Patrick Bremer

Researching into new artists in order to find and create a list of inspirational individuals whos art I like and want to steal from and use elements within my own pieces, I discovered Patrick Bremer through the website  Pinterest. He was born 1982 in Brighton and studyed at Wimbledon College of Art in London. The reason I enjoy this artists work is due to his ability to make something that could of been a standard portrait into something so colourful and diverse. He uses a range of newspaper and magazine scrap to create some magnificent pieces, although he does paint and draw too but I find his collage pieces are his forté. I tried to find who was the inspiration for some of Patrick Bremers art yet this information is unobtainable. What I did find is several websites that Patrick Bremer is mentioned on which are very good websites for finding inspiration such as Pintrest, Theinsperationgrid and Artistaday; I think I will use these for definate in the future!

Here are a few of Patrick Bremer’s works that I personally enjoyed the most;

Patrick Bremer

Siren of Titan

Patrick Bremer Maria

Maria Bonita

The images I have taken can be located on his webpage and I really think you should all check him out as he is an incredible artist. I hope you enjoy him as much as I have!

http://www.patrickbremer.co.uk/

 

 

Advertisements

CATS Log Book Post 7/8

ththOur 7 and 8 CAT session were based
on the introduction to critical perspectives. In order to gain a critical
perspective, we must first apply it to the subject matter which was technology.
We asked ourselves a range of questions such as how exactly do we use technology?
How do we interact with it? Physically? Mentally? And how does it affect us as
a subject?

 

 

Well, we use technology in numerous ways such as through
ecommerce in order to shop online, and through using the internet which is
actually just a library of information just waiting to be explored. This is
something we do on a daily basis, and have grown a comfort to due to the ease
and simplicity of it all. We are able to interact with technology through
numerous ways such as 3D shopping and recommendations which allow us to become
immersed in our shopping experiences. Websites such as Matalan allow us to
digitally try on outfits on a model to see the outfit all together in a 3d
perspective before buying the product. This means that we no longer have to
leave the house to try on an outfit before we buy it, as it is becoming more
popular to now do this over the internet. Recommendations allow us to shop with
ease over the internet for things that have been chosen for us through related
searches or previous purchases to find things we may like. This is a comfort as
it saves wasted hours trying to find that pair of shoes you like in a shop,
only to discover to your dismay that they have sold out. We are physically able
to browse items using our mouse to plunge ourselves within the experience but
also mentally we are able to grow involved as we are set out searching for a
particular product. In the TED talk by Sherry Turkle, we learn that she feels
as if we are too reliant on technology and that it is redefining the human
connection. She is offering a critical perspective on her view of social media
and technology.

 

 

Critical perspectives allow us to look back at history and
allow us to have a critical view on it which we can use theory to gain an
understanding and to think critically about cultural production and what it
contains and its meaning. By learning to use critical perspectives effectively
will allow us to gain a better understanding of a wider range of things. Two
key areas in critical theory are psychoanalysis and feminism and during the
lesson we worked in groups to think of ideas linked to the image we were given.
My group was given Lara croft in which we discussed feminism and how she had
been displayed over the years within the industry, we considered the view point
that she had been made a sex symbol but also the point that she was a strong
beautiful iconic figure.

 

 

Using critical perspectives will help us in the analysis of
most cultural artefacts such as the two video games that had been discussed
within the lesson.  This a range of
things we should consider when being critical of an artefact:

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Representation

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Stereotypes

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Character design

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Narrative

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Concepts/motifs

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Experience

 

 

<!–[if !supportLists]–>
·
<!–[endif]–>Genre and stylisation

 

 

After this, we were introduced to a key figure named Sigmund Freud who was an Austrian
psychiatrist who created the idea of psychoanalysis until he was forced to flee
his homeland and moved to London in 1938 due to the Nazis. Psychoanalysis is
explained as the idea that we have been programmed to be something else then
what we actually are due to discipline such as the rules of society. This is
drilled so far in that we can never truly know who we really are as we are
subconsciously restricted. Psychoanalysis is defined as;

