Author Archives: Arjoon H

Video Games: Scapegoat or Real Threat? by Arjoon H.

As the new age of technology dawns on us we see that many things have changed. From the everyday workers to the most skilled artisan, they all have been replaced by some form of technology. This may seem like a negative thing but in fact is has been crucial to the advancement of the human race. Technology has affected all of our lives in one form or another. For children, growing up in this age, they are exposed to social media, the ease of access of information and video games. Based off of two interviews, an article from EBSCO and from LexisNexis I will prove that with recent studies, video games have not made children of the new technology age less empathetic to the tragedies of the world around them as well as look into what those on the opposing side has to say.

The first thing that happens in this new age is the digitizing of all the information and also the way we perform our day to day tasks. For adults it went from doing everything by hand with pen and paper to sitting in a cubicle staring at a computer screen for eight hours. For children it went from playing basket ball and man hunt outside to playing NBA 2K16 and C.O.D. Black Ops III. With this change we have seen children become less interested in the real world and more connected to a fantasy world. This world of battlefields and violence has many people convinced that they are the reason why shootings and violence has been on a rise. According to Nick Bilton, ” Researchers believe that the constant flood of violent images takes away a child’s ability to feel empathy for people who have been through similar situations in real life..(Bilton par 11).” Bilton states that the researchers believe that these things happen because of violent games. There is no real proof that this is the case. The only thing they can do is speculate based on observation however with no real evidence to back their theories they carry no weight to them. Bilton also goes on to point out that, ” After the Sandy Hook shootings in Connecticut, when it became clear that Adam Lanza was a fan of first-person shooters, including the popular military game Call of Duty President Obama said Congress should find out once and for all if there was a connection between games and gun violence. (Bilton par 20).” Now he is not saying that because Mr. Lanza was a fan of these games, this is the reason that he decided to do what he did. Bilton is simply stating that being exposed to these scenarios from an early age can cause impaired judgment about how to resolve situations. This impairment can come from being used to seeing one thing over and over, shooting people, to thinking that this kind of action will be appropriate for their own problems. However all this speculation from highly resolved people still does not prove what they think is right. For example, it is not true to say that just because I enjoy fighting games that I, myself, am a violent person. Actually its quite contrary, I am more pacifist than anything however the reason I enjoy these games is not for the violence but for one, I enjoy a challenge, and two, I enjoy the art of fighting and studying how the body moves when performing certain strikes and poses. This is where the problem lies with the adults and children. They do not ask why they like these things they just see and formulate an opinion with no real evidence. According to one of my sources, who’s name shall not be given but for the purposes of this essay shall be named Tony, ” I have played many video games throughout my time, from the fighting games at the arcade to the ones they have now and I do not find that I am any more violent than I was in 1985. (Tony par 5).” What this is saying is that yes the world has changed and become more violent it is unfair to blame video games for this upraise. “The mass shootings in recent years in Newtown, Conn. and Aurora, Colo., were both committed by young men who had regularly played first-person shooters. But of course, tens of millions of young men play these games and never commit acts of violence (Bilton par 6).” This goes along with the Sandy Hook shooters story and those people are undoubtedly correct. The fact of the matter is that people do not want to accept responsibility for whatever actions they have performed and instead they look for a scapegoat to place the blame on.

Almost all children today have a gaming system. From PlayStation 4, to Xbox One, to Nintendo Wii, it is safe to assume that the majority of the houses in the nation has at least one of these systems. These systems are becoming more and more interactive and able to do more things. Initially they were to just play games, but now they can stream movies, and even browse the web. With all these innovations so too has the world of gaming. Not only can a child play the game on his system but he can connect to the web and enjoy gaming with other children across the world. Many parents believe that their child is getting caught up in this fantasy world and they begin to fear that whatever they see in that world will transfer into the real one. It does seem like a logical conclusion based on the fact that children are so impressionable. However we must look at the facts of at hand. To say that a child does not know the difference between right from wrong in terms of  killing another should not be blamed on the makers of the game but rather on the parents themselves. According to Tony, “Over the years I have seen kids who, [growing up], didn’t have any type of video games or even knew what a joystick was turn into very violent people while I’ve seen those who used to be the first to play any type of fighting game become COO’s of large corporations. It is not to blame entertainment for a negative upbringing of a child but rather the blame should be placed on the child’s parents who should have known to teach them right from wrong. (Tony par 8)” This just goes to show how quick people want to place the blame of something negative  on something else other than themselves. Once parents raise their children with the right set of common sense then they should know the difference between a game and reality. To add, according to the graph presented on page six of ” I Wish I Were A Warrior: The Role Of Wishful Identification In The Effects Of Violent Video Games On Aggression In Adolescent Boys” by Elly A Konijn, Bijvank Nije Marije and Brad J. Bushman the only real damage to be concerned about with children and violent videogames is the potential ear damage that they can cause. Violent videogames tend to be louder than its non-violent counter parts because they have so much going on that you have to keep the volume up to really understand what the situation is in the game, especially in the online games. Their research also states that, “Boys in early to middle adolescence and of low educational ability are susceptible to violent video game effects. Participants were especially likely to identify with characters when the games were realistic and when they felt immersed in the game. These results are also in line with previous theorizing ( Konijn, Marije, Bushman, 7).” Even though they set out to prove the exact opposite of my argument, they have provided undeniable evidence that says otherwise to theirs and is in conjunction with mine. Those with “low educational ability” are more susceptible to relating to these characters that others. This ties back into the parental aspect of my argument which still holds firm. With a strong and positive upbringing there can be no question that those children will turn violent due to video games.

