Owing to a teacher training day my wife reluctantly left me in charge of my five year old daughter. She has been asking to go to see where the apps are made for ages and so I took her to see Rich and his team. I think she was a bit disappointed not to see characters from the app actually running around the studio but she enjoyed looking round.
The high point was having a go on the Oculus Rift kit, she particularly enjoyed the virtual reality rollercoaster. I was sorely tempted to tell her that if she got out of the chair she would fall off the ride, but didn't.
Well we finished our day and headed back and caught the train to go home. The train was full of a mix of people old, young, professional types and a fair amount of the young men wearing hooded tops that you hope not to meet on dark nights. Millie my daughter isn't usually that shy but the train was busy and there were no seats where we could sit together.
My daughter was getting increasingly upset and I was getting a more exasperated when two people offered to give up their seats and let us sit together.
Who were these good Samaritans? Well, they were both male teenagers wearing hoodies and frankly looking a bit scary.
This is in reality a form of classical conditioning, because the media and society portray young men who dress in a certain way as 'dangerous' we are conditioned to see them as a threat and hence become anxious. This is to some degree the pattern of thinking that results in racism and other prejudices. We fail to judge people as individuals but rather based on preconceived generalisations and assumptions, usually negative ones.
Well it was a bit of a humbling experience for me and thanks to the two young men whoever you are.
You'll be pleased to hear my daughter recovered from her distress quickly, the train got quieter and she was then able to consume a sandwich the size of her head!