more than games: hci students present at quest.

Students in our human-computer interaction graduate program presented several sessions at Quest, many related to video games and learning. Among them:

Dan Young showing his project to have NAO robots perform Waiting for Godot to learn more about programming robot movement and simulating human actions.

 

Randy Belcher and Dan Cutler, with help from an audience volunteer, show the large amount of data one can obtain from the Xbox Kinect. They are using it to study body language and emotion. An audience member described it as "amazing ... potentially revolutionary" in possibly helping autistic children.

Joshua Farrell discusses his research of what motivates people who play video games, with potential implications for game developers and marketers.

Kevin Graham demonstrates the Rocksmith guitar-instruction system. He also talked about how studying it could shed lighting on electronic learning aids.

You can also see a video of Graham rocking out during his presentation.

Breath, Stretch, Meditate

Recently I find myself increasingly curious about meditation, yoga and obtaining peace of mind. I am not sure if it has to do with all of the Oprah programs I am watching or more the desire to find a way to keep my mind clear enough  to write when I am up against the deadline (as I always am). Truth be told it is a fair mixture of both, I am a huge fan of Oprah’s LifeClass  any Own program and I still have a 2 page analysis paper due from before spring break(please don’t judge me). Whatever it might be that is bringing on my constant stress and cloudy mind I have found that a few things actually help to clear it.

After years of wanting to do yoga I finally took a friend up on an invitation to join her at a Sunday afternoon session. The experience was a memorable one; me struggling to balance my self on one leg or hold positions with every muscle trembling while the rest of the class seemed to flawlessly glide from position to position. I lost track of how many times I said to myself ” I thought yoga was supposed to be relaxing and calm”. But as the session was concluding , I found myself down on my yoga mat calmly breathing , mind effortlessly drifting off unaware of the macho body building men who had earlier watched me head over to the yoga mats.

When the lights finally turned on and the instructor told us she looked forward to seeing us next week, I was floating over to my friend with the surrealist feeling of serenity I had have ever experienced. I felt somewhere in between sleep and euphoria. The rest of the day and subsequently the next one as well was filled with great clarity. In the time after, I spent nights  practicing breathing exercises to help settle my thoughts enough for me to fall asleep.

Since then I have developed a weekly routine of attending a Sunday evening yoga class courtesy of Oswego’s fitness centers. What has made my yoga classes even better was learning that other SUNY schools don’t all offer classes without paying a separate fee. How lucky are we to get a yoga class that not only winds down as the sun sets over the lake but not  have to pay an additional fee?

The health benefits of yoga are substantial I am sure but I’ll leave that up to a professional or someone with more knowledge on yoga practices to tell you. I’m just here to say yoga has definitely been a great stabilizer in my life.

A V-Date in Oswego

The Princeton Review and USA Today recently named SUNY Oswego a Best Value College, but with Valentines Day only a blink away that won’t be the only value Oswego students are looking for.

Let’s face it, most college students could stand to benefit from a good deal, between the cost of recently purchased text books, pesky parking tickets and late night orders of Zonies and Wontons their isn’t much money left over to spare.

Luckily I have you covered with the deals,dates and destinations necessary to make this a Valentines Day to remember!

 

The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. & The Wall

The Wine:

One of the Oswego’s most recent additions The Wall is an all inclusive rock climbing experience. -The well versed climbers can try their hand at bouldering, while those just looking for good amateur fun can opt for top ropes.

 

The Dine:

With an intimate but upbeat ambiance, The Red Sun Fire Roasting Co. is perfect for the down to earth couple who just likes to enjoy each others company while not breathing down each others neck (fella’s the TV’s by the bar allow you a chance to sneak a peek at the latest scores).

Ruby Tuesday & Lighthouse Lanes

 


The Wine:

Affordable, fun and classic, buy a few games and show each other what you’re made of. Bowling gives couples the opportunity to be active and engaged without having to worry about the awkward dead moments in between topics. (let her win the first two, then show her whose boss in the third and final games)


The Dine:

If you are in the seemingly proverbial “it’s complicated” area, Ruby Tuesday may just be right up your alley. A relatively affordable menu, a large variation of food choices to satisfy even the pickiest eater and a wine menu to turn it up a notch if the mood calls for such an occasion. Meet halfway and order the “Four Way Sampler”

 

 

Canales & Oswego 7 Cinema

The Wine

What can better than revisiting mankind know the best date…the movies! While Netflix gets the job done all other times during the semester this is definitely the day to catch the in theater flicks on the big screen. A order of nachos with an extra cheese and a large pepsi should hold you over for the duration of your


The Dine:

Not for feign at heart. Enter Canales when your romance game is ready for the big leagues. Everything from the exterior to the interior says “ Happy Valentines Day”.  This is dinner and sophistication done right. The low light, warm colors and cozy seating area is just right to discuss why you guys are made for each other. With filling portions you wont even mind when they reach over with their fork into your plate.