Growing up in this age of technology you can see that some games really do push the limits of horror in terms of their graphic and gory content. However it is for the parents to decide whether or not they want their children to purchase and play these games. Another individual I interviewed was one of my class mates Jean Betances. He said, “Some of my favorite games have a lot to do with fighting but I myself don’t take the aggression I see as anything but a game (Betances par 3).” Jean is basically saying that yes video games are violent however because he was taught to use his common sense to differentiate between fantasy and real life he has no need to bring any of the violence portrayed in the games into the real world. He also goes on to say that, “I started playing video games when I moved here and realized that it was a way for me to make friends easily, and I think that a lot of kids today do the same (Betances par 4).” Children today use video games as a medium to make friends not as a way to take out frustration. If that were the case the billions of people playing these online first person shooting games would all be delinquents of some form.

Yes, there are those who claim that it is the video games that have made their child into an non empathetic person who borders on the sociopathic. To be fair there are such anomalies in the world, children who take the video games they play too seriously and act as though they are a character in it. Over the years this subject has been heavily debated and at one point in time thought to be correct. A large majority of the people whose children committed crimes did say that it was the video games that caused their child to do so. They claimed that the violent images and story lines made their kids feel like it was okay to act in the manner that they did to solve their problems. Some are even presented with the evidence that many notable researchers had collected and refuse to accept it. The fact of the matter is that you can argue all you want but the evidence as it stands today shows that it is not video games that are causing children to be less empathetic towards their fellow man.

To conclude, many people speculate that it is the exposure to violence through video games that has caused children and teens to become more violent. However studies show that the only negative affect these games can produce is ear damage based on the fact that the volume level for these games need to be much higher. Looking forward from this research in the near future I still believe that what has been proven so far about the effects of the games will hold true. However I may be wrong and new studies can emerge disproving my argument. But, if that was to happen I still stand by what I said, if the children are brought up with the right parenting and with common sense, then we as a society do not have to worry about the next generations becoming violent sociopaths. Technology has changed over the years and it has for the better. Entertainment technology has grown to immense proportions but so has scientific technology, once used responsibly, we can achieve great things for the future.

Works Cited

Betances, Jean, Personal Interview. 25 November 2015

Bilton, Nick. “Linking Violent Games to Erosion of Empathy.” The New York Times. (June 16, 2014 Monday ): 908 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 7 Dec 2015.

Konijn, Elly A., Marije Nije Bijvank, and Brad J. Bushman. “I Wish I Were A Warrior: The Role Of Wishful Identification In The Effects Of Violent Video Games On Aggression In Adolescent Boys.” Developmental Psychology 43.4 (2007): 1038-1044. Academic Search Complete. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

Tony, Personal interview. 30 November 2015.

Electronic Engineering: The Next Step

What a waste! Making me plan out my career now while I’m just a freshman in college. I mean who would of thought that I, Arjoon Hansraj, would even make it this far. Now, attending New York City College of Technology in the School of Technology and Design studying to be an Electronic Engineer Technician which is under the Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering Technology Department. I just think it all a waste of time, I mean yeah I know what I like to do, create things with my hands that serve a specific purpose. As of right now I think I’m on the right path, Electronic Engineering is the career for me because it allows me create, experiment and investigate new ways of doing things people have done for centuries and allows me to make those ways easier. To start looking at this career I will first look at what I must study in school to be able to face the engineering world, then really divulge why I really chose this career and finally how I plan to further my studies and career.

