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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tech tour incites mixed reactions

    A 52-inch flat-screen television, surround-sound system, video games and nearly $10,000 in electronics equipment made up “”the ultimate dorm room”” in a tent yesterday at a UA Mall exhibit that drew mixed reactions from students.

    The TechKnowOverload tour exhibit, which is meant to give corporations access to college students, will travel to 40 universities this year and reach more then 60,000 students, according to its Web site, www.tkotour.com.

    The exhibit was brought to campus by the Consumer Electronics Association and Mr. Youth, a company that specializes in marketing to the 14- to 22-year-old age demographic as well as various electronics companies from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    While many students enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to test out electronics, other students were offended by its presence on campus.

    “”Honestly, I greatly resent it,”” said Matthew Pollack, a linguistics senior.

    Companies setting up in the middle of campus and advertising to students is comparable to slavery, Pollack said.

    The university uses the students as a captive marketing audience to major corporations, he said.

    “”This enforcement of advertising is all over campus, but this is the most obnoxious and obvious kind of advertising,”” Pollack said.

    Corporate advertising ingrained within the university environment is particularly insulting because students pay for their education and consequently pay to be advertised to, Pollack said.

    “”It’s different than TV, because TV you can turn off and not be exposed to advertisements anymore,”” Pollack said. “”I have to walk through this to get to my class; I can’t turn this off.””

    Other students, like music education sophomore Megan Seals, had a more positive experience because they walked away with prizes in hand.

    Seals won an electric guitar and a wireless router in two separate raffles.

    “”I don’t think I’ve ever really won anything, so I thought it was kind of neat,”” Seals said.

    A crowd of nearly 80 students attending the exhibit booed Seals because she won twice, but she didn’t think it was a big deal.

    “”I don’t think any of those students really hate me,”” Seals said.

    Seals said the guitar would be a good teaching tool in her music classes.

    “”My kids class is about 3- to 5-year-olds, and this will be very useful,”” Seals said.

    Alan Altherr, an electrical engineering sophomore, was among the few students who didn’t boo Seals for winning twice.

    “”I was excited for her,”” Altherr said. “”The odds of it happening are slim to none, and she just came out really lucky.””

    Altherr plays classical guitar and attended the exhibit twice during the day, alternating with other students in a constant line to play the interactive video game “”Guitar Hero.””

    “”Guitar Hero”” features a guitar-like controller containing a series of buttons the player must hit in sync with matching colors on the screen. The player does this to play songs in a computer-generated concert to dominate the rock ‘n’ roll world.

    “”I’m going to look into getting that ‘Guitar Hero’ game,”” Altherr said. “”I thought it was a lot of fun.””

    Altherr also took part in playing various guitars at the Gibson guitar tent as well as synthesizers and other musical equipment.

    Other companies had tents set up showcasing computers, home entertainment set-ups and car audio equipment.

    While walking around the Mall during a class break, Francisca Del Hoyo, a computer engineering junior, noticed the tents and decided to see what was going on.

    “”It’s cool, but it seems like the same old technology and stuff, except for the ‘Guitar Hero’ game,”” Del Hoyo said.

    The exhibit did inspire Del Hoyo to consider future purchases.

    “”It makes me want a new laptop,”” Del Hoyo said.

    Lakin Fuentes, a communications senior who attended the exhibit with Del Hoyo, also wanted to buy some electronics because of the exhibit.

    “”It makes me want that flat-screen TV over there,”” Fuentes said.

    The exhibit helps students stay up-to-date with technology and what companies have to offer, Fuentes said.

    “”I’m definitely into television and technology and the latest in what’s going on today, and I need to stay up-to-date,”” Fuentes said.

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