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My very first experience with Dungeons and Dragons

I had always wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons(D&D). It seemed interesting. Appearing multiple times in pop culture and some gaming channels I follow. I just thought I could never come across other people who played D&D or even had a remote interest in it. That was until a friend of mine asked me if he wanted to join his D&D sessions.

I have recently completed my first campaign of D&D. Well, a one-shot to be more accurate: a short adventure usually created for one session to help players get familiarized with the game mechanics. A veteran dungeon master(DM) made it to help me get familiar with how the game works. The name of the one-shot was: “Something’s Rotten in Ingland…” Where I played as a goliath fighter, together with an aarakocran monk and a half-elf warlock.

So how I learnt D&D was by my fellow party members and DM teaching me how the game works along the way. The DM also hosted zoom meetings before the actual gameplay to help me create a character and explain the different features of D&D. I also did some personal readings of D&D. And let me tell you this. The lore of D&D is incredibly vast! There are multiple resources online for us to learn. They have their websites and books for players to learn more about how the game works. D&D is incredibly detailed with the stats, abilities, classes, races, monsters, and many more details that can affect our experience. All the minor details affected everything into a culmination of our characters and how our adventure played out.

The frustration with the rolls and how the DM and the players could not see eye-to-eye with what we could or could not do, the multiple times each of our party members died only to come back alive with our death rolls, and the good rolls we finally had after suffering the onslaught of giant rats. All the blood, sweat, and tears we excreted with the demanding task of rolling dice made the whole experience worthwhile.

Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game introduced back in 1974. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson were the designers. Its current publisher is Wizards of the Coast.

https://www.dndbeyond.com/ – This site is a must for all D&D players. You can access your character sheet and campaigns, as well as read about the lore and happenings of the Dungeons and Dragons world.

Reference:

Haeck, J. (2019). D&D Beyond. [online] D&D Beyond. Available at: https://www.dndbeyond.com/.

Tribality. (n.d.). D&D 5th Edition Resources. [online] Available at: https://www.tribality.com/dd-5th-edition-resources/

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Corporate Greenwashing (Digital Artefact pitch)

my video pitch on YouTube

I will write a series of blogs to educate young people like me who care deeply about the environment. There is a lot of greenwashing going around and young people who care about the environment are the most vulnerable to being greenwashed by the large companies.

Some possible blogs in the future:

  • How much does beef actually affect the environment?
  • Are oil and car enterprises putting pressure on the world’s governments to keep using private cars?
  • Why don’t governments focus on investing in their public transportation when they have the means to?
  • Why cycling could be the answer to fight vehicular emission

All of this will be posted on Twitter as well so I can get participation in my blogs so both me and the people who interact with my blogs can learn more. If you have any ideas about this topic, feel free to provide some feedback!

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Digital Artefact: Virtual reality (final)

Responding to feedback:

I received some comments on my blogs which were open to the public. They were interested in the tech mind-control system of Virtual Reality(VR). I was also given more resources to read about from my classmates. Virtual reality could be a microscope for the mind, and an electronic tool for expanding human consciousness. This could completely redefine the nature of human- computer and human-human interaction. As of now, virtual reality is something that requires us to use our senses to navigate through and interact with the data given to us in a headset. According to Smith, the user becomes part of the computer, “existing inside an information landscape that exists only inside the computer.”

The expectations for VR, like with artificial intelligence(AI) is high. We expect their technology to be as advanced as the ones from movies and novels. The technology is still in its infancy period, but in due time with enough research, investments, and interest. They will reach our expectations. For now, it is only a matter of time. Virtual reality as a concept, changes and evolves constantly. The interest towards VR is growing with scientific journals, newsletter, content creators dedicated to this subject. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), NASA, and the biggest tech companies including video game companies are all devoted to VR research. Several Japanese companies are also collaborating in building a massive research facility just outside Kyoto, and a large portion of it will be dedicated to VR technology.

Although we have been seeing a lot of advancements in VR tech in recent years, people have been working on VR for the past 25 years (Furness). This just proves how demanding this technology really is. A lot of people have been working on this for so long, and more people can be expected to contribute to its development. It could become a life-changing technology for us in the coming future.