 

 

‘Psychoanalysis is a
theory of the human mind, a therapy for mental distress, an instrument of
research and a profession. A complex intellectual, medical and sociological
phenomenon’

 

 

Ivan Ward and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Psychoanalysis, 2000

 

 

After this, we discussed feminism.
Feminism is seen as the woman’s fight for equality in order to create an
equilibrium between both sexes. Feminist argue that we as a gender have been
written out of cultural history and that this needs to be altered for the
better. This can be done for example by highlighting key female artist who may
have once been ignored in history. There has been several waves of feminism,
the first occurring in the 19
th and 20th century, the
second appearing in the late 20
th century and the third wave
appearing from the 80s onwards. Feminist are constantly trying to create their
place in many sectors including the game industry and slowly the percentage of
woman in the games industry is increasing.

 

 

Feminist theory allows us to look
at stereotypes closely, which has drawn our attention to how we really
represent gender in many different things such as packaging or character
design. For example we have always stereotyped that the female character must
be pink shade in order for the character to be a true representation of a
female. Female character design has also been effected by stereotype, if you
look at most female characters they typically have jewellery or a large bow to
indicate that they are female. One of the main quotes I really liked from the
presentation was;

 

 

Casell and Jenkins (1998)
/ Kafai et al (2008):

 

 

‘Despite the increase
of female players and women entering the industry, the stereotypes and the
industry itself still need major renovations.’

 

 

I decided to look into feminist within the Game industry and discovered Anita
Sarkeesian who is the creator for feminist frequency, and after watching a few
of her videos it showed me the way females are still stereotyped within the
game industry. Due to me being
a female myself, I couldn’t agree with this quote more as game characters are still
being designed in a stereotyped way although this is slowly changing within the
industry.

 

 

Virtual Revolution: The birth of the internet

 

 

The first key issue mentioned within this video was that we
as people are constantly handing out information freely across the web in return
for ‘free’ services such as web space.&nbsp;
The repercussion of this is that we are unable to control the
information once it is distributed and also that it can be used by marketing
companies to display particular ads which they believe are relevant to
you.&nbsp; During the video it was said that
‘Free is an illusion’, which is true because we are paying with something that
could be said to have more value than money, our personal identities, by using
the internet as a platform to trade this information.

Google used this effectively by creating an algorithm which
allowed people to find web pages more effectively on the web in exchange for
their personal information being used to pin point particular ads to that
individual. The algorithm allows pages with enough hits to be the first to
appear in their search engines, which was an effective way to separate good
webpages from the bad ones. Google knew that they could use their search engine
to revolutionise advertising which in turn changed our relationship with the
web.&nbsp; We freely gave information on our
interests and desires which allowed them to tailor ads to suit our ‘needs’ so
that we would purchase a particular product that Google thought we may want.
Google saw the effectiveness of this, so allowed businesses to pay for their
spot on their search engine and determined which pages would appear where due
to the relevancy and quality of the information but also how much they were
willing to pay.

Another service that Google provided was its Gmail service,
which is a free service used to send emails daily. The amazing thing about
Gmail is that it would scan your emails for keywords in order to display ads on
the right hand side of the screen. This was an issue as people believed it was
invading personal privacy yet is still a feature which remains in its service
today.

Behavioural targeting was another point mentioned within
this video, which was where advertisements were being predicted on what you did
over the internet. This had both a positive and negative effect as consumers
were becoming the consumed by the internet and its marketing ideals. Our
information was being watched and traded, and major companies such as Netflix
were using this to their advantage in order to predict what films you may wish
to purchase next depending on what you previously looked at or purchased. This
filtering was deliberate in order to get you to purchase something you may find
desirable.

