In no particular order,
In no particular order,
Body play, object play, social play, rough and tumble play, imaginative play, etc. - the list goes on and on. Play is that which comes to us naturally as children. It is “born by curiosity and exploration” and it allows us to “explore the possible.” Play, as Brown describes, is what constitutes our childhood and our ability to be innovative in our lives - be it emotional, social, creative, or otherwise.
Two parts of the TED talk really caught my attention. Not simply because of what the two parts said, but how they interact with each other in reflecting about the topic. First, rather early in the talk Brown says that “”if its purpose is more important than actually doing it, it’s probably not play.” Much later in the talk, Brown describes what not playing is like. He says that the opposite of play is depression. Depression is when there is no humor, no flirtation, no games, no fantasy, etc. - in short, the opposite of play. Alone, these two parts of the talk seem at least mostly agreeable. But when put together, I feel that Brown seems to be overstating play (or its alternatives) in many cases.
However, at the same time, the more basic notes that Brown makes throughout the talk due still have some weight. To name a few: The basis of human trust is in play signals. Vocal, facial, body, gestural signals all denote play. The ability of play (in particular body play) can simply make people (or animals) feel better - even with no purpose to the play. Object play also leads to a linking between physical motion and the brain - a medium between the body and the mind.
Games like Cow Clicker, Farmville, and other similar facebook games have - to put it nicely - made me doubt the sanity of several of my friends. I have seen people enjoy these games. I have seen them play them, repeatedly coming back to them. These types of games I feel I actually have similar views as Bogost - it’s pretty ridiculous that people find them enjoyable and can become so immersed in them that they spend real money on them. These things should not be fun - but somehow the herd mentality has brought people into them.
Although the above seemed to be a large focus of the article, I decided to look more into another part: The game “compelled them to pay money if they wanted to avoid mindless tasks or lengthy delays.” This is an idea that I have seen coming up so often in the modern gaming industry, that it is quite surprising how large it is. Free to play games have been generating such large profits that they out-earn other non-free games. There is always something more to be had than what is available within a free game - better in game items, reduced grinding, increased experience, etc. These perks can be purchased with money. Sure the entire game could be played without paying a single cent (many games you will not be at a disadvantage without paying, but there are some where you could be) - but there is something to be gained by paying.
Completing tasks in easier ways is appealing. That simple fact is what the gaming industry relies upon. The top grossing gaming companies in recent years have included many free to play games because they encourage players to spend by making whatever in-game goals they need to reach easier as a result. The simplicity, yet immense profit that arises from this concept is just astonishing to me.
I just brought up a browser window that I had minimized all day, and realized I completely forgot about it at the time I wrote my last response post.
Earlier today, I was browsing Reddit, as usual. I happened to read a post by a user, then clicked on his profile which then displays other recent comments/posts by that user. It so happened that they also posted on a subreddit “/r/learnprogramming.” I didn’t even know this subreddit existed. I got to browsing some of the posts in this section whenever something peaked my interests. On the front page of this section, there was a self post titled “Where should I start if my goal is to eventually make games?.” Being interested in gaming, I investigated and found a link in a top comment to the following site:
That site is the perfect relation between coding and remixes. Using others content to find and progress my knowledge is an example of exactly what I spoke of in my last response. But then I also realized that the way in which I found this site was also a sort of a remix. Collecting, combining, and transforming of information and posts on reddit is a remix in itself.
Immediately after looking at the title of this video series, “Everything is a Remix,” I was a bit perplexed and intrigued. My initial thoughts were in relation to how broad of a topic that brought up, how amazingly true it really was, but also what further implications that brings up. Everything being a remix is something I find incredibly hard to “prove” but very believable. Some things are always seen as new and unique, but they still have a base in something that came before it. The amount that future works draw from previous works, as Ferguson visually displayed, actually took me by surprise. I thought it would be largely loose ties to previous works, but many seemed to be nearly identical, yet slightly updated versions. Finally, the implications these videos bring up I thought were very well captured in the fourth (and briefly referenced in the third video) video. There is a fine line between copyright laws and the idea of remixes - the “evolution of new ideas from the old” and the “derivative nature of creativity.”
One aspect that Ferguson doesn’t really go into too much depth on is games. If you all haven’t noticed yet in class, I like video games and electronic stuff in general. Video games have so many derivative works it is pretty ridiculous. Several games (“DOTA” (Defense of the Ancients), “LoL” (League of Legends), and “HoN” (Heroes of Newerth)) come to mind specifically as they are relevant to my interests. Dota, the “original” version of this style of game [at least new-age tower-defense style games, surely there are predecessors that that was built off of, etc.], has so many content elements that are mostly replicated in both the other two mentioned games. The remix of old content into new games is always there and to me quite surprising that it is acceptable. Also, in terms of remixing video games, this brings back to my mind my earlier post (and brief mention in class) of “Syobon Action” aka Cat Mario.
Another relevant topic to me, which also relates more to school, is the idea of remixing in coding. C++ and other computer programming languages use such a great amount of “remixing,” especially in the learning. I find it personally the easiest to learn how to code new elements by looking at examples and figuring out how each line of code is working. Without remixing other peoples’ previously written codes, my knowledge and ability to produce new works would be hampered.
I would like to end this response with a statement from the fourth video: Most of us have no problem with copying, as long as we are the ones doing it.
Riley introduced me to a set of short stories that I found very good. Here they are, in order:
On reading chapter two, I felt much less connected with the concepts and way of getting things done that David Allen was referring to. Much of his organizational methods are just far beyond what I personally need. However, there are still many things to take away from what he is saying.
Two returning ideas from chapter 1 that Allen brings up are the comparison to ourselves and RAM as well as the 6-level model for reviewing work. What is on your mind, but isn’t already represented in an organizational basket he refers to as “your psychic RAM.” I am able to write down my homework assignments, upcoming tests, and other defined “work” projects that I have to do… but there are still things that are wandering my mind. These other “things” I don’t really think to write down, but they need to be organized in some fashion as Allen points out. The six-level model again, as in chapter one, wants to ensure balance among the levels in order for relaxed control and inspired productivity.
In addition to the two returning ideas, I felt particularly interested in two other points Allen made in chapter two. First, he briefly talks about how people are more comfortable dealing with surprises and crises than they are in taking control of tasks (managing, organizing, etc.). If I were asked if I liked surprises and crises, I would definitely say no. But upon thinking of how he puts this, I definitely tend to lean towards this method of dealing with tasks. The urgency is something that makes me feel like I am doing something important I guess. I’m not really too sure, it’s hard for me to explain. Somehow, despite my tendency to shy away from crises and surprises when possible, I am still more comfortable completing tasks in this fashion than with complete organization. Secondly, he addresses a problem that I simply don’t know how to get past - “Emergency scanning is not processing.” I do this all the time. In doing this, work piles up which in turn increases stress. Perhaps this is in relation to the whole concept of working towards solving surprises and crises rather than organizing ahead of time.