 

These are just a few of the many ways to celebrate this special occasion with someone special. Always remember the celebration and expectations should be in the level of effort and not the money spent.

~Enjoy!

Too Hot to Handle

 

 

 

I don’t know where you are right now but chances are it’s hot as blazes. I happen to be home on a week long vacate in NYC and I feel as though I moved onto the sun. According to my roommates and friends back in Oz, it’s no better there. I’m actually writing this in front of a fan by the way. For whatever reason the AC isn’t running in my house and this has lead me to delirium to some crazy thoughts, such as wishing I was back at Oz to jump in the lake.  My latest genius idea was just to soak my shirt in cold water and walk around outside like “its all good baby.”

Anyway. I was browsing the internet while I waited for my megavideo time limit to pass (trying to catch up on The Office) and I came across an article on yahoo.com about the top ten ways to stay cool. I cannot attest for all of them ( like “leave cabinets open as well, as they will store heat.”) but I do know from experience that putting you fan by the window does bring in the greatest natural cool air mankind has ever felt in his room. Of course you need to have somewhat of a breeze blowing outside for this to work and right now there is none -_- . However desperate hot times , call for desperate cool off measures so give the list a once over and see what may or may not work for you. In the meantime I’m going to go give # 4 on the list a try.

 

( source link)

The Triangle of Life

Man, this may be the most accurate portrayal of school college. When I use to play the “you only get 2 games” I always got fustrated because I could never decide which I wanted. Yet here I am , again always stuck trying to decide between the three. Could this have been the source of my recent frustrations?

Maybe, but chances are it has more to do with these 4 major classes I am taking and trying to stay afloat in. Whatever the reason , it all leads back to this triangle. There has been a lack of consistency on my part this semester. At times, I’ve laid under the covers and said “rest!” then only but a few times, I have decided to go out and party and or drink(soda) all night long. Truest in its location however right at the top, hanging over my head has been the reminder that I want those great grades (not good). At times this has meant I went beast. Just running all around, staying up till all times of night, making a home of the library. Mostly though I have stressed myself to miserable levels and abandoned my promise to self to make sure I am taking time to enjoy life a little.

The sad truth (to me at least) about this triangle is that there is no one right way to approach it. In my eyes there is only room for one other choice. Getting good grades are not an option, nor should it be optional . But again to each their own, “Live let Live”. This leaves the conundrum of choosing between sleep and social life. For a couple of weeks I decided to choose sleep but that did me no good. It left me tense and ready to blow over like a pressure cooker. You see if you do what is required of you academically, you owe it to yourself to take a few moments if not hours to just enjoy the simpler or more carefree parts of life. Beware however it comes with a price, that price being precious time outside of your twin size bed  and head under the covers.

So I guess there is no way to truly win or to come out successful is there? I’m lost and still trying to figure it out. Maybe you have the answer though. If so , don’t act stingy share it with the rest of the world!!! Me 0_0!

Good Friends

Its no secret that life is hard. It starts off pretty rough when you really think about it, the first thing you do fresh out the womb is cry. What makes life enjoyable are those three things above though. Friends really is primary the other two come when you have close friends. It always amazes me how the worst possible situations can be made to at least be a bearable experience if not memorable “remember that time” story.

I am truly blessed because these are first hand experiences I’m speaking on. I have the best friends in the world and that’s why I’m happy so often. This weekend was more of the same. My friends came to Oswego so of course I had to show them to a good time. I was the host trying to do the most, making sure that they had as much fun as possible. The weekend was about them , but err then it wasn’t. What ended up happening was that they made my weekend.I’m so happy these dudes were here to join us and turn it up. The camaraderie , the jokes , the failed night turned into the joke of the weekend. Yeah, I’m grateful that I can say those guys as my friends. The LEAST I could do is let them know how much love I have for them. The LEAST!

-NYR Nation baby!

My Last Semester

As I am about to begin my last semester in Oswego I am sitting down and reflecting on the long journey that I have embarked on. It has definitely been an interesting one, I have made countless friends, seen beautiful and wonderful things, exposed myself to new cultures, learned about myself, learned how to multi-task, stepped out of my comfort zone, explored new boundaries and became a responsible adult.

I can remember my very first time stepping foot onto the SUNY Oswego Campus. I came all the way from the Bronx with my bags heading to Oswego to move in. I never had the opportunity to visit the campus before I got here but somehow I knew deep down Oswego was the place for me. So I got on the greyhound and arrived in Syracuse New York. I walked inside the regional transportation center and asked when the next Centro bus would be going to the SUNY Oswego Campus. I soon found out that the last bus left close to six o’clock. I looked down at my watch and realized the time was past 7.

I was in complete shock and could not believe that the bus system shut down so early. I grew up in the Bronx, NY and was completely oblivious to the fact that things did not work the same way upstate. Stores, Buses, and pretty much everything that I was accustomed to being open all night closed down earlier than what I was prepared for. As I stared at my watch in amazement a million thoughts raced through my mind such as What Will I Do? Where Will I sleep? What Will I Eat? Will This Station Shut Down and Force Me to Sleep Outside? Will I Be Safe In this Area?

I then thought to myself I have one thing working to my advantage, At least it’s not raining outside. I went to take a seat before I heard a loud crack of thunder and the rain begin to pour. The only thing I could do was look at the sky and ask “Are you kidding me”? I could not believe the situation I was in. Luckily there was another student from SUNY Oswego in the bus station whom I overheard saying that the last bus to Oswego had already left. I approached him and asked if he attended the school, he was indeed a student and had friends coming to pick him up. He told me I can catch a ride with them and then the first thing that came to mind was that God Works In Mysterious Ways. Once his friends arrived we were off on the road to Oswego which seemed like an eternity to me just for the fact that I had never been to the campus and I didn’t know how far away it was.

After finally arriving on Campus I was in love with the environment. I lived In Cayuga Hall and absolutely loved the dorm life there. There were ping pong tables, pool tables, board games, movies, a Big screen Television, and various other things in the lounge. I could not believe my eyes. I said wow! People actually have fun while in College? I went to the dining Hall and could not believe all the food and drinks that were available. It just was a beautiful site.

During my college years I had Tons of Fun, learned so much information in and outside of the classroom, learned how to prepare myself for the real world, and just grew dramatically as a person.

I am now ready to take my last couple of classes and step foot into what people call the “Real World”. That is another journey that I can’t wait to begin.

Four Years, Millions of Memories

I’m finally settling back into the groove of things in Oswego, and it’s starting to hit me that I’m a senior. What?! Yes, a senior! After four long, yet unbelievably fast years, there are only seven months left until graduation. Therefore, this is a blog of reminiscence. And if you know me well, you understand that I often live my life with a camera close by. Here are the most important lessons I learned at college, and the pictures to express them.

1. The friends you make here will give you the memories you’ll never forget.

I’ve come to know so many people, but there are a few that I know will be with me forever. These people take classes with you, go to lunch with you, hit parties with you, and eat absurd amounts of food with you (Subshop, Zonies, Enzo’s, Azteca’s, Rudy’s etc).

From top left, clockwise: Jeff, Dylan, Me, Kyle, Meghan!

2. Get involved in organizations — you’ll learn much more than in just the classroom.

After working at The Oswegonian for three years, I’m confident that I’ve developed the skills I need to enter into the journalism field after graduation.

The 'Gonian before we switched to broadsheet in 2009!

3. Find something you’re passionate about.

I joined Colleges Against Cancer my freshman year, even though it had just launched. This organization has people with so much heart, and I love working in Relay for Life each year to help work toward a day when cancer can be cured.

My 2009 RFL team!

Now I’ve launched Ed2010 at Oswego State, an organization that helps students break into the magazine industry. I want Oswego State students to understand that just because we go to a small school doesn’t mean you can’t make big dreams a reality! So if you’re interested in working in magazines, join our Facebook group here!

4. If you have a good roommate, stick with them.

People often dread figuring out who their roommate is going to be each year. Will they like me? Will I hate them? Are we going to have conflicting schedules? How do we set ground rules? Fortunately, I found a great roomie. Meghan Stewart and I have been living together for three years now and we currently share a house off-campus with another fantastic friend, Kayleigh Kimberly. Which brings me to my sub-point: be nice to your R.A’s! They could end up being one of your closest friends. Kayleigh was my R.A. and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

Meghan, Kayleigh and I

5. Get a job.

Believe me, it’s so much nicer when you have a continuous flow of money coming into your bank account. And you can’t rely on Mom and Dad forever (nor should you), so you might as well start weaning yourself now.  I’ve worked at the campus fitness centers for three years and my co-workers are like a family. Some of them even took me to Canada for my 19th birthday!

My gym family in Canada for my 19th!

6. Don’t force relationships…

Too many people go into college trying to sustain high school relationships. If that’s what’s really meant to be, then good for you. But don’t hang onto something that you shouldn’t! College is about growing and getting to know yourself. I was single for two and a half years and it was one of the best decisions of my life.

7. But if you find someone great, don’t be afraid to commit.

Notice I said number six was one of the best decision of my life. Knowing when to take a chance on love was another great decision. I met Dustin during my sophomore year and we started dating during spring semester (We’ve been together nearly two years now). We were just friends first and he’s become one of my best friends. So my advice is find someone you can talk to, that you love being around, that you can trust. Someone you can laugh with (and at), who listens to your biggest fears and encourages your wildest dreams. That’s when you know it’s worth pursuing.

Dustin and I in N.Y.C. for New Year's Eve

These are the most valuable life lessons that come to me immediately. What are some of the things you’ve learned in college?