One of the very first recorded usage of VR tech can be seen in flight simulation in the early 70s. They started building a helmet (Darth Vader helmet) in which they could communicate with it using speech and eye positions. The invention was greater than their expectations for it. Instead of looking at a simple picture, they were looking at a computer-generated place with a wide field of view; an interactive display; and a stereo image. It was incredibly immersive as if they had taken a dive in the world. And it paved the way for spatial senses to be used with the computer, linking our minds with it. The impact of virtual reality will be as big as telephones (Tinker). 

From the official website of NextMind, we can see how it works: the image we see(normally a shape that is displayed by the game) is projected onto our visual cortex, and then translated by the device. They promise to identify the image “real-time” but we have not come that far yet. However, this still is a new product and we can expect to see improvements in reading speed in the coming future. The reader can also sense how much focus we are exerting on a certain spot or image. Although games with this device is limited right now due to the limited functions, this is an interesting invention for the advancement of VR gaming.

Predicting the future:

  • 2026 – 5 years from now, we will see more VR games having a boost with its catalogue increasing with older games being able to be played in VR(VR support for older games). And developers will follow in the step of Half-Life: Alyx. More games will be created for the VR market. Technology such as the haptic suit and treadmills will become more accessible to the public.
  • 2031 – 10 years from now, streamers will switch from streaming traditional games to VR games as more games will support the VR system. VR will introduce VR worlds where people can hang out and play games with other people(an extension of VRchat, but with more possibilities). VR Multiplayer online role-playing games will also be created by fans and people who will take advantage of its hype and demand. VR mind technology will keep developing until we will not have to move our bodies to play games, there will be a large injection of players from the disabled community in the virtual world.
  • 2046 – 25 years from now, the world will face a huge problem with people opting to live their lives in the real world. There will be a trend of mass immigration into the virtual world. World governments will start to become debilitated with the loss of activity in the economy but AI and robots will lessen the blow of the inactivity of humans. The world government will try to ban VR technology to no avail. Lethargy of the population having no incentive to work due to AI taking over everything. VR tech will have to be open and the world governments will start thinking about a way to sustain human life in VR with AI taking care of all of us. Even possibly transferring our consciousness into the virtual worlds.
  • 2071 – 50 years from now, the last of the human population has been successfully transferred into the virtual world. There have been millions of people choosing not to be transferred when their time is up as well. Humans have stopped procreating, marking the end of human life on Earth. Humans have become a digitalized race, protected by AI who become the caretakers of Earth. AI, with the vast amount of knowledge gained throughout the years, will be in charge of keeping the systems running and developing new content in the virtual worlds. Earth will continue on like this until the death of the Sun. In the meantime, AI will be trying to find a safe planet in the Universe to relocate with the VR system and continue the history of the new digitized race: the humans.

Reference:

NextMind. (n.d.). NextMind. [online] Available at: https://www.next-mind.com/.

Virtual Reality. (1992). The Journal of Epsilon Pi Tau, [online] 18(2), pp.2–7. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43603590

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BCM 325 #4

Clement:

Clement had posted blogs and tweets about quantum computers and it is a very impressive thing to learn about albeit complicated. It is something that the average person would just gloss over, but I am impressed by Clement’s dedication to the topic. So I recommended him an online journal and a book that could help him with his Digital Artefact.

Amanda: 

I like Amanda’s DA because the world has been talking about global warming and the environment a lot, especially in the last few years. Personally I don’t mind switching over to artificial meat, but I don’t think it is at the level of real meat yet. I try to introduce a generational difference of views on environmental protection. How the younger generation seems to be more aware of this. Maybe it comes from the newer education syllabus introducing this? Also Amanda was talking about a plant-based meat(Analogue), so I mentioned a method of regeneration or creating real meat in labs instead of replacing meat with plant alternatives, I hope the resources I provided will help her.

Hassan:

AI singularity is an interesting topic. One that comes across my YouTube suggestion boxes occasionally and also a topic that comes up when I am conversing with my friends. It has also been mentioned a couple of times and I believe we have to take it seriously. There are both positive and negative sides to this. While it could drastically make our lives easier, we could also stop being the master of our lives. It is frequently mentioned in the media we view, like the movie screening we have had in class. We are always wondering about how far AI can go with humans not being able to rein it back. I have included some online journals to help Hassan with his videos.

