Jennifer A. Spry
December 2, 2012
Technological convergence is when technologies currently in use are combined or improved to form newer technologies. The internet is one example of technological convergence. It has brought together the radio, games, books, television and much more. In the past, each entertainment medium had to be played on a specific device. Video displayed on a television through some type of video player, music came through a tape deck or Compact Disc (CD) player, and video games were played through a console of some sort. Technological convergence has resulted in devices that not only interact with the media they are primarily designed to handle, but also with a number of other formats. Digitalization and convergence allows people to do these entertainment activities from the palm of their hand via a Smartphone, iPad, iTouch, or eReader, and schools such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard and Abilene Christian University have started projects that provide students with equipment to access the college databases anywhere within campus grounds. The convergence of technology has the potential to simplify life’s activities, but caution must be used because making things in life to easy could produce catastrophe. The animated movie WALL-E, produced by Pixar, depicts what could happen if convergence goes too far. These advancements have touched almost every aspect of modern living. Along with the positive effects of convergence come social implications, as well as, improvements to education and the medical field.
There are many people who have been credited with the invention and improvements of the radio. However, Lee De Forest’s work resulted in amplitude-modulated (AM) radio. (about.com, n.d.). Because the radio is a combination of the telegraph and the telephone, convergence, although not yet discovered or named, was present and effected the invention of the radio. (about.com, n.d.). Early models of the radio did not transmit voice over air. These machines were only capable of sending signals. The first sound of music heard was sent down a telephone wire and in 1921 people heard radio broadcast just as it is today. (didyouknow.com, n.d.).
Before the creation of video games, people played board games like, checkers and chess. Adults used playing cards to play games like poker, while children used jacks and their imagination. In 1967 Ralph Baer, a German television engineer, and his coworkers designed the first gaming console. They named it “the brown box” because it was just what the name described it to be, a brown box with video capability. This game console originally had only one game called chase. It was much like a game of tag that was played on a television. It pictured two small squares, controlled by the user with a controller that chased each other around the television screen. In the following years, Magnavox would produce a newer console better then the first called the Odyssey in 1972, but in 1975 a man named Nolan Bushnell designed yet another gaming console called, Atari, that would place gaming consoles in people’s homes. Convergence continued to evolve the gaming console for the next eight years. In 1983, the gaming world crashed because of the sublicensing of games and programs. The crash made it hard for this industry to recover until Japan introduced the Famicon, known as the Nintendo in the United States, in 1985. (Time.com, n.d.). Stores that previously marketed gaming consoles, such as Sears, were very cautious about the marketability of the new home gaming system. The Nintendo breathed life back into the gaming world and convergence brought smaller consoles like the Game boy, Game boy Advanced and Nintendo DS, as well as, more graphically intense systems like the Super NES, the Playstaion (1, 2, and 3), and the Xbox. Today games are not only played on consoles, but are also played on the desktop and...