A key issue mention in the video was in relation to AOL and
how it gave our personal information to the public without mentioning names but
gave ID numbers for that particular search. This backfired when a woman’s
identity was disclosed by simply using the information provided by AOL and a
phone book. This made headlines and showed just how much information we are
giving out about ourselves without realising.&nbsp;
There is no clear cost for the average person when people give out their
information until it is too late, which relates closely with social media.
People who use Facebook, in particular young people, will post their mistakes
such as drunken nights out on social media without considering the
consequences. Once that information is on the internet it will always be accessible
and will possibly affect future jobs as your future employer can easily gain
access to that information.

CATS Log post 6

I was unable to attend this lesson as I had a visit to
platform festival which had relevance for my games design course but I
downloaded the presentation in order to compile this log book post. This lesson
plan was to look at the future of the virtual revolution, and we were to look
at three separate key themes which were cyberculture, gamification and social
media.

Webopedia has
defined cyberculture as ‘a slang term used
to describe the emerging culture of those who are networked in cyberspace. It
is a society of people who use computer networks for communication
’,
looking at the presentation for the lessons definition of cyberculture it
states ‘the culture that has emerged from technology’. Combining the two
explanations after research I have come to define cyberculture as a culture
which is based within cyberspace and accessible through technology as a means
of communication. Cyberculture has effected everybody since the creation of the
internet people have become immersed in a life online using things from real
time games such as MMORPGs to Social media like Facebook. This has taken its
toll on real life cultures due to people not communicating face to face but rather
through a computer screen, and the scary reality is that this is becoming a
normal way of life.

Cyberculture is also the representation of human, technology
and future. If we look at the film Terminator 2, 1992, we can see the
terminators hand which was robotic which showed a futuristic idea that this is
where humans can go with technology if explored and developed enough.
Interestingly enough, Performance artist Stelarc used a similar technology in
the 90’s to expand what the human body could be capable of. I find this
particularly interesting as this idea is still being worked on today within Anthropomorphic robots, in particular TOPIO
the ping pong playing robot which uses features similar to the hand within the
terminator film. This is interesting as it shows how life-like robots are
becoming, and how in the future they will be able to fully function of their
own accord using advanced AI’s. This is both a good and bad thought because
although we can see the advancement of technology, if we look at fictional AI
characters such as Hal 900 from the film 2001 A Space Odyssey it can become
terrifying how AI’s may develop.

Gamification allows
us to use game techniques, styles and mechanics within a wider context to allow
us to apply the general style of ‘gaming’ to everyday tasks. For example in the
book Gamification by Design written by Gabe Zichermann and Christopher
Cunningham
, they described gamification as ‘gamification brings together all the disparate threads that have been
advanced in games for non-gaming contexts’
and gives the example of playing
‘aeroplanes’ with a child in order to get them to eat their vegetables at
dinner time. By using gamification we can make something which may have been
considered boring into something more enjoyable. We can create objectives,
rewards and competition in order to heighten the ‘players’ experience with
everyday tasks such as completing coursework which would encourage the
individual to be successful. Epic Win, which is a task management app, allows
you to apply gamification to everyday tasks such as going to the gym. With each
task complete, you will level up and gain experience. This is a great way to
turn a boring chore into something which you will be rewarded from making you
do a better job of the task at hand.

The rise of social
media has caused ethical implications, it has effected how we interact and it
is still uncertain how it will shape the future. Looking at Facebook, the
security of its data and information isn’t as all its thought to be as an
article on Neowin explains that there was a master password which could access
any account which was used by the original engineers of Facebook, making
personal information accessible to certain Facebook employees. There has been
several instances where memorial pages for individuals who have died has been
abused over Facebook which has caused emotional distress by internet ‘trolls’
who typically have no link with the victim yet choose to post abuse and cause
distress through fake accounts. Modern technology has also caused a negative
impact for youth culture by the events of the riots across the UK during 2011
which social platforms were used to arrange planned attacks.

CATS log post 5

This lecture was the second instalment of the
Contextualising Digital Culture lectures. Within this session we looked at the
introduction of new media, we watched ‘The Virtual Revolution: The Birth of the
internet’ and we looked at a range of post modernism artists.

