Professor Mordarm's Mad Ramblings

My mad thoughts on tech, news, and geek phenomenon.

The 48 Hour Media Blackout Project – The Results (Part 3)

Posted by Professor Mordarm on March 24, 2010

Day 2 – Hour 32

A new media-less dawn arrives.

As I stirred with the sun peaking though my window, I happened to look at my clock: 8:00am Sunday. I muttered something unintelligible even to me as I was hoping to sleep in some more and kill a few more hours, but Morpheus had left for other more worthy (and sleepy) dreamers. So I fumbled for my pen and journal for today’s new entry.

Written Entry – Hour 32: I’m up at 8:00am on Sunday. I usually sleep in on Sunday. Why am I up so early on a Sunday?! Ok, back up,  way to moody this morning. This media blackout project is making me act weird. Well, honestly no weirder than usual. Anyway my plan for today is: Bus trip to meet up with Sunday RPG group and hang out. Afterwards, not too sure what to do next. I’ll figure it out later but first, nature calls…

So after the normal personal duties, I went over my schedule. Knowing my time is both my enemy and friend I decided to go early and make an extended bus trip and see the town. It sounded like a good idea at the time but…well I’ll allow my next entry to explain.

Written Entry – Hour 35: Tried to take the scenic route on the bus today. Took the wrong bus, ended up at the airport. Backtracked and took correct bus but bus broke down. Now on replacement bus and now I have a fellow two seats down babbling away at his paper bag. Yes, apparently the bag (and the booze bottle in it) had the gall to run out of booze. Oh man, I think he is going to be sick…(writing scrawls off here)

Written Entry – Hour 35 PS: The things I get to experience in the name of this project. Joy.

Day 2 – Hour 36

Adventures in dodging.

After avoiding drunken organic projectiles, I finally arrived at my destination. Happily escaping the bus of doom, I hopped off and hurried to the site to meet my friends. Then as I approached I realized I had another slight problem.

Doh, media everywhere!

Fortunately I did not have to wait long as one of my friends from my RPG group arrived. Greeting each other he immediately noticed that I had not set up any of my tech gear. When he asked about my lack of equipment (no pun intended), I explained about the project and my involvement in the undertaking. Nonplussed at first, my friend then decided on his own to help me out.

As I could not access any printed reading material (i.e. the rule books) he pulled out his own laptop, pulled up the PDF flies and helped me to do character creation by reading out loud to me as needed. Soon the rest of the group arrived, each toting their own gear of books, laptops and dice.

As soon as I explained my situation, they grinned among themselves. They found it quite humorous and gave me some good-natured ribbing. But they were also quite flexible as well, making adjustments and reading to me rules and concepts as I needed them.

The other guy on my right used his iPhone. 😛

Written Entry – Hour 39: Into hour 3 of the gaming session without my access to RPG media. Despite my inability to access my laptop for rule books and such, I was rather able to put a character together though outside aid from my comrades. I have noticed though everyone here other than me is using a media device of some sort to supplement their gaming. When did this group shift from paper and pencil to electronic PDF files?! It just seemed to work its way slowly into the group. Kind of like fungus. Ugh, bad analogy.

I was quite pleased and surprised on how my friends adapted to the situation I was in. Other than pausing for someone to read me a rule or two it went rather smoothly. The only real hiccup was that every time I had to make a restroom break I had to slip past the racks of comics without looking at them. The store employees were giving me odd looks as used my hands to block the side view of my vision as I went back and forth from the restroom to the game room.

And today was new issue day! Arrgh!

Day 2 – Hour 42

After the end of the session we gathered for our usual after-gaming dinner at the local restaurant. The subject during those dinners is usually whatever geek trend has caught our attention that week. But the subject drifted now and then to my project. Some of them wondered why would I do such a thing, while others just teased me with various bad jokes of: “Don’t read the menu! It’s media!” or “Cover your ears, the restaurant is gonna play background Muzak!

Now normally I head home not long after these get together dinners but this time I purposely stuck around, chatting away and drinking many cups of coffee. Before I knew it, the sun was already setting and it was getting late. Hitching a ride from one of my gaming buddies I returned home.

Day 2 – Hour 44

Written Entry – Hour 44: My friend Sean from the gaming group decided to hang out after dropping me off at the house. We talked geek, tech and RPG speak. Great way to kill more time, though he did setup his laptop and played M.U.G.E.N. to tease me while we chatted. Need to prank him later.

After saying my goodbyes for the night, I gathered all the journal notes, photos and videos together and proceeded to try to organize the material so I could decided how to present this in my blog. But as I could not access my laptop to edit photos, videos and write a draft or two, I did it manually. Not an easy thing to do and I was getting impatient to access my media.

Day 2 – Hour 47 and counting

Written Entry – Hour 47: 1 hour to go. Hand is getting cramped writing possible drafts and this entry. Time is seemingly slowing to a crawl as I keep checking the clock on my wall. Need to pull out the alarm I set up to let me know when the project ends. I wonder how much I info I have missed these past 48 hours. Would I’ve cared if I had missed it? Something to think about later.

The Final Countdown!

So how do I sum up the experience? Personally compared to doing this 10 years ago, I felt the loss of my media more keenly now than before. This project forced me to rediscover viewpoints and habits that I’ve lost sight over the years. Going out on the town. How to deal with boredom. Talking more often to a live person. How to cope.

One of my friends asked me if I had to do this longer would I be able to cope. I responded by mentioning a chance meeting I had with three people during Day 1 in the coffee shop. These three, Jessica (National Guard), Rob (U.S Army) and Brenda (U.S Army Reserves) had just gotten out of basic training (9 weeks without media as well) and were having their last weekend before going off for further training . When I mentioned my media blackout project and how frustrating it was dealing with lack of personal media for 2 days, they just smiled and after a moment, Jessica responded:

“I agree it is tough, but you’ll adapt. You have to or go crazy. But you are not alone. Your (battle) buddies are there to help you and you to help them in return.” – Jessica

All in all, a great way to remind someone who even though we are more media-tech based than ever in human history, we are still at the core, human and still need that real human contact.

-Professor Mordarm

Photos and videos by Professor Mordarm ©2010


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