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BCM 325 #3

Here I bring up a belief which I shared with the director of Robot & Frank. How new technology isn’t inherently good or bad, it is up to the users to define how they will use them. I received some comments on how this could be an interesting take for stories of technology and I also had another student agreeing with this thinking.

Here I talked about how adorable I thought the robot was in Robot & Frank and a classmate of mine thought the same. Maybe some people might have robots as pets in the future as they can technically “live forever”.

Here, I talk about my interest in the concept of diving into a VR world and how this has influenced media in recent years. A classmate of mine commented about the similarities between two media franchises and how this idea could become a reality in the future.

I brought up the floating city from the movie: Alita. And one my classmates showed a similar example from a well known anime. It was interesting to see how ideas can be shared by different creators. My classmates were also curious as to whether this could be possible in real life. I still am not sure if it is. But according to the book, the city is close to the equator and it is chained to a space elevator which makes it possible to stay afloat.

I talked about how Alita’s motorball scene reminded me of Harry Potter’s quidditch and it seems like some of my classmates agreed with me. Another classmate of mine thought this scene was empowering to women.

Because the space elevator needs to be close to the equator, the film was set in Panama. That is why we are able to see South American architecture and signs in Iron City. A classmate of mine pointed out something interesting, how A.I. would not only be available in English but also use other languages.

Here a classmate tweeted how everything was going digital. To us having robot assistants in the future. I try to bring up how this may affect the domestic work industry. This also applies to housekeeping and janitorial industries as we will see a lot of people lose jobs after being replaced by Artificial Intelligence.

Loneliness and social isolation is a common problem people feel as they are getting older. Especially with the elderly as they see their loved ones pass. I bring up the idea of how robot assistants may become companions to humans in their old age.

I see people as a library of information and experience. Different people have different points of views in different times in history. This is also how people used to record history before the days of writing. I don’t believe we should neglect the old ways of doing things completely when adopting new methods. And so I still put value in the things humans have learned through all their years of living on Earth.

I don’t think this abnormality will happen in the real world. Tech companies will regulate patterns and make sure the AI has gone through rigorous testing procedures before the product will be available to the public. So unless someone creates an AI for themselves, a robot aiding robberies seems highly improbable.

I believe using robots does not necessarily mean we will become completely lazy. Like good and bad, it all depends on how we use this AI to affect our lives. So it comes down to the users again.

There are linguistic gadgets available on the market that can understand and translate all languages. So this technology is already available and we don’t have to wait 50 years for it. That is an incredibly long time. As for the transparent touch screen system. There is a projector that can sense our hands, so we can control our phones or the screen in the air already, it just that it is not that advanced yet. But these technologies will be here before you even know.

I talked about a common technique used in films like Metropolis or Parasite where they make the rich and wealthy live on a higher level compared to the poor common folk. This was a very interesting observation when I heard about it for the first time, and so I am glad to have helped my classmate into learning more and finding out a new movie to watch.

As the definition of cyborg changes, their relationships will also change. In the future, every human being may become cyborgs with the implementation of augmentations. I think relationships with non-sentient beings are weird. But in this case, the cyborgs are humans and it may just be the next step of humanity.

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Interviewing a children’s coach

I have interviewed a children’s coach for assignment 2 of BCM313. He was a close friend of mine so the interview was a mix of formal and informal. Some of the questions I asked were:

  1. How is your relationship with your supervisor?

I asked this question because I wanted to know how attached to the job he felt in his current stage. His impression of the people he works with was the easiest way to figure this out.

  1. Can you think of any difficulties you may have faced with your employers?I asked my interviewee this question to see if I could find any cracks in his high opinion of his work. Maybe I could switch the direction of the interview as it was getting predictable(I also promised I wouldn’t snitch to his company if he had some nasty remarks.)
  1. What have you learnt from your work that has made you a better person?

I wanted to hear what kinds of things he had learnt from his job. And he ended up teaching me more than what I was expecting. Now I am a master at handling children and his answer also showed me how he has developed after working in his current job.

  1. Were there any surprises or challenges you faced when working?
  1. Can you tell me a situation where you were proud of something?