Post modernism describes the changes from the 1960’s in
regards to western culture. To simply put it, post modernism was just a
reaction to modernism and artists were trying to break free of the constraints
of modernism. Some of the art works created during this period could be
considered confrontational and forced art to look at itself in order to make
change. It is said that two of post modernisms main factors were complexity and
contradiction.

During the lesson we looked at the introduction of digital
art, and looked at artists such as Michael Noll who experimented with digital
art in order to create a new platform and look for art. Media such as
photography, video and film have always used manipulation but using digital
technologies a tool for art has allowed old art forms to have a digitalized
approach and has led to us being able to reinvent new meanings for old art. It
has also transformed and heightened the possibilities of where art can now be
taken.

Further into the lesson we began to deter away from the talk
of post modernism into the discussion of new media and what that was. New media
is defined as on demand access using new media such as internet and computer
games, consisting or have the possibility of enabling digital interactivity. &nbsp;Some examples of digital tools which have
allowed us to manipulate graphics include Adobe Photoshop and desktop
publishing tools. It has been said that new media has been linked into the
shift of modernism and post modernism and changes caused by globalisation such
as we are now able to produce a larger amount of games and ship them all over
the world. Globalisation has also allowed people to express themselves through
the internet using blogs and photographs.

We discussed that new media has produced many things such
as:

        
·
New textual experiences – for example games and
special effects used in cinema, this is great because it has allowed us to give
more to art

        
·
New ways of representing the world – for example
virtual words and environments as well as screen based interactive
multi-media.&nbsp; We can show the world in
many variations then previously before using new media as a tool.

        
·
New relationships between subjects – such as the
relationships between gamers and social media, for example Facebook has allowed
us to communicate.

        
·
New experiences of identity and community – for
example online networks and avatars have allowed people to decide who they want
to be over the internet. &nbsp;For example the
game second life allowed people to create their own virtual worlds and be who
they choose to be.

        
·
New relationships between the body and
technology – for example the social conditions effected by the use of the
computer as a form of communication.

        
·
New patterns of organisation and production

After this, we looked at the digital revolution
and what played part in its process. At first it was the internet developing
during the 1960’s which was commissioned by the US Government, then
implementing networking during the 80’s and expanding on that during the
1990’s. We saw how VHS gave away to DVD and Blue-ray, we watched as we swapped
from Vinyl records to CD’s and MP3’s. We saw the advancement of mobile
technologies for example Motorola creating the first mobile phone in 1983. The
internet became offered to the public during the 1990’s and proved a major hit
with businesses straight away creating advertisements to be used online. 1990’s
also saw the release of the highly popular Photoshop which gave people the
ability to alter images and create digital art which is still popular today and
is used to create concept art

Cats Week 4: Introduction to Modernism

What is Modernism?

407px-Old_guitarist_chicago
Well, Modernism is the experience and expression of modern life. During the 19th centery (roughly 1880-1960), this was huge as people needed something different and with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh expressing the modernism movement in a wide vierty of ways such as Impressionism, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, Futurism, Pop Art and Op Art. It broke away from traditional art and allowed us to experiment with art as previously art had always been ‘traditional’ and usually rather literal in terms of representing its subject.

During our session, we defined a series of key terms such as:

Modernity: The experience of modern life

Modernisation: The process of change that causes ‘Modernity’

Modernism: The reaction to the experience of modernity in the cultural sphere (Positive/Negative)

we also learned that modernism is debatable, negotable of what is new and modern, what is just simply not while also being driven by innovation.There are several factors that help define modernism such as;

  • Industrialisation
  • Social changes
  • New technologies and scientific advances
  • Political changes

Industrialisation:

Industrialisation began in the UK during the 18th century and by the 20th century East Asia has been the most recent to begin its industrialisation process. Industrialisation meant that bigger and better cities were being constructed, and as a knock on effect to this more jobs were being created which meant that lots more people had some form of work. Families now having work allowed us to see the rise in consumerism so to meet this demand new methods of mass production were introduced in order to meet the growing need. An example of this would be that it included a cheaper abundance of skilled labour and new materials. Industrialisation was also the transitioning period from where we began to step away from products created by a single individual to a range of people creating particular aspects of a product. Ideas such as fordism and taylorism were introduced during this period and drastically effected the ways that we consume. Fordism was described as ‘the eponymous manufacturing system designed to spew out standardized, low-cost goods and afford its workers decent enough wages to buy them’. As for Taylorism, it is known to be the idea of a process of management which would enhance workflow and productivity.