As far as common knowledge of this career goes, I know that engineering is highly math and science based. According to City Tech, I must take at least two math classes, two science classes, more specifically physics, and two English classes to complete the general education requirements. To add I must also take a variety of engineering courses in which you learn everything from basic circuits to the detail’s of how they work and how to analyze them in order to fully understand them. For example, the first engineering course I take is EET 1102 which is, “An introduction to the use of computers for analysis of electrical and electronic circuits by using state-of-the-art software for computer simulation of circuits” (City Tech, 255). All this is saying is that the first thing you learn is what circuits look like on a computer and how to draw them with basic components. In learning this you set the foundation to further understand the finer points of this field of work. Another course that you take is more hands on than just making circuits on a computer is the Digital Electronics course. In that course you learn, “Fundamentals of digital electronics using Boolean algebra, truth tables, Karnaugh maps and waveforms to analyze and understand digital logic circuit design. Logic gates, binary arithmetic, flip flops, counters and registers are analyzed in experiments.” (City Tech, 255). Though that may sound very confusing, the course itself is very enjoyable. You, as a student, using the knowledge you have gained over the last semester or two, being to actually manually build the circuits you’ve been learning about. To add you get to test out variations of those circuits and let your curiosity wander. From just these two courses alone I can tell that being an Engineer Technician is worth all the hype. There isn’t much of a lecture in these courses as there is labs to see and understand what your learning for yourself and not to just take peoples words. After going through school and learning every thing in the classroom you begin to start your career as an Electronic Engineer Technician. Some of the careers you can hold include Engineering Technician at a Tier 1 auto supplier, Head Inspector at a Gas Turbine company, a service technician for a software developer and much more. All these jobs are available to anyone with the Technician degree however I have one dream career in mind. My dream is to create, design and manufacture Printed Circuit Boards that will aid in upgrading and developing new ways to help humans perform not only everyday tasks but be able to aid them in any way possible.EET2

Even though I know I have a decent amount of time before I get into a career I still stand by my decision to be a Technician. Some of my reasons for this decision is first, ever since I was small I had always been fascinated by the way things were made. I would always see something I liked and try and replicate it on my own. I didn’t really like help from anyone until I found friends that enjoyed the same thing as me. From this early beginning I was draw to my science and math classes more than any other subject. During my high school years, I got a taste of what engineering is and I was hooked from the first day of freshman year. From designing mechanical systems, to wiring circuits, to programming, engineering had my name written all over it. I decided to follow it in college and here I find more reasons why I like this field. Firstly, from just a preliminary look of my courses for the next two years, I have found that most of my classes are engineering classes that are more lab based than lecture. Also I find that in the lab classes I will be able to test theories instead of just learning them which is something I have always wanted to do since middle school. I have always asked the questions why and how, and now in college I am finally able to answer them on my own. From being a very curious kid who always wanted to test and try my hand at everything I have finally found a career that will let my imagination run free, and with my education the possibilities are literally endless.


When I finally enter my career I plan to excel past entry position as soon as possible. I know I can stick to this plan due to the fact that I have done it before. I volunteer as an NYPD Explorer, which is a program initially designed for kids who would like to be part of NYPD but also can be used as an aid to decline as well as familiarizing your self with the law. In the Program there are “ranks” just as there are in the NYPD which you have to display a certain level of competence in order to be recognized and be selected to rank up. Going in as someone who knew nothing, within four months of joining the program I was ranked up before those who were there before me. I was ranked up because I wanted it more than anyone else, now I plan to take that same determination to my career. I know that its not going to be entirely the same in the work force but I still plan to be irreplaceable to my employers. Those at an entry level position make close to $60,000 a year (The United States of America). I do not plan to stay at that level for very long. As an Engineering Technician my mind is developed to constantly be looking at new ways to do things and better the world around me and better myself as well. Being that I may have to follow somewhat of a routine in my job from day to day, after getting used to this I plan to further my education to obtain the next level which is a Bachelors Degree and then Masters. If I stay with the same company, I will take what I learn in the classes and bring it to my company making not only myself better but also the company. I do not plan on being bossed around for the majority of my life, I plan to be the boss and maybe even the bosses boss. I know that I can achieve this goal because I am a person that when I desire something I put all 110% of my efforts into obtaining that goal.


