Archive | April, 2013

parting is such sweet sorrow….

29 Apr

In five years I will remember the word semiotics because I haven’t heard that word said so much in any other time I’ve been in class. The blog posts were one of my favorite parts of the class, the reflection of our lectures and readings through the explanation of these various blog posts really reinforced the lessons. The in class discussions always were enjoyable and informative, especially the unorthodox way the notes were presented on the board and helped me visualize the connections between different topics. What I’ll take away from this class is a better understanding of the digital world we live in today and how it affects our lives. Also in taking this class I’m to understand that some of the theories discussed may be proven or dis-proven in the near future. Five years from now depending on how advanced or how society changes I may look at this class as an antique a library of antiquated ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and I learned a lot about the theory behind this mass media world we live in.

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The customizable society

29 Apr

The customizable society and its effect on people’s views of themselves and their environment in this digital age. To truly understand the overall message I need to simplify these ideals, starting with that of the customizable society. What is the “customizable society”? In previous posts I’ve used the phrase, but I have never really ventured down the path of what it is, well today is your lucky day. Never before in history have we been able to tailor almost every aspect of our lives to suite our own personal Ideals, wants, and needs. For example, in this digital age when you log on to any mass online shopping site, we’ll say amazon (The Walmart of online shopping) the more you purchase the more the advertisements change to suite your personality depending on what you bought. If you were to listen to Pandora internet radio the types of stations you choose to listen to determine not only the products but in what language they are advertised to you. The unique and interesting fact is that because the digital world has intertwined so much in our day to day lives this sense of customization this sense of individuality is augmented and the catalyst for our societies excessive need to self-express. These avenues of expression lead to the creative process being mistaken for simple rearrangement. This misconception that everyone is some sort of artist in this new media society is a fallacy. The customizable society allows us to live in a world that is more connected than ever and have so much disconnection. This rift causes the people to believe that their worlds revolve around them, well in fact they do. The customizable society is in fact made up of everyone’s life and amalgamation of tailored made digital lives that allow every person “creative expression to be heard. The question is, is the rearranging of a kit of parts true creativity and in a world where creative expression is literally at ones finger tips is everyone an artist? The answer to this is “ no,” because the expression of individuality fostered in this society is not the bases for true artistic freedom.  

video game culture

20 Apr

Since the beginning of man games have had a very important role in our culture whether training nomadic children how to hunt, or teaching further generations teamwork, games have left an indelible mark on who we are as a people. In civilizations centuries apart and continents away games have shown themselves to be one of the cornerstones of a civilization. As the years pass and civilizations progress games are in a status of evolution and progression almost mirroring the society that created them. The idea of “video game culture” became popularized in recent history because before then being a “gamer” wasn’t a tag you could put on someone. In order for there to be a “culture” there has to be a group of people who embody similar characteristics. The gamer as we know him/her today can be anyone, this label has transcended sex, race, or any other superficial classification. To makes this easier to understand let me explain it like this; In the past the “gamer” was incorporated in the overall term “geek” or “nerd” the pocket protector wearing, no date having, and socially awkward individuals popularized through characters such as, Screech or Steve Urkel. Exactly when this shift in perception happened is unknown but it occurred with the popularity and accessibility of gaming. The act changed from something “weird” kids do to something “cool kids do” video games became attractive, and with this came a need for consumers to have them anywhere they wanted to.  The increased accessibility of gaming has turned video game culture into another part of the American experience, this is increasingly evident with the variety of video games we now have. From the super educational to the training of the senses video games have found their place in our culture because they have devolved in their evolution to the basics of what traditional games do for the human being. They have surpassed the idea of a plumber trying to save a princess to creating a way for one games to be more interactive and two to actually help developmental skills. Because gaming is no longer “simple”, because video games in some respects require as much mental effort than some sports, and the fact that a primal training is going on contributes to not only its growing fan base but its every increasing reach. The fact that no one has to go to an arcade anymore to play video games is because as a society we as consumers have grown to see games and gaming as part of our daily routines.

acg

7 Apr

The album cover game was a great experiment in the art of spontaneous creation. The idea is to use a bunch of random elements to create an album cover and to post it on facebook. The most interesting aspect of this game is the fact that it makes design accessible to the “non-designer”. In this day and age with our user friendly society we can change and manipulate virtually anything blurring the line between designer and consumer. The value of this game is actually in the statement it makes, it brings the “designer” down to the level of every other person. In this game no level of designer and no amount of experience matters in the creation of this album cover because it is random almost everything looks cool. The down side is that it takes the creativity out of the exercise for those design oriented people. This “game” takes little to no creativity because the guesswork is taken out of it. In a contradictory way this sort of blind creation adds a great design challenge for designers. This adds a new perspective on design, because it forces a designer to work with what is given and have to look deeper into the details of the composition to find a creative outlet. The positioning of the text and the font are usually contingent on the type of band or the album theme, but in this you are already given two elements that may be vastly different. This academically is a lesson that students in creative majors should learn, in today’s society everyone thinks they are an artist or designer of some sort. We live in a world that is fully customizable to the everyday person from shoes such as Nike id, Addidas originals, and custom converse, to cell phones where you can jailbreak them (illegal) and customize your phone down to your phone’s font. We live in a society today where people feel as though it is their right to be able to change and create, and the album cover game simply reminds puts all of these factors in perspective.