If anyone has watched someone as they work on a computer, someone playing a game or even someone watching tv then you should easily be able to imagine their face as they ‘interact’ with the machine. For some the face is completely blank - no visible sign of emotion what so ever, for others they will cringe and react to what is going on on the screen, but all will have the fixed stare - often wide eyed, and the rigid bodies making minute hand movements as they manipulate the mouse or as they push the buttons on the keyboard. For all intents and purpose they are physically stationary - doing nothing, and if nothing was happening on the screen you could probably consider them asleep or in very deep meditation.
Now this presents a problem. Basically if you look at someone using a computer or watching a tv they don’t exactly instill the feeling that they are actually enjoying themselves. Infact they look down right bored, like they are trying to concentrate on filling in their tax return or adjust the weekly budget. This leads the observer to presume the user is actually bored, wanting to be somewhere else, thus associating a negative idea that computers are boring, something to be used for as long as necessary and no more.
Now while this trend is diminishing somewhat with the increased popularity of the internet and things like the web, instant messaging and chat rooms, I think, for the most part there is still a negative stigma associated with two particular groups: gamers and coders - two groups of people who are happy to spend most of their spare time (and work time) in front of computers.
Gamers have a seemingly plausable reason for being happy to sit in front of a computer for a long time. It goes as follows: games are enjoyable, enjoyment is a primary goal for life, therefore gaming helps meet a primary life goal (unfortunately gaming tends to go against the other priority of life which is to have good relationships with friends and family because you spend so much time alone on the computer). So in some sense it gaming can be justified.
Coders on the other hand have a much harder time trying to justify their enjoyment. Not only are they not doing much physically, but they essentially spend their entire time at work and at home solving maths problems (well mostly logic problems, but logic is apart of maths and science as well as philosophy). I think it takes a particular kind of passion to be like this - one where you get energised from solving a tricky problem, where attempting to come up with the most elegant design is rewarding, where getting a whole lot of intricate and complicated seperate parts to come together and form something useful and interesting is a thrill. Its like bogans and cars.
Anyway enough justification for my desired profession, even if people using computers aren’t bored despite the appearance of being bored there is still the problem that people using computers look like they are bored regardless of what they are doing making people think computers are boring. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
One solution might involve increased physical interaction. Make the interfaces larger and more unweilding so people have to go effort to get stuff done. Another could be to induce electric shocks at certain intervals to force the user to move in an entertaining, unboring way. Or maybe the action on the screen could be made to come alive out of the context of the screen.
In any case people need to recognise that firstly gamers are loners and secondly that coders are not bored or do uninteresting work - it just seems that way cause you have trouble understanding what we actually do.