Social changes:

Some of the social changes included an increase in urbanism, leasure and allowed us to experience a wide range of different leasuire activities as some grew to be more popular then others such as cricket. Due to people having more money allowed people to really dive into consumerism and purchase forms of entertainment or leasuire.

New technologies and scientific advances:

If anything, one of the most notable factors of the 19th century was new technologies and scientific advances. This noted the beginning or major evolution of a huge range of things such as photography, transport, electricity, travel and speed, scientic theories and major advances in art materials. Photography has allowed us to capture an image in order to later reference from it, using it as a visual tool. Futurism is an artistic movement of expression of what our future may look like, which allowed modernism to express itself; especially in regards to displaying speed and movement.

300px-GBallaArt

This futurism art piece was created by Giacomo Balla and its entitled ‘Abstract speed + sound’ (1913-1914).

Political changes:

Challanges with traditional authority during the 20th century with major global scale wars like WW1 and WW2  effected art majorly as seen in paintings such as Christopher Nevinson’s – Paths of glory as it expressed how modernist artists were feeling at that time. During this period, there were strong nationalist feelings, fascism and communism which all had a part to play during the modernist movement as seen in works such as El Lissitzky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919-1920 which was a  propoganda poster that showed the bolsheviks defeating the white movement.

Artwork_by_El_Lissitzky_1919

CATS Week 3: Semiotics 18/10/2013

Semiotics can be defined as ‘the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation’ (definition by Google). So basically, it’s the analysis of sign systems and how we use signs to display or understand numerous things ranging anywhere from emotions to directions.  The main point of interest within semiotics is exploring the links between words, images and ideas. We are also interested in the links between language and image and how our understanding of this helps us create meanings for signs and symbols. An example of this is using colour to suggest emotions or character traits, for example the colour red indicates passion, warning and even war.

Banksy, a UK graffiti artist, is well-known for using images and epigrams in order to produces pieces with dark humour within them typically related to politics.
banksy

This particular piece is called ‘Follow your dreams’ and is painted in a low-income area within Chinatown, Boston.  The piece shows a worn out male painter who has painted over the words ‘Follow your dreams’ with a cancellation sign. This signifies that the painter himself has given up on his dreams and is backed up with him looking worn out. Using semiotics we can look more into paintings by the use of colour, words and particular imagery; For example in this painting we can see the use of the colour black for the male artist which suggests death and is the symbol of grief. The colour navy denotes knowledge and power, and alongside the meaning of ‘Follow your dreams’ suggests that this man had his heart set on seeking the american dream in order to become something notable. The large red sign that says ‘Cancelled’ is red with white text, the colours white and red together in this piece connotes that the mans dreams have been boldly given up on and the use of red indicates warning and the white would indicate in this context that this is the honest truth.

Applying this to a game character rather than an artistic painting would use colours to help portray a character. In this instance I will apply semiotics to Pikachu, a well-known character from the Pokemon series.

pikachu
The yellow which covers 80% (a rough estimate) of Pikachu’s body suggests that Pikachu is a joyful, smart character with an energetic personality. Yellow can also connote a different possible side to Pikachu, as yellow can indicate a warning or caution. With the use of red on his cheeks surrounding the yellow connotes passion and love, but again suggests war and danger. Finally, the brown on his body suggests stability and is seen as a masculine quality. All this evidence from a brief semiotic analysis, in terms of colour alone, suggests that Pikachu is a fun loveable character who can become hot-headed or slightly enraged but will always be a stable and kind character. Just this analysis has allowed us to see what Pikachu is like before the character is animated and has made me think that in future when I design characters this is something I will use a lot within my designs.

