I did get those career manuals…

…and…eh, how do I say this?

Reading selected bits of the books I took with me today…made it clear how rapidly technology is moving.  The two books on which I can remember checking the copyright date, were both eight to nine years old.  They were still talking about music cassettes and VHS tapes and CD-ROMs.  Granted — the publishing date was around 2007; the material within the book itself may have been accumulated around the late 1990’s to early 2000’s.

Have we come that far?

And to where are we advancing?

Is it ever going to stop?

Obviously, computers impact all of the fields I’m interested in.  There are three main areas I’m considering, with various levels of lucrativeness, pay, impact, and job stability.

  1. Library and Information Science — Digital Archives (intellectual/technical)
  2. Editing (writing/social[?])
  3. Graphic Design (visual/design)
  4. (Freelance Writing)
  5. (Freelance Illustration)

Those last two are in parenthesis because freelancing isn’t steady pay.  As avocations:

  1. Blogging (writing/technical/social)
  2. Fine Arts — Drawing and Painting (color/visual/design)
  3. Handcraft — Beadwork/Macrame/Embroidery/Needlecraft (color/sculptural/design)
  4. (Silversmithing/Metal Clay — Art Jewelry)

…though I’m really not certain about the Art Jewelry portion of that, right now.  (It’s kind of hazardous to be playing at, though Metal Clay is a bit intriguing, when combined with more traditional silversmithing.  The problem is that it requires a kiln or prolonged torch heat.  The latter is iffy as to the outcome; the former starts out expensive and only gets more expensive.)

Artistic, Investigative, Realistic are my top Holland Code Scores.  The Realistic and the Investigative seem to launch me toward a LIS occupation, though my lack of sway towards the Conventional axis predisposes me to work more along the line of…what I see represented by ASIS&T, more so than the ALA (though I’m a member of neither, at the moment, so what do I know).  I have enough of a Conventional score (and enough other reasons) to want a secure income, it seems…and I am not entirely certain that my psychological disposition means I’m unsuited to library work.

However, the desire for job security swings me back towards either Editing (though this is also often freelanced) or LIS.  Editing and LIS probably also have the biggest psychological payoffs — as regards me using my mind for something that will make a difference in the world.

Graphic Design, Editing, and LIS all require different skill sets upon the computer.  Of these, I’d say that it’s likely that LIS is by far the most sophisticated and apt use for it.  I didn’t realize it before, but it does nestle neatly in with my earlier Social Sciences interests in college (so, for instance, I’ve already taken Statistics).  As for Graphic Design and Editing…I’ve got to do some more digging and comparison to really understand the job outlooks and pay scales, though right now I’m really thinking LIS is my best option.  If nothing else, it will broaden my skill base so that I can develop a library system for a later employer.

I still want to make-over the Internet Sacred Text Archive…

So…I was playing around earlier tonight.  I rarely ever play video games anymore, but this time I went to the Virtual Console on my Wii, and started playing Secret of Mana.  This is a game which probably came out around 20 years ago…I always wanted to play it, as it looked intriguing, but it was published on the SNES, which was not a platform we had (we had a SEGA Genesis; my cousins had the SNES).

Lo and behold, the Wii comes out, and a lot of these old legacy titles like Secret of Mana, and to be more recent, Majora’s Mask, are uploaded to the Virtual Console.  This means that one does not have to have an aging and now obsolete gaming system which isn’t being supported anymore (like the SNES or N64) — in working order — to be able to play these games.

And, hey.  Virtual Archives.  That’s it, isn’t it?  Keeping technologically obsolete works and titles accessible and functional in the present day and into the future?  (Or at least through their life cycle — 84 years from now, I’m not sure anyone is going to miss having played LOOM in the 1990’s.  However, they would likely miss all the Clinton archives.)

Given that this is Nintendo, access to these particular games isn’t free, as I’m thinking that they have to pay off the people who converted the titles into usable formats, and redeveloped them for — in this case, the Wii platform.  But the way technology is going, is really interesting to me.  There seems to be a lot more emphasis on sharing and open-sourcing programs, than I’m used to being exposed to.  The purchase costs for the games I’m talking about are also not very high, and there are games made by developers who are newcomers to the industry…some of them, kind of ingenious.

I was drawn to the Wii moreso than to the PS3 (was it PS2, back then?) or XBox series, because of Nintendo’s experimentation with unconventional titles which were not focused around realistic depictions of horror and gore.  Granted that I’m not in the Cooking Mama target market, but I have enough horror in my world without adding to it.

And yeah, Silent Hill:  Shattered Memories did push me a bit, even though it wasn’t realistic gore.  The art mannequin in my office freaked me out for a while after I watched that…(I wasn’t naive enough to buy it; I just laughed when it freaked out the person who did [the Silent Hill series still freaks out my sibling]; then I saw it, and dangly parts.  OMG.)

And given all of that, I still don’t play video games on a regular basis anymore.  This is largely because I have had a hard time putting a finger on how exactly my life is any better after I’ve completed one.  This is not so much the case with educational games…like, I remember from growing up, Nobunaga’s Ambition, which actually seems to have referenced some actual history (the Warring States era of Japan), but I can’t be sure at this point to what extent (I wasn’t the biggest fan of this game, but I remember others playing it).  Or, Pirates! Gold, which was about being a pirate in the Caribbean over several different scenarios which were based in history.

There are a number of other games I’ve played which did not incite unwanted anxiety in me…which, you know, I can appreciate.

Though, despite not wanting the gore, LoK:  Soul Reaver was a pretty engaging game.  If you’re into wraiths hovering above your head and sucking out your soul, that is.  But, the upshot of that is that in the game, you’re basically immortal, and just start over when you get your soul sucked out.

Hmm.  I never did get anywhere in the next installment in that series…I think I only played the demo, which was pretty spare.  (I really wish they would have just released Soul Reaver late, and actually completed building the rest of the game.  I think we would have forgiven them.)

And can I say:  major reason I went for English in college is that I knew it was a prerequisite for writing for a magazine.  Like the electronic gaming magazines.  Which, my sibling actually inquired about, as a teen.  What I didn’t know is that the reviews in the gaming magazines were written, probably, by freelancers…like one of my sibling’s friends…and they don’t pay the bills.



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Haru ("Codey") is a third-year Master's student in Library and Information Science, hoping to find a way to fuse their desire to make the world a better place and to finance their art.

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