• Sarah

Phase 1- Week 2: Establishing areas of research

Updated: May 5, 2019

Following The Good Start/Bad Start workshop I decided to repeat the activities; as I felt that their wasn't a large enough initial body of keywords that I was interested in to explore. I found doing this via lists was quicker for me to do. I also adapted the next task of getting rid of "bad starts" by stripping back more specific examples to their route cause (i.e. the reason Forrest Gump made me cry was the successive downfalls). This made me think more specifically about the reasons which could be better starts then already curated pieces.


What makes you cry?

By looking at what makes me cry, I've found that this my most lengthily list of ideas. By having this quantity of ideas it's made me think about whether I want to make games that elicit an emotional response. This is something I could explore when I've chosen my ideas to present for next week and whether they are emotionally rooted.


(From top left to bottom right; What makes me laugh, what excites me, what makes me angry and what are my interests and what intellectually stimulates me)


I found this section a lot harder, picking apart exactly what it is that makes me laugh. Here it was difficult to not just give examples. I feel like a lot of these ideas, such as puns and people falling over, would be difficult ideas to develop further.


The ideas that excite me, intrigues me. I think if I was to create a persona from this list, I would identify a middle aged woman. This could potentially align me to a target audience of 40-50 year old women during my further research.


When looking at what angers me, I think that exploitation and infection could be some interesting concepts to explore. They're two ideas that really evoke anger in me and it's important that the ideas I take forward are ones that I'm passionate about.


With regards to what intellectually stimulates me/interests me, I've found that stories routed in deep history (which could be from history, tragic events or interesting crimes) have been good bodies of academic research for me previously. I'm interested in conveying people's perceptions in regards to this.


I then applied the redaction element, eliminating ideas that I thought weren't rich enough. This was often because they were too specific (e.g. dad dancing and loitering people) or I felt that I explored them before academically. This halved my initial ideas which led me to think about which of these were most interesting to me. I've found that I'm most interested in areas which can be described as social normalities/abnormalities. 8 of these really stood out and I have decided that these will be the areas I will explore to establish my 4 presentation areas next week. They are: Travel, Crime Shows, Patriarchy, Tradition, Selective Eating Disorder, Rural Life, Constant Interaction and Infection.


100 Initial Ideas


I have since explored associated themes and identified questions within the themes that I am interested in. I did this by creating lotus diagrams to identify these inner themes and associated questions that I pondered developed from this.


Travel: My interest in travel as a topic stemmed from the specific area of New Orleans in the first workshop. I've thought about specific destinations and their cultures, modes of transport, yet the thing that stood out to me was the purpose of travel. This developed into me questioning my responsibilities as 1st world when traveling, the tourism industry and cultural appropriation.


Crime: I broadened out crime shows to crime as I was worried that this would lead to just many examples of portrayals of crime, detective and victim. It's made me think about justices and injustices of crime, punishment and the impacts of crime shows. I feel that this has now taken me back to crime shows as a topic. More specifically the impacts of crime shows, and the spectacle that they are in the modern world.


Patriarchy: I started with a broader topic of feminism to explore the female gender more. This turned the topic into an exploration of inequality and perception. I'm particularly drawn to the varying opinions of the patriarchy and its existence. I think it could be interesting to explore a personal story in this area.


Tradition: I have lots of questions about traditions which really interest me. Topics such as history, celebrations and conservatism were associated areas that I would like to explore further. My questions look at the origins of tradition and its importance. I think this could be a unique concept to explore, there will be many cultures and examples of this to demonstrate.


Selective Eating Disorder (SED): SED is a condition which restricts food intake. Topics that came from this wear food, pseudo and fear. The questions revolve around its classification as a mental health disorder. This is a personal topic for me to explore, so I should be wary of my findings as it can provoke different emotions that I may feel not so great about.


Rural life: Loneliness and the class system were ideas that were interesting in the area of rural life. I'm interested in the differences between rural life in the UK compared to world-wide, which led to questions relating to both. I think that rural life has been portrayed in games before but maybe not the issues of modern rural life. loneliness, middle class. Highlighting stories of inequalities.


Constant Interaction: This topic came from social media personas. I have a different outlook and feel that we are addicted to interaction, via technology. This led to the topic technology addiction and then communication. This has made me question the impact of interaction throughout history and made me think about how everything is connected via virtual networks (of information and social networks).


Infection: My final topic is saw me identify themes such as destruction and disease. I think it could be interesting to specifically look at interesting diseases here. A more abstract development of infection was the current political climate. It has made me question whether there is such thing as social infection?


From these I further created lotus diagrams to assess the possibility of additional topics associated with them. Through this the patriarchy morphed into feminism, with a strong emphasis on equality. This is a theme that is also emerging in the crime theme and therefore I have chosen to focus on it terms of crime, eliminating feminism/patriarchy as a theme.


At this point I assed the topics in relation to each other and what I thought would be an interesting body of researching. In order to whittle the topics down to 4. Travel as a theme has really engaged me. Thinking about the possibilities of exploring travel as an industry is an interesting take, however I'm concerned that I will become distracted focusing on location rather than social issue. Within specific locations are masses of topics and I want to ensure that I'm creating a concise body of research not broad. For this reason I eliminated travel.


After looking over the research questions I have created there are ones that I'm more interested in taking forward than others and have therefore decided to eliminate rural life and infection from my further research. Although interesting I think that I could end up stuck in conventions of typical narratives/bodies of research which I want to avoid.


This leaves me chosen topics for research and presentation as: Crime/Crime shows, Tradition, Selective Eating Disorder (SED) and Constant Interaction.


I will now begin to explore these topics specifically with theoretical research, examples and insights. I will use library resources and the internet to develop these ideas. I think it might be good to use the questions to guide my presentation next week.