Semiotics is derived from the greek word ‘semeiotikos’ and thanks to thinkers such as Plato and Aristotle who began to think about the connection between language and its interpretation, has allowed us to know semiotics as we know them today. Plato believed that representation can be possibly taken the wrong way by creating illusions and that it was importance to monitor this or it could create antisocial activity and emotions. Aristotle thought it was important to imitate things as it allows humans to learn, even if its imitating animals.

aristotle
Aristotle spoke of representation in three ways:

  1. The object: The symbol being represented.
  2. Manner: The way the symbol is represented.
  3. Means: The material that is used to represent it.

Two major key thinkers who played a big role in semiotics were Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Pierce. Ferdinand de Saussure was born in November 1857 and taught general linguistics at the University of Geneva. His main interest and focus was the understanding of conditions for the existence of any language. He introduced the idea of using a dyadic to help determine the semiotics of an entity using;

  • Signified
  • Signifier

facebook

This dyadic denotes what Ferdinand thought about how an image can link with a meaning. This iconic image belongs to Facebook and is the signifier as it is the material aspect of the sign. While it stands for an aspect of social media and a form of expression, so this would make it the ‘signified’ as it signified social media.

Charles Sanders Pierce was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician and scientist but considered himself a logician above everything else. He was born 10th of September 1839 and was educated as a chemist. Charles developed Saussures ideas further and argued that instead of being a dyadic it is instead a triadic and consists of;

  • Sign
  • Object
  • Interpretant

triadic

Charles also proposed we can identify three categories within the relationship between signs and objects, these are;

  • An IconAn Icon is an image, text, or word that physically symbolises something. For example on most software packages you are given a printer symbol which suggests you are able to print.
  • A Symbol – A symbol is an object that represents, stands for, or suggests an idea, visual image, belief, action, or material entity. – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbol
  • An Index – An Index is defined by a sensory feature, for example dark clouds in the west indicate the possibility of rain.

So to conclude my blog post, semiotics is the study of signs and symbols which allow us to identify and interpretate entities effectively.

Bioshock Infinite: ‘Have we gone too far?’ 16/10/2013

 

bioshock

For my essay, I will select a cultural artefact and write a comprehensive analysis about it. I will be descriptive, analytical and interpretive the artefact in order to explain not only about the game itself but to voice my opinion through facts stated within the game.

The game I have chosen to discuss is Bioshock Infinite which was developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games and released on the 26th of March 2013.  Bioshock Infinite is the 3rd instalment in its series, as previously to this game was Bioshock and Bioshock 2. Bioshock Infinite is very different to its predecessors as it does not follow the same distinct storyline as the other two games in the series but shows similar aspects and referencing in order to class it as a Bioshock game. The game is about a protagonist called Booker DeWitt who ventures through a ‘Utopia’ which happens to be a floating castle in the sky called Columbia. He is looking to find a young lady called ‘Elizabeth’ in order to hand her over in order to pay off a debt, but all is not what it appears to be.

BIOINF1

The main setting of Bioshock Infinite is within this ‘Utopia’ which is displayed in all ‘dream’ like colours (Blue and white shades) to suggest this is a heavenly place to be. This is backed up by the environment being a castle in the sky.  The environment is seen as aesthetically pleasing as well as surreal. While this is not actually the case, as within the game the characters have created a Dystopia as they are unpleasant, cruel and considerably racist.

