C.A.T.S Lesson 1# (4/10/13)

One of the first lessons I have learned during my first full week of this course is C.A.T.S (Critical and Theoretical Studies), is not ‘easy’ or ‘simplistic’. In fact, It was so crammed with weird words, theories and information I am perplexed with how I am to present this information to you all, but I think the best start would be from the beginning so here goes.

Firstly, we were given a briefing to what effects games design and game play. Some of the ideas put forward to answer this was the games narrative and story, The immersion and environment and finally the interactivity, creativity and flow.

Going slightly off topic yet relevent to the point, I had previously conversed with a close friend about the topic of ‘flow’ and its meaning. Quoted from his WordPress blog, he described flow as ‘Flow is the state of mind the individual enters when they have acquired a high skill level within an activity and there is a high challenge present for that individual, meaning they becoming utterly focused on the task in front of them and they have to concentrate entirely.’ I found this idea interesting as it is something that has happened to all of us at some point but I had never really heard of the theory or terminology for the subject until recently.

After this small discussion we were asked to watch a video by Kevin Kelly which he spoke about his opinion on technology. Kevin Kelly spoke about comparing technology to biological organisms and he uses this comparison throughout the majority of the video.  He asks ‘What does technology want’ (Which again, he is applying technology to a biological organism). He spoke about how we all started at the same point yet diversified later on to make ourselves unique just as technology has done over time.

He noted that resurrecting old ideas is of vital importance which reminded me of something one of my teachers spoke of during my first week of University which ran along the lines of ‘In order to look forward we must look back’. Basically meaning that in order to make something we have to look at our mistakes and achievements in order to create something which will not only function but work effectively.

Kevin Kelly said that ‘Technology never truly dies and information truly never disappears’ which I believe to be true as if you look at games controllers over time they have not ever ‘disappeared’ as they have always been improved on by looking at past controllers although you can still note some of the similarities with todays controllers.


Kevin Kelly spoke about his thoughts on how fast technology is evolving and how he believes that it is accelerating evolution. He feels as if every person who is able has an obligation to create new freedoms of expression by creating technology. I found this ironic because he spoke of ‘freedom’ throughout his speech, yet in order to have our freedom we are obligated to provide in order to obtain it yet showed fact as we are expected to help evolve current technologies in order to keep them evolving at its current rate. I believe that people should earn and fight for what they want, technology and freedom of expression included, so that if we want better and more efficient ways of expression through technology then we have to be the ones to pay for it in order to better ourselves.

Here is the video that I spoke of within this post, Have fun watching and I hope you are moved by this individual.

Before leaving the class, we were asked to find an image of a game that represents our personal interest in games design. It was hard to think about what game I could possibly use to show my first encounter with games which drove me to have a passion for playing games. After a long process of elimination, I have decided that this game was Pokemon Yellow. I chose this game out as this was the first time I was fully immersed into a world outside of our own and engaging with new creatures and to battle to the top. This game meant a lot for me as I had always had to share with my brother in order to play games, but with Pokemon yellow I owned my own yellow Gameboy Colour. This game was a large part of my childhood and something that I was passionate about for years, and still to this very day I still carry round a small part of this with me (My keyring has a pikachu on it which I have kept since I was about 10 years old)




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