Sunday Links #7

After some offline time during this week Gamearch is finally back. Unfortunately we had a compromised account and some injected malware code on the website so the blog was set up from scratch, which also explains the different theme. This might change back to the original should I find time to do so. Unfortunately because of this (and other work) I didn’t share too much today, so there’s only a few items today:

Video: John Cleese on Creativity (1991)

In this lecture video John Cleese explains his observations and theories on how creativity works. He cities a few scientific articles and experiments in his talk and there’s plenty of his trademark british humor. Even though this video it’s over 20 years old by now I still believe it holds very much true. The main gist of his talk is that there’s to “mental modes” in which we can operate: Open (spontaneous, unjudging, unfocused, humorous, creative) and Closed (focused, productive, goal-oriented).

He gives a few tips for how to get into the very fragile Open mode, chiefly among them being the fact that it’s necessary to set apart a time and place for that to work. I absolutely agree with that as well – the significance of space is not to be underestimated. I’d add to that and say that if the space can be designed to be playful that can make it easier to get into the state of mind. I personally am a big fan of using Lego and other toys to get into the Open state.

Another observation I really enjoyed and that I’ll have to try to be more conscious of is the amount of time one should spend in the open state. According to Cleese about 90 minutes is a good rate. His suggestion is to alternate the Open and Closed mental states, first to produce ideas, then to implement them and then again to reassess them.

Link: Mass Effect Pinboard
I’ve set up a Mass Effect themed pinboard on pinterest and started collecting fan- and concept art there. I’m a bit surprised by the amount of Mass Effect poster motives that are out there.

Video: Mass Effect: Indoctrination Theory

This video explains one version of a surprisingly widespread fan theory in regards to the Mass Effect 3 ending. According to this theory the ending sequence is soley played out in Shepards indoctrinated mind as he fights against the Reapers’ control. It’s quite elaborate and there’s so many plot holes and inconsistencies in the ending, that there’s more than enough room for this kind of theory without it looking too out of place.

Even though the video is a bit long-winded I did enjoy this different perspective. As a content creator it has to be pretty cool if your community comes up with their own interpretations, theories and versions of your story and storyworld. Just imagine the many discussions about Deckard in Blade Runner and wether he is/was an android or not. The fact that there’s room for the audience to see the story through different lenses and still have it work and make sense is a great thing. At least in theory.

What irks me about this theory though is that I get the feeling that this theory was developed out of desperation: The disastisfaction with the ME3 ending seems to be so big for some that they are fishing for an alternative, any alternative. Anything at all is better than what people have been presented – even if that is the “it was all just a dream” twist. A plot development that’s as contrived, ham-handed and uninteresting as can be.

Video: Google: Project Glass

By now you’ve probably seen this video of the fictional Google AR goggles project. There’s been boundless jokes about it’s feasibility in terms of accidents and akward social situations. I guess they are funny but it’s not that much different from people using their smartphones to facebook on the go, walking without looking, or from using headsets to talk on the phone. Granted the technology is something we would have to get used to but I’m all for it.

The kinds of games that would be possible on this kind of device alone would be worth it.

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