Reflection on Week 1 – Phase 1

Week 1 Semester 1

Week 1 Semester 1 had us looking at the format in which we would progress throughout the year, highlighting necessary tasks while giving a better understanding of what was demanded by a course that focused more on conceptual based design rather than the ‘big-bucks’ mode of production that is currently industry standard  – something I value highly about the course.

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Illustration provided by Adam Procter (The University of Southampton, n.d.)

Phase 1 Day 1

Phase 1 begins with an exercise in brainstorming, allowing us to let go of bias and explore topics with which we have passion and great interest. Immediately a few topics came to mind -: psychology, philosophy, languages, mythology, fantasy, the absurd/surreal anything that makes me think.

A lot of these topics I have a decent background in – as they are personal interests of mine – so research has been a very direct process of finding some of my favourite pieces of literature or videos. Below is a breakdown of some of the more notable headings I have been exploring:

  • Languages : language and communication are tools that live in a beautiful symbiosis, aiding and assisting each other seamlessly. I have a very personal love for languages and learning as it allows me to engage with new cultures and with new people that otherwise I would not have been able to. Language is a narrative tool that explains context, allows for immediate recognition and translation of information, such as: of dangers, insights, feelings and anything we could possibly be thinking. It is an invaluable human resource that I have a great interest in undertaking in a multimedia setting such as Games making. There are two directions in which this could take me, those being, narrative and education.
    • Narrative: stories, poems and folk-tales all live within the realm of the narrative. A process in which a story – a sequence of information – is translated from one to another in order to communicate some sense of knowledge or to teach a valuable lesson. Taking narrative outside the context of games leads us into everyday life, stories exist all around us, they help us communicate with the world and gain knowledge about ourselves. My favourite types of narratives exist within folk-law and fantasy – adding a surreal and abstract spin on the mundanity of normality.
    • Education: the direct approach of translating knowledge from one to another. Teaching language to others is an excellent way to better understand language for yourself. Undertaking this topic would help me to understand my desired areas of interest and create a product that helps others communicate and engage in safe and fun ways.
      • looking further into Education for Language – I came across a lecture by

        Chris Lonsdale who explains an efficient process in which to acquire new language quickly. One part of his methodology involves using Comprehensible Input – a process in which images, actions and sounds are combined in which to implant new memories into the mind – remembering words in the same way we would have learnt them as children. Comprehensible Input is a true multimedia experience. (TEDxLingnanUniversity, 2013)

  • Philosophy
    • Visual Perception : more specifically how alterations to our visual perception change our understanding of reality – how it adds meaning, takes away meaning and can create an atmosphere that is interpret-able by all. My interest in this area is derived mostly by my philosophical interests into ‘what is real’ and more personally by my experience with ‘visual snow’ – a visual disorder which is categorized by it’s symptoms (seeing static/snow in the field of vision, seeing halos, floaters, sensitivity to light, tinnitus and more) (Visualsnowsyndrome.com, 2018)
    • Nihilism & Existentialism
    • Epistemology
  • Psychology
    • Mental Health Disorders
    • Abnormal Psychology
  • Mythology
  • the Absurd & the Surreal (Aesthetic Interest)
Primary Brainstorming Activity
A Mind-Map Created in MindMup.com illustrating a branching narrative of thought – exploring concepts and areas of interest relevant to Phase 1 Idea generation

 

Phase 1 Day 2

Phase 1 Day 2 had the group working collaboratively to brainstorm and explore concepts for the upcoming project. Working together with different minds was an interesting exercise in exploring ideas, I worked with George to create the Mind-maps below. Together we explored the following questions/suggestions: what makes you… laugh, cry, feel angry, feel excited, feel intellectually stimulated, feel super interested. Together we brainstormed these concepts and found a similar theme, we focused a lot on daily issues (mundanity) and the significance of small events on our mental psychology. We explored a lot of philosophical concepts (proving an interest in the topic of what intellectually stimulates the mind) including nostalgia as a concept, significance, improving at tasks and overall the point of each – the point of being, doing, living etc.

The idea of the ‘BIG QUESTIONS’ of life seems to be a reoccurring theme in my process of thought – I know this is significant because it goes further to illustrate my interest in this field of thought. However, because of the nature of this interest it may be counter productive to explore this area due to it’s ability to lead to more questions than answers. Finding a way to direct this philosophy into something more tangible and practical will prove useful in order to turn this ‘idea’ into a product that reaches further than just an initial concept of thought. The tangibility of thought is a hard concept to grasp! Perhaps creating visualisations will help create a real world example out of this topic.

Additional work (spontaneous production)

Thinking about my personal interests lead me to create an illustration that symbolises an iconic gesture that I feel surmises my personality. It is the ‘rock-on’ gesture or the ‘The sign of the horns’. I’ve decided to use it as an additional bit of branding for my personal work.

lOGO

Bibliography

Emsley, P. (2018). MindMup 2. [online] App.mindmup.com. Available at: https://app.mindmup.com/map/_free/2018/10/431bd590c8ba11e8aa3125cbf2d11387 [Accessed 2 Oct. 2018].

TEDxLingnanUniversity (2013). How to learn any language in six months | Chris Lonsdale | TEDxLingnanUniversity. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0yGdNEWdn0&index=7&list=FLoEhoZBs5ue5gJgpuJbaaCw&t=0s [Accessed 2 Oct. 2018].

The University of Southampton (n.d.). Research & Create Phase Illustration. [image].

Visualsnowsyndrome.com. (2018). The Visual Snow Foundation. [online] Available at: http://visualsnowsyndrome.com/symptoms/ [Accessed 7 Oct. 2018].

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