Easter Break!

Finally, easter break!

Unfortunately, this has to be a short blog post because i’m sick and have zero energy… We’re still covering aspects of video games in lectures, but at Tuesday we went to Mia’s exhibit – “Texttransformations” – which was pretty cool. I thought it was cool the way she visually displayed a “thought” digital network with the red thread, and also, that she incorporated old forms of textuality in her installation showing the ways of organizing information in the past and pointing to the ways we communicate today. She also incorporated “found objects” from the archives of the Humanities Library making a DADA sensibility of taking a object that seems functionary but reinterpret it in an artistic space to produce new forms of meaning. I took the picture below showing an old Remington typewriter Mia used in her installation. It was stationed next to the modern computer showing kind of a nostalgic illusion of how we used to write.

IMG_6254

I’ve continued to post a few #dda’s on Twitter which I’ll share with you.

I thought this was a fun #dda because I haven’t played in AGES. The #dda said we should play for 10 minutes but I think I played for about an hour. I’ve also taken up some time playing games on my phone. There was this game “Temple Run” that was widely popular a few years ago and know I’m playing it for fun (and when I’m bored and want to pass time). Still a casual player. But I got the gaming bug hehe.

I’ll leave you here with this and play some Tempe Run pretending I’m one of the gamers and hoping I will recover from my severe (exaggerating) cold and continue to enjoy my easter break in the sun 😀

God påske!

The Power of a Game

This week in class, we had a series of students presenting games that they were particularly passionate about or had relevance to the work we were doing in class. In particular, I found the peer games showcase of the game Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, by Rikke to be very interesting. It is a game that focuses heavily on mental health, an aspect that you wouldn’t tend to associate with a game.

eAEKT4K

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is an empathy game, based on Celtic culture where you play as a warrior named Senua. Senua has to defeat otherworldly entities to rescue her dead lover from the goddess Hela. The protagonist suffers from psychosis, a condition where thoughts and emotions are so warped that contact is lost with external reality. Senua has voices in her head telling her what to do, and the player experiences this first hand with the very realistic sound effects of the game. In particular, through the use of panning through the left and right headphones, it makes it incredibly realistic and creepy, and as if the voices are really in your head. Sometimes during the game, the whispering voices become so prominent that it is increasingly difficult to focus on anything else in the world around her. This effectively mimics the conditions that someone with psychosis would experience, in which I think the game is incredibly good at portraying empathy. The very realistic graphics of Senua and the world around her also adds to these realistic effects.

MReqDaX.jpg

The game has received an amazing response from people actually suffering from psychosis, and they praise the game for helping them to cope with their illness. People say that they have shown the game to their friends and family to try to explain what they are going through with their mental illness. They also say that Senua’s Sacrifice has given them a sense that they are not alone, and that it is amazing to know that there other people are out there going through the same illness.

This game is definitely not for everyone, in fact, I think playing it for ages would leave a big imprint as it really seems to get inside of your head. I also wouldn’t recommend it to children. However, I think that if a game is able to help someone suffering from any illness out there, then I say: that’s amazing.

Red Thread

Before the Easter break, we had a different Tuesday lecture, taking place in the Humanities Library at UiB. We were to experience Zamora’s installation Textransformations which is both a sculpture and an interactive reading experience.

When I came up the stairs and noticed the red threads hung everywhere, I already knew what had been some of the inspiration for this piece. In January, I had been to KODE 2 in Bergen and seen Chiharu Shiota’s thread constructions. It was the same red thread hanging in the library, but it was easy to see that this wasn’t quite the same interpretation — Zamora’s work represented the transformation of textuality from analog to digital form.

 

IMG_4488.JPG
Chiharu Shiota: Direction

 

Shiota’s installation reminds me of a red spiderweb, weaving together the old boats that used to be a well-used transportation option in Bergen. This because the boats are something that was so integrated in the lives of people who lived here, but now, they are just a forgotten memory because of new transport opportunities.
When experiences Textransformations, this was kind of the same feeling I got — though reinterpreted into textuality.

 

29681159_10156426947408679_1835551190_o.jpg
Mia Zamora: Textransformations

 

As seen in the picture above, the piece included old library cards, books, a book ladder, small drawers, QR codes and computers. Everything is tied together in the red thread which symbolizes the digital networks and shows how these have reorganized our experience of communication. 

The installation furthermore called for user interaction. The QR codes could be scanned and would take you to a quote for example, and the computers could be used for showing our #NetNarr network and how we are all tied together.

 

29694038_10156426948088679_1024457068_o.jpg
Mia Zamora: Textransformations

 

These objects that make the installation come to show how we usually organized knowledge and how we come to organize it today. I for one hadn’t really seen the library cards for such a long time. Everything today is organized in computer systems. This piece, therefore, also includes elements of the past — something forgotten that has been replaced by newer, faster, digital opportunities that have left the old objects somewhat purposeless.

This way of showing how we went from analog to digital and how everything now is connected via the invisible threads (done visible with these red threads) is very fascinating. It is something that otherwise is easily forgotten: where we came from, how things used to be. We integrate all kinds of digitalization into our lives and leave out the things we once were so dependent on. Now, what we are really dependent on is the digital — the networks, the devices, the opportunities that these offer.

I really enjoyed the installation and the fact that one could contribute to it and interact and engage with it. This further shows the network aspect of the piece. It was a very cool experience, a “blast from the past” and an eyeopener for me of how many small objects that have lost their purposes and have been set aside because of the digitalization of it.