The “all-in-one” project: living online cheaply for the benefit of yourself and others

I’ve been working on an idea for quite a while now. Essentially my years in the public areas of the internet and in MMO communities have taught me that living online has many benefits. I won’t go through and list them all here, but will say that these benefits can be seen in the positive effects living online has for people who have a fear of public spaces, disabled players or people who need someone to talk to.

I’ve combined my wish for making some sort of difference in this world (big wish, I know) with my obsessions for an all-in-one, cheap online lifestyle. What this means is that I dream of one device, a device that allows me to play games, socialize and record my life easily and cheaply. Now, thanks to so many great services from giants like Google (voice, email, photos, etc.) someone can communicate online on the cheap or for free.

My love for Chromebooks come from the fact that many of them come with free Verizon internet (100 mbs per month for free, moves up from there) and the fact that (as an example) a disabled player can jump online — even without current wifi — upload a blog post about how they felt that day, communicate with friends, make a video blog and play a lot of different online games (including MMOs that will easily run on anything) and can do it all without really needing the stiffest connection possible.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that my connection is crazy good and I will leave it that way. But my goal is to live one day using this all-in-one lifestyle as an example for those who cannot afford anything else.

Why?

Good question. I want to do this partially because I like expressing myself online. I feel safe in the public. I never felt better until I was finally able to tell the web my real last and first name. While any of us can be the victims of trolls or hackers, I think someone who lives publicly is a bit safer… after all, if I disappear there are a lot of people who might notice! :)

Second, I want to help poor people. That’s easy to say and sounds crude, but I think an internet connection can help people — especially younger people — express themselves, gather information and get help with homework or other chores. One day I imagine a physical school will be only something from the past, and having access to the internet will be a requirement.

If I can get the right tools within the next several months, I plan on living this way — cheaply, all-in-one, to show how it can be done. I also want to organize a few communication sessions with people who could use or do use this sort of setup. I would love to host a few roundtables with disabled players, players from other countries or people who live in places with little or no internet connection to see how the internet and how getting online benefits them.

We’ll see. I’m working on the details now.

Beau

2 thoughts on “The “all-in-one” project: living online cheaply for the benefit of yourself and others

  1. “One day I imagine a physical school will be only something from the past, and having access to the internet will be a requirement.”

    I hope this does happen. I like the model shown in Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One. Children are given free VR glasses and haptic gloves so they can got to school in OASIS, A MMO simulation that replaced the internet. In this enviroment bullying/trolling is impossible as the simulation edits it out. Teachers do not have to spend time dealing with disruptive pupils and can focus on more engaging educating. The book also has a lot of 80/90′s nostalgia for those of us geeks who grew up during those decades.

    The upcoming release of devices like Oculus Rift for gaming and headmounted displays for accesing the web make this kind of vision seem more possible than ever, especially with the power of mobile devices and the growing spread of connectivity. I think that VR and AR gear could be as big a change to our online world as the touchscreen device has been to mobile computing.

    The only drawbacks I can see are that most low cost web connections have restrictive data caps and people may still be concerned about how there online info could be used or should I say misused.

  2. I’m wondering if even lower-cost connections will eventually become what we have now, as our more robust connections just keep going up and up? Sort of like how a netbook bought now is much more powerful than a gaming desktop from some years ago?

    I now have a 150/65 mbps connection, and it can be moved up to 300 soon. I don’t know anyone who has less than a cable connection. I wonder how long before even the poorest areas get some access?

    I’ll check out that book. Sounds cool!

    Beau

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