After graduating from college there are many paths you can take in terms of careers. Engineers are not locked to one specific thing they can do. In some points of views, an engineer is a “Jack of All Trades” meaning that they are able to apply their knowledge to a wide range of disciplines. To add we are always searching for a new challenge or way to apply our knowledge. According to Jeff Kerns, “After college, I became a commissioning engineer… So, how did I end up at Machine Design? Long story short, I am always looking for something new. Inventing and entrepreneurship are passions of mine” (Kerns Jeff par. 1). What this means is that even though he started in one place there is always room for improvement and to incorporate new things into what you do. He started as a Commissioning Engineer, but realized that there was so much more he could do with his knowledge. Understanding this for me means that even though my skills may seem very narrow after college, I can always improve upon it. Like Jeff, I can start in one place end up in a complete other. I take this as a lesson that after college I might not be in the career that I dreamed about but if I continue to apply myself to my work and always seek to expand my knowledge I will end up where I truly want to be.

Though I am still just a freshman in college, I know that I have a little time before I am in the real world. However, from now I know what I like to do which will further on to a career in something of my dreams. As of right now, that dream falls under the career of an Electronic Engineer Technician. I have the correct hobbies and mental training associated with this field as well as a drive to be the best. With some minor research, I have found what this career has to offer me in terms of median salary and jobs in my area. Also I have learned that careers are always subjected to change and that I may not be where I want to right out of college but I can always work up to that. As of right now, I have an idea as to how I want the next few years to go. Firstly, in my last semesters I plan to obtain an internship, paid or unpaid, in an engineering firm in order to have an idea as to what the work in the field is like. Then, to have a job in that firm to gain skills and experience that will allow me to find better jobs and start a career. After about 4-5 years, I plan to start my career and fully immerse myself in that career, working as hard as possible to make a name for myself. I know that it will be nowhere near easy but I am ready to work for my dreams because dreams are worth all our efforts. I will make my name known in the Engineering world; it is just a matter of time.

Works Cited

Kerns, Jeff. “Meet Jeff Kerns.” Machine Design Mar. 2015: 8. Academic Search Complete. Web. 3  Nov. 2015.
New York City College of Technology College Catalog 2015-2016 (City Tech). New York: New York City College of Technology 2015. PDF.
United States. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Electrical and Electronic Engineers.” Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 January 2014, Web. 3 November 2015.

Who’s that Man in the Mirror? by Arjoon H.

When I became a student at City Tech, I met a lot of new people who would ask me about myself. They asked many questions as part of the process of getting to know me, but the first question was usually, “What’s your name?” That one was the easiest to answer: Arjoon Hansraj. Other questions, however, were more challenging to come up with a satisfying answer. One such question was, “What makes you, you?” With some thought I said with one simple word, Drumming. Playing the drums has undoubtedly made me into the person I am today. It defines who I am, because it reminds me of where I came from, teaches me discipline, sparks my sense of innovation, creates a competitive mindset within me and shows me how to help others. Without these important traits, which I gained and continue to gain through drumming, I would not be the person I am today.

Drumming constantly reminds me of my humble beginnings and the struggles my ancestors overcame. Originally from a small, overlooked island at the southernmost tip of the West Indies, my ancestors came from India to work in sugar plantations for the British government in their new home as indentured servants. The British Government and its business representatives did not honor many of the agreements with my ancestors and they outlawed many of our practices from our Indian homeland. In the small shacks where they lived, they practiced their culture in secret in order to keep it alive, and they risked everything to pass it from one generation to the next until they eventually won their independence. I think of these things often, especially when I go out to play the drums for work or religious practice. When I was younger, I wondered why the elders would be so happy to see a young boy like me playing the drums, but after having learned the history of my ancestors’ struggles, I now understand. They are joyous to see their culture alive and thriving among the younger generations, because when many of them were my age, their parents had to practice and teach the culture of our homeland in secret. As a young drummer, I take pride in my talent and am ready to vindicate my ancestors’ struggles by being successful and embracing my culture through drumming.

In addition to the importance of drumming to my cultural heritage, learning and practicing the drums instills a level of discipline within me that I can transfer to any task I wish to accomplish. When I started to learn to play the drums I was frustrated easily because I had to sit for hours on end doing one boring task after the other with none of it seeming to be related to playing correctly. I began to get frustrated to the point where I would complain all the time to my father that I wasn’t learning anything and I was just wasting my time. However, my mind and attitude began to change as I progressed through my lessons and began to realize the method to the madness.  I began to understand why I had to do those boring tasks and the role it played in me becoming a professional drummer. Taking this understanding further I was able to teach myself many other instruments off of online tips alone. I learned to play the guitar by just practicing scales for hours and hours on end. I learned the piano by scales and tips from friends. Because of the discipline instilled by learning drum I now understand what it takes to be at an exceptional level of anything. I know that to be great at something you must understand it at its most basic “black and white” fully before you take it further. The discipline instilled in me from learning to play drum has made me into the calm and collected person I am today


