Monday, March 7, 2011

The Review: Freak Factor

Review of  David Rendall’s “FREAK FACTOR"
This piece plays on the misconception that anyone that is different or not part of the so called “crowd”, I see thought of as an outsider and wrong, therefore ultimately needs to change. It also continues to discusses how people get caught up in becoming perfect. In this attempt people put too much emphasize into exterminating their own weaknesses; when in reality they should focus on improving their strengths.

One of the thing that is mentioned is “Forget It: Don't Try to Fix Your Weaknesses”, right away I was drawn in. it was fascinating to me because we are all expected to correct and remove whatever "weaknesses" we have. However, David makes some strong arguments against dismissing your weaknesses and focusing instead on your strengths. First, it is to much work to try an correct your self errors. Secondly, it hurts. It is not a fun journey to try and get better at something ones bad at. Thirdly, fixing a weakness is distracting. The time that we spend on making a weakness less weak could be spent on activities that complement our strengths or increase our skill in things we are good at.  Finally, and most importantly, David suggests that any attempt to fix a weakness will fail. Even if we are able to turn a negative trait into a neutral or slightly positive one, it's not a powerful strength. At best it's a mediocre strength that really isn't useful for anything.

Another section I thought was interesting was title “What's My Problem?” This section’s ideal is particularly significant to me because it's something that I've noticed all around me throughout my life. People seem to believe the misconception that if they have weaknesses, these problems need to be addressed and handled. But Weaknesses he says are in fact good signs, they point to the strengths that we all have.  The man who doesn't respect authority often is the man who starts his own business and takes charge.  The one who is disorganized is creative.  And the list goes on and on.  These so called weaknesses are admittedly problematic in typical workplaces...but when given the opportunity to flourish and work on their own, such problems reveal great strengths and the ability to succeed.

“Focus: You Can't Do Both" relates people to commercial stores.  The discussion’s main points focused on the idea that as a business you can only focus on fixing a weakness or building strength. Unfortunately, many people try to do both at the same time, and the result is largely that they fail at both. The example used was of Walmart and Target. Walmart's strength is low prices; its weakness is low quality products and unhelpful employees. Target's strength is the opposite: good quality products and employees, but at a higher cost to the consumer. Both stores focus entirely on constructing their strengths, while ignoring their faults, which is something we should all strive to do. Kmart was used as an example of a store that tried to both advertises its strengths while working on its weaknesses at the same time. The result was a mediocre store with mediocre products, with consumers who had decided not to shop there.  He relates it back to people in that your relations with people will result on how you approach your strengths.

In the creative process, my strengths sore in the aspect that I am very creative. I have a lot going on inside my head, many ideas, and many concepts. I also think that another of my strengths is that I am very interest creatively in fine arts as opposed to media arts. I think that this interest allows me to look at media in a more dynamic way. I have many weaknesses all well, and like the essay advises is that don’t focuses on them, and in my life I have tried to do just that. However doing this also creates a weakness in that now my art focuses sole on things that I know I am good at, allowing for a lot less risks being taken on my part, at least as it relates to fine arts.

The Review: Collapsus

Audio Commentary on the Trans-Media Piece, Collapsus, which takes a look at the worlds environmental concerns.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Review: Heroes vs. Villains

I review other student's in my classes Hero/Villain projects:
I really think that this group used color as a means to differentiate their heroes and villains; all the characters are in contrasting colors from one another. The Hero, Minuteman is in all brown, a dark color. This opposes the two villains’, nearly all white attire. However the hues of white not keeping a complete affinity between the two preserve the difference between the villains. Hi-Hat is in a cream color white suit, with lots of gold accents. This hue is relates to him because the color is much more refined, suiting for someone of his wealth. Silver spoon however is in pure white, reminiscent of a lab coat, really playing of his sort of experimental existence.
One of the biggest things that I noticed in this set of villain and heroes is the subtext and text they both utilize. The first is the villain Eros, a two-year-old super genius. This villain is incredibly bratty and unlovable however her name is Eros, which happens to be the Greek god of Love and beauty. This Sub-textual evidence is both a misdirection and ironic. Likewise the hero utilizes textual evidence where his name is Captain Stickman, and he happens to be a stick figure.
The Villain, Eros in the animation seemed to have not Weight in her movement. She floated around light and carefree, tumbling high up onto tree branches. I thought giving here this feeling of being weightless without a care is a great juxtaposition to her antagonistic behavior.
This hero and villain combination share a very obvious affinity, they both are or would be characters in roman times. This is reflected in their costumes and surroundings. The hero a roman soldier ( or s it appears) and the villain, the  tyrannical emperor, Caligula.  This notion would also demonstrate a direct textual meaning. This textual meaning clearly parallels the actual over through of the roman emperor Caligula.
A lot of the movement in this animation is a parallel movement. When the characters move there is only the movement of the actual character moving forward. Other movements such as the legs or arms do not offset this movement. This make the animations look very flat. This flat movement only stops when they utilize overlapping movement when a character would hit a wall or object and the arms and legs would drop simultaneously as the body is moving forward.

The Review: Game Presentations

When giving our game presentation I actually looked at the faces of the people in class as we showed them our concept. I did this mainly because then where in front of me but also because I wanted to gage their reaction to see if we had done a good job. Their expressions remained interested and fixed on either the screen or us. This told me that they at least understood the goals and objectives of the game. I think large portion of the credit goes to our use of audio, visual, and referential aids. We included the actual audio soundscape in our presentation along with images of our characters. Then also during the presentation we constantly referred to other games that audience my have played before.

However I do believe we could have supported the reality of the game but possibly being more specific in defining the games rules and mechanics. I think that possible a more structured game would help the viewer understand exact what the game is trying to get across as oppose to simply stating that he player would have free roam. I think it is important for the audience to truly understand you game mechanics and rules because ultimately that is the player interface when playing, it tells then what they can and cannot do, and how to do it.

I think it is more difficult to explain mechanics and rules. I think this is because it hard to create a world already. Then within that world creating rules and ways you have to follows to go through that world, things you can do and things you cant. Mechanics and rule ultimately determined what your goals and objects can be, because they cannot deviate from the mechanics in order to be accomplished.

The Review: This American Life

Professor Charles Xavier
I chose Professor X for superhuman power of mind control. I chose this because  think that it would interesting what kind of situation I could get myself into with the ability to control the one or obstacles around me.

The article This American Life

The Audio Review: