and staff couldn’t rely on it day to day, to complete their work. The problem was so bad that classes had to be canceled. “It began roughly around the beginning of  September probably the two weeks of September,” Bernie Castro, Executive Director of Information Technology. “We started to notice a spike in the amount of Internet bandwidth being used. It’s a combination of the high volume students are using these days, and also we have more classroom technology that’s using websites, courses, blackboard and cloud. We also have other software that is accessible through websites. But, I also see students, as I walk around using Facebook, Youtube, Netflix. We’re talking about streaming, that’s happening across our networks. So, the technology these days are all accessible through your mobile device or even if a student have a laptop around campus. As I walk around campus, that has been many of the causes due to Internet interference and inconcisive high volume internet traffic.”

“We are under the highest pressure,” Castro said. “I mean the job of being an IT person is a 24/7 365 days a year job. In my position, it’s hard to be on vacation, when I’m on vacation I stay connected with my cellphone, when I’m home I have to stay in tune. I’m always checking my email. We are a customer service department. So, if we are not providing this technology or the tools to improve student success or faculty success and the way they facilitate courses, then it is a concern if those things don’t happen. We have worked through it and I’m very lucky to have a team I can help get them focus, I’ll take the blunt of the complaints and I make sure that the troubleshooting is being done, but I am handling all of the communications and also all of the tomatoes that are thrown at you so to speak.”

Many people want to know how Bernie and his team are fixing this situation. “There are two circuits that come into the college, those fiber optics circuits have been laid underground. We had fiber optics, but these are two brand new circuits that can hold more bandwidth. So, basically its future proofing. If we need more bandwidth we can keep adding to the number of band width.

When asked how long it be for the network to be fully operational Castro stated, “Hopefully before the end of March we will see full increase of speed that we have purchased.” Castro went on to talk about the semester before the network issues. “To me the most shocking thing is the semester before we had zero issues, but when September came we had lots of connection activity slow down. So I’m still trying to piece that puzzle together. Are the students from the spring semester different from the new fall semester? Probably yes, but again we have the infrastructure in place if want to keep going up in faster speeds, larger bandwidth, we can do that. The challenge is the more speed we give the campus, the more speed people are going to want to use. So we have to watch out for that. Everyone wants to download and watch movies faster but we have to find that balance. We’ll see and our focus is student success so the bandwidth inside  classroom is more important than what’s outside in a hallway. We have to be careful and find that balance. If students are able to login and students are able to do their work, then that’s a job well done. In this industry, in my position, its a constant guessing game.

The improvements made from last semester shows how Castro and his team are helping solve the problem. Let’s all hope the network will be fully operated at the end of March.                             

 

CCC-ROWAN POSSIBLE MERGER?

By Randell Leak

 

It appears that Cumberland County College and Rowan College at Gloucester County could possibly merge. Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said the counties are finding ways to deliver the best services possible to their residents. “These preliminary discussions are just that, discussions,” Damminger and Derella said in the statement. “Each Boards of Trustees and Boards of Chosen Freeholders would be remiss if we didn’t continue to explore enhanced educational opportunities, reduction of higher education costs, and opening access by paving the way for an easy transition into a Rowan University.”

 

Even if the discussions are just “discussions,” that doesn’t stop students or faculty from asking questions. When asked on how they feel about the possible merger, most of the students were shocked. They didn’t know anything about the merger. “I think it’s pretty cool,” a student studying at Cumberland County said. “I feel like it gives more opportunities to students. I mean, what if you wanted to major in a class the CCC doesn’t have? Then what? So it’ll be cool to see more majors at the college.” With some students bringing the positive effects of the merger, many bring the negative effects. “What will happen to the students already in college? Will they still be able to attend?” Many students questioned this, trying to find an answer, “Will their financial aid change? Where will classes be? Who will be the president? What will happen to the faculty? If someone gets a scholarship to either CCC or Rowan, will that scholarship still transfer? When asked about the possible merger, both presidents from Rowan and CCC said they have no comment.

 

“While it is too early to speculate the outcome, we do support the concept of seeking new ways of delivering the best services to our residents, weighing all options, pros and cons and we look further to a continued conversation on this idea, which will be done in the most transparent of manners,” Damminger and Derella said.

 

Gloucester County’s community college, re-branded three years ago as Rowan College of Gloucester County, with the total number of students in 2010 at 6,609 and with CCC’s total at 3,844, if the merger does happen then the total number of students will be approximately 10,500 students to serve.  And the faculty will be just as bad or worse. “There’s no way all the professors and teachers will be able to stay, so what will happen to CCC faculty. It’ll just be a mess,” a CCC student said when asked about their current faculty.

 

“Rowan University is growing at a really high rate, holds a designation as a Research Institution, and also maintains two medical schools. An opportunity to expand facilities and offerings does not present itself often, so taking the time to evaluate and consider options for the benefit of our students is important,” Damminger and Derella’s statement continued.

 

One idea discussed in a potential merger is possibly creating a “corridor of education and medicine along Route 55,” according to the county officials. Only time will tell if any of this merger is true. When asked for more information from CCC’s president’s office, Maryann Dombroski, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez’s assistant, stated, “ she [President Salomon-Fernandez] is unable to give interviews at this time. Please note that the process is at a very nascent stage. We are awaiting guidance from others.”  

 

The only thing the people of Cumberland County can do now is wait and see how this possible merger affects them, positively or negatively.

WHY SHOULD YOU TAKE SUMMER CLASSES?

By Randell Leak

 

Ahhh. . . . .the spring semester just ended. You’re chilling with your headphones on, blasting the hot new summer songs with the air condition on. Life is good, while you’re relaxing at home, there are people who are majoring in the same degree as you, that are taking summer classes. They might finish college early and will transfer to a four-year school, while you’re home playing Fortnite. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Fortnite, but if you really want to advance your academic career, summer classes are the right thing for you.

For starters the classes aren’t like the spring and fall ones, CCC summer classes are shorter than the fall and spring semesters. So, if a student needs a math or a speech class, they should talk with their advisors and make sure the class is in the summer schedule. CCC offers summer sessions I through IV.

Another reason you should take summer classes is the parking. If it’s one thing students hate besides waking up for morning classes, it’s lack of parking spaces. Either there’s no parking spots or if you parked, you can bet that when you come back in a few hours, there will two other cars that sandwiched your car in its spot. During the summertime, there’s not that many people who attend classes so parking is easier.  You can just walk in, do your work and head out.

Just about every school has some sort of credit minimum for graduation. Summer classes can help you reach that minimum. If you can find classes that help you in your major, you can work towards your degree taking major requirements or by registering for a general education course like speech or art. By taking summer classes, it alleviates taking a packed course load and you can finish the semester with a breeze.

Also, with a smaller class size, your professors can give you more personal attention. This can be quite beneficial, especially if you find it difficult to adjust to the accelerated pace of a summer session course and require help. The more intimate learning environment may help you succeed. During the summer term, you will be limited in the number of credits you can take. With a reduced course load, you will be able to focus more on the class or classes you’re enrolled in. This can be useful if you hope to ace a difficult course, like organic chemistry or calculus. But also you can block out distractions with the classes being smaller since not that many people take summer classes.

By all means, you do not have to take summer courses, the wonderful thing about them is that it’s optional. So, if the spring semester drained all your energy, you’re not alone, no one will judge you if you don’t register for summer semester, at least, I hope not. If you want to further your education and get ahead, by all means take a summer session class. If you have Financial aid, it can work with your 2017-2018 year as well. But if you think you need a break from college,  no one’s stopping you enjoy your break!