The Machine Zone is a Community Interest Company which explores our increasingly digital lives.

Our first project involves examining digital gambling as an example of the potential human damages arising from digital machinery.

The website is made in Scotland and works both locally and nationally but is relevant to  a global audience.

Award winning film from Kerith Lemon

We’re all living in ‘a machine zone’. Everyday we interact with machines, and they interact with us. Increasingly, machines are digital and may be invisible. You’re in the machine zone right now as you read this.

At the same time, we hope this website provides a general approach to the digital world we live in, one that’s entertaining as well as serious. A lot of the stuff here is thought provoking when we live in times where science fiction is becoming science fact. For instance, will children born today witness a time when electronic machines surpass human beings in intelligence and power? Such a time may happen sooner…

We believe that increasing ‘digital literacy’ is vital. Many thousands of people in the UK have never used the internet or have only very basic skills, and this needs addressing urgently. Without competence people are excluded from much of contemporary society – from claiming benefits and saving money to engaging with political debate. Literacy includes much more than functional skills, though. It is a never-ending learning process which at higher levels is able to ask questions about how the world is shaped by digital machines.

Our first project looks at electronic gambling as a case study. This itself is a live and important social issue as more and more people, including children, take to betting on high stakes machines in bookmakers, and more frequently online. However, the case study is also designed to show how such an issue has to be understood in the light of many factors, so there are introductions to psychology, addiction, parliamentary processes, business practices and ethics, how evidence is interpreted and used, new technologies, child protection, education , social media, digital machine interactions, the mass media, lobbying and campaigning and more. Hopefully it’s a resource teachers and others could use in many different ways adapted appropriately to students. Hopefully, too, the project provides a straightforward insight to parents, adults who enjoy betting, professionals in many walks of life, and to you, dear reader!

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