As part of learning to play the drums, I was taught the importance of maintaining the drum but also new ways to improve upon the original design to make it more suitable for myself as well as someone else. This has made me into an innovative person, always viewing the world from the point of view of making things better by improving upon it. For example with drumming, the original way to make one of the drums is to use an animal skin and rope with a clay pot, and to tune it you needed to heat it first with an open fire. This design works out great in the islands however, does not work so well in America where the laws are stricter as well as the weather different. To make life easier and to aid in bringing the full extent of our culture to America we had to innovate and experiment until we made the design that we have today. Instead of the clay shell we use half a propane tank, instead of the animal skin we use the plastic snare drum skin and instead of rope we use nuts and bolts. This base design has held over the years but is still being changed slightly by every drummer. I share that same way of thinking when it comes to everything I encounter. For example, as a junior in high school, I made a simple heat engine with an incandescent light bulb, a bicycle rim, and rubber bands. It worked by having the rim suspended and when the rubber was heated it expands and turns the wheel. Seeing that the design was not using most of the heat produced by the bulb I changed the design and added a piston made from a paint can and a rod I spot welded on to the lid. I also replaced the light bulb with a small food heater placed under the paint can which was filled with water and holes drilled almost at the top. This caused the water to boil which made steam which then pushed the lid up and by extension the wheel that was attached to the can by a rod. By innovating the design of the heat engine I was able to create something that was more energy efficient and proved to be stronger than the original. This innovative attitude that I have developed from being a drummer is one that I can bring to my career and use it to my advantage. Thanks to drumming I am able to view the world in a different light and have the drive to innovate as much of the known world as possible to make it an overall better place to live and hopefully rid it of anymore pollution.

JOunior year

While practice, discipline, and maintenance are primarily solitary activities, drumming also developed my competitive mind set. As a professional drummer, you meet others who share in your passion but are also your business rivals. You must prove yourself a better musician in order to be hired and to make money. This competitive spirit learned from drumming is one I can use to make myself somebody notable in this world. When I first started drumming our group was already established as one of the best and therefore I had to fill some very big shoes. To add to that pressure, there are a lot of other upcoming groups that have the drive to be the best. This meant I not only had to play well at private gigs but also to hold my own on stage so that our reputation would not diminish. Starting from nothing and coming so far I know firsthand what it takes to be the best at something and it’s an attitude that I plan to carry with me to all aspects of my life, both public and personal. The competitive spirit means you strive to be the best no matter what and that is what I truly seek to do and who I truly am at the innermost. I strive to be at the top, to be the one peoples greatness is measured by. If it wasn’t for drumming I would have never had this mindset and I would have not accomplished the things I have so far in my life.

In addition to competing with others, you learn from those you compete with in drumming. Learning from everyone and taking bits and pieces of everyone’s style you begin to develop your own. However, when you first start learning the basics you must find a way to break down each of the parts of playing drum so that you can understand it as well as memorize it. This inadvertently leads to you becoming a good teacher, because you can relay your own tricks and methods on to your students in order to help them. This is why drumming has helped me be able to help others. When encountering a problem, I break it down into small parts that I can asses individually which in the long run helps me solve the bigger problem. I developed this way of thinking due to drumming. When learning new beats that your hands aren’t accustomed to, you struggle a lot and become frustrated easily. By breaking each part down you can train yourself piece by piece until you can play the entire beat. This same mentality can be applied to your job, career and even your life as a whole. being a drummer has made me into a problem solver but also into a teacher. Since I understand the way I think and asses situations, I can pass that knowledge onto someone else so that they wouldn’t have to struggle as much as I did and can understand  things easier. Because of drumming I have developed the problem solver mind which is key to being an engineer but also a teacher mind which is also helpful when you have reached a senior level position and have to train new workers. If drumming was not a part of my life I would not have developed this mindset nor would I be able to have any idea as to how to help someone.

Without drumming in my life, I would be a different person who does not think or act the way that I do now. I owe my life to drumming, because without it I would never have been as successful as I am now. Some of these success would include attending college, another is actually studying and focusing on school, instead of being a “B” student now I strive to be an “A” student. Another of my successes include disciplining myself to stick to a schedule in order to always be ready for school as opposed to how I was in my past years. Drumming has provided me with almost all of the ideal mindsets that are conducive to a healthy career. From staying humble to helping others drumming has paved the way for a bright future ahead of me. The only thing left now is to make sure I use all the lessons I learnt from playing drum in my everyday life and continue to strive forward no matter what. All I ever need in my life is there for me to take and thanks to drumming I now have the tools and experience needed to take what is mine.