There is a wide spectrum of constant factors of the 19th century within this game but my main focus is to the theme of racism. In this ‘Utopia’, you are asked to throw a ball at an interracial couple. This current scene is iconic as it happens really early within the game, and was used to signify how bad racism was within the 19th century. This really does dive into history as the game is set in the year 1893, back in an era where coloured folk were seen as unequal and unworthy by that society.  Looking at the background of this photo, the ‘set’ was set up like a wedding but what is most notable is the two ‘monkeys’ in the background. The reason this is notable to mention is for a large portion of history, coloured people have always been compared to monkeys and for some, this gave them an excuse to use them for slavery due to comparing them to animals, which again were ‘unequal’ to the white society. All these factors are deemed reasonable enough for this white male (within the picture) to be abused publicly and out cased from society for having an interracial relationship.

bioshock4

I believe that the artists who created the game intentionally wanted to show what that era was really like on a historical and social level by introducing themes of racism and show how far the concept of an ‘ideal white Christian world’ were taken. Although the artists chose to show this in a strong, blunt way which could have been taken the wrong way by the general public today, I still believe this was an amazing display of what history was really like. Making people’s heads turn and shocked over how the game decided to display this was a great idea as it allows us to face and accept what history was like not only for the ‘upper white class’ but to consider every aspect including those who were ‘shunned’. It allowed us to consider how our previous generations on a whole had acted and allowed us to stop making those same mistakes again. Making a comparison to other games on the market, for example GTA V, we are beginning to explore stepping out of societies comfort zone in regards to themes of violence, sexism and racism. In this modern society, we need to ask ourselves ‘Have we gone too far? And is this really acceptable within our current society and culture?’

 

CATS Lesson 2 11/10/2013

The main topic of CATS Lesson 2 was an introduction to Analysis. During the lesson, we gave feedback about the homework we were set the lesson previous, this was just a list of keywords that we had to define.

keywords

After this, we began to look into what analysis was. Analysis is defined as ‘A detailed examination of the elements or structure’ and in order to analyses we must observe and deconstruct in order to gain a better understanding of what it is we are analyzing. In order to use the process of analysis effectively we must also look at:

  • Thinking
  • Describing
  • Researching
  • Interpreting
  • Deciding if we like it or not
  • Evaluating it
  • Making comparisons to something else

We thought the best way to explore the process of analysis and in order to develop our skills would be to look at games and film. We discussed ‘A theory of fun for games design’ by Raph Koster and within his book he mentioned several notable things such as;

  • ‘Games are puzzles to solve, just like in everything else we encounter in life’
  • ‘Games serve as very fundamental and powerful learning tools’
  • ‘Exercises for the brain’
  • ‘It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun’

We watched a short clip from the film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968’ which was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and Co-written by Kubrick and Arther C. Clark. It is a Sci-fi film which was described by film critics as an ‘epic film’ and ‘the most dazzling visual happenings in the history of modern picture!’ by Time Magazine. The film is about the ‘vision’ of technological evolution in the future and how advanced it has become whilst also dealing with human evolution, Artificial intelligence and extraterrestrial life.

Within our group we were told to analysis the film clip and to give our opinion using particular keywords, the keywords I obtained were ‘Sound, Time and Movement’. For Sound we decided that within the clip, we were drawn to the AI’s monotone voice and how expressionless it was. This was a key factor of the clip as it made you feel as if the AI was near human but was as if it was a child, making decisions without knowing the consequences fully. This was backed up within the clip as the AI was singing to ‘Dave’ as he was being deactivated as a child does not anticipate nor fear death, so overall this scene was very emotional despite contrasting with the AI’s characteristics as he is a cold, hard emotionless machine.  Discussing the keyword ‘Time’; we as a group established that Dave seemed rushed and scared but the AI seemed patient and calm, again showing his lack of human emotions to respond to a situation which results in his demise. Finally, we all concluded that the clip was slow and the atmosphere slowly changed for me in terms of establishing split emotions for the AI and Dave, as Dave was terrified and wanted to end the AI quickly to end everything yet the AI was ‘childlike’ despite being an emotionless machine which gave you empathy for the role he played; so balancing the time correctly within this scene was important in order to make you feel for the characters and what was happening.

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.

playstationw

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)

pokemonyellow

464947-pokemon_yellow_version_gbc_screenshot1

pokemon