This is where thoughts become things.

Hi, I'm Daniela. Welcome to my personal lair on the Internet. This is where I write about storytelling, activism, technology and pop culture. Sometimes I post videos. I update my lair when the mood strikes me. Follow me on Twitter for daily updates (@dcap).

Tag : colorado

Brain Leaks: Parenthood On Facebook — Pt 2 — Social Gaming Consequences

A recent headline inspired me to take a weeklong Facebook Detox, starting today: A northern Colorado woman who was playing a game on Facebook while her 13-month-old drowned in a bathtub was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison. Shannon Johnson, 34, was so consumed by that day’s session of Café World that she didn’t think twice about leaving her baby alone in a tub full of water.

AP reports that Johnson put her son in the tub for his bath a little after 8:30 a.m. on Sept. 20. She then left him unsupervised as she went to another room to share videos, check status updates and play Café World on Facebook.

So while her child drowned, Johnson was enjoying the psychological rewards of being in charge of her own virtual restaurant, making her way to the top of Zynga‘s fake culinary world.

Zynga, the creator of FarmVille and a lot of other social games, has a talent for ripping off products from other companies and creating their own addictive Facebook games that are particularly popular with mothers.

Let me just preface the rest of this post by saying that I’m not into slippery slope talk. Obviously, not every parent who enjoys social gaming on Facebook is going to make the same negligent mistake that Johnson did. However, I’m bringing this up anyway to raise a concern that I have about how social gaming impacts family life and the gamer’s view of his/her own abilities.

There are many studies being released these days about the cognitive benefits of gaming. Quest 2 Learn, a digital school in NYC, uses gaming as part of their curriculum. So clearly, gaming isn’t the enemy. Games didn’t kill little Joseph. Negligence did. Before gaming hit the mainstream, parents went to jail for accidents that happened while they watched TV. Today, it’s happening all over the world because of gaming addictions. Same problem — different platform. (more…)

Summer Travels & Musings: Family Reunion 2008

I have been offline for a while (not counting tweets) because I went to my first family reunion in Denver, Colorado.

Along with my mother, brother and my mother’s sister (Auntie Ginger), I also spent time with my stepfather Larry Rose and my stepsister Wayane. We all shared a townhouse in downtown Denver during our stay in Colorado. Larry and Wayane were able to meet my mother’s extended family for the first time, something that I could relate to.

Larry is Jewish and Wayane is Indonesian/Dutch/Jewish so our childhood was always filled with a hodgepodge of traditions and exceptions.

My mother, Carolina Castillo Rose, was born in a primarily Mexican migrant mining town near Denver, Colorado. Her mother’s maiden name was Castillo, but this reunion came through her father (my grandfather) so I met a lot of family named Montez. I didn’t know I had so many relatives (or relatives named Montez).Up until now, I have always been more familiar with my father’s side of the family, bound by the restrictions of geography.

I was born in California, where most of my father’s family has been for generations. The Capistrano clan are (for the most part) much darker and more Native American/Chicano in appearance, while my mother’s side is more fair-skinned. They are both Mexicanos but as (most) people know, Latinos come in all colors. It was interesting to be around family members who look like my mother and who’s facial expressions at times reminded me of my brother, and even of myself.