By Stephanie Ricker Schulte
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This page intentionally left blank 1 The “WarGames Scenario” Regulating Teenagers and Teenaged Technology Many Americans “experienced” computer networking for the first time in 1983 by watching a young Matthew Broderick nearly blow up the world. 1 Lightman plays what he thinks is a game called “Global Thermonuclear War” and unintentionally brings the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of global destruction. ”2 Following NBC, every major American news media organization questioned government and military officials about whether the film’s fictional plot, or the “WarGames Scenario,” could actually happen.
Another noted that Jobs named his company after a job he had working in an Oregon orchard and that he and his business partner got the capital to fund their first computer company from selling Jobs’s VW van, an icon of the 1960s counterculture. Time quoted tech-investor Don Valentine’s description of his first meeting with Steve Jobs. ” Like the notion that a “new breed of whiz kids” existed, this comment suggested that Steve Jobs was different biologically and at war with the previous generation.
The cover’s text branded computing youths the “Computer Generation: A New Breed of Whiz Kids,” suggesting computing was so significant that it merited a generational (if not biological) boundary. ”66 These teens had special, powerful abilities as a result of the mediated environment in which they were raised. For example, “Unlike anyone over 40, these children have grown up with TV screens; the computer is a screen that responds the way they want it to. ”68 Like this issue of Time, most media representations conceptualized generational difference mapped along lines of computer ability.