I also talked about how my interviewee developed their personal value while working, how they managed change in their working life, and what they expect from the future in my presentation.

Reference:

http://www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Interviewing a children’s coach (BCM 313). [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5UDOJXytGU

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Learning Assessment Task 1 #4

Isabelle

Since Isabelle was talking about a game that meant much to her while she was growing up, I quoted Bell’s article about nostalgia in games. About how gamers want to try and recreate that feeling they felt growing up and how companies try to use nostalgia to sell their products. I also mentioned the research of Shinichi, Kotaro, Hirohide and Tatsuo on companies like Nintendo putting their efforts into mobile games in recent years. Mario Kart Tour is a mobile game created recently because of their change in philosophy in thinking people do not have time to play games in this day and age. They came up with the conclusion that mobile games will not replace console games, but they will continue to coexist in the coming years. I could learn about quoting people from my references from Isabelle and will do that in future works. I pointed out a typo Isabelle had made. Even though it was something minor, it was noticeable. I could see her moving towards a more marketing point of view. So the resources I shared with her also came from a more marketing background: how companies use nostalgia in their marketing, and how companies like Nintendo look at mobile gaming as they advance forward.

  1. Ibrar

I found Ibrar’s topic interesting as the debate of whether video game violence caused people to become violence has gone around for a long time. I shared with him some quotes from articles I found on this topic. Ivory, Kalyanaraman, Ferguson, Williams and Skoric all come to the point that video games and violence have no correlation. Keynes states that video games are often used as scapegoats by politicians for unfortunate events. However, I did agree with Ibrar on video game addiction causing depression and other possible mental illnesses. I would like to point out that it is “video game ADDICTION” and not just “video games”. Like with anything, addiction is bad. This goes further than just games as having an addiction to something will cause people to put less time on other things that matter, as well as their own well-being. I recommended a book to Ibrar called: “Death by Video Game: Tales of Obsession from the virtual frontline” written by Simon Parkin. This could help Ibrar find more information about how people shift the blame on video game companies and not on individuals for not taking care of themselves.

I gave a suggestion to Ibrar to figure out why pubg had a large percentage of female players compared to other first person shooter games (Lemmens 2016) as that was a very interesting phenomenon. I could see Ibrar concentrating in the Indian market and suggested he look at the behaviours and patterns internationally as that could help him get a better picture of the whole pubg environment. Since his DA is about pubg and not pubg in India. I gave him some ideas on the approaches he could take for his DA. He could talk about how video game addiction compares with other addictions or how governments put blame on video game companies for deaths of individuals and unfortunate events.

  1. Ellix

I loved seeing Ellix’s passion for the Five Nights at Freddy’s(FNAF) franchise. Ellix only talks about how the game works and about it’s fanbase. So I urged him to scope out something that stands out for him. I noticed Ellix mentioning the story and game theories creating a lore of FNAF. So I tried to persuade him to move in that direction because he seemed knowledgeable about that aspect of FNAF. Lore is a type of mythos that consists of any element of the game such as: text, visuals, or other design elements that contextualizes a game’s world (Anderson 2019). It is a good worldbuilding tool. Ellix also mentions there being lots of YouTube videos on FNAF theories and lore. So there seems to be a lot of content for it already available online.

Reference:

Anderson, S.L. (2019). The interactive museum: Video games as history lessons through lore and affective design. E-Learning and Digital Media, 16(3), pp.177–195.

Brunborg, G.S., Mentzoni, R.A. and Frøyland, L.R. (2014). Is video gaming, or video game addiction, associated with depression, academic achievement, heavy episodic drinking, or conduct problems? Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 3(1), pp.27–32.

Griffiths, M. (1997). Video games and clinical practice: Issues, uses and treatments. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 36(4), pp.639–641.

Ivory, J.D. and Kalyanaraman, S. (2009). Video Games Make People Violent—Well, Maybe NotThatGame: Effects of Content and Person Abstraction on Perceptions of Violent Video Games’ Effects and Support of Censorship. Communication Reports, 22(1), pp.1–12.

Lemmens, J.S. and Hendriks, S.J.F. (2016). Addictive Online Games: Examining the Relationship Between Game Genres and Internet Gaming Disorder. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, [online] 19(4), pp.270–6. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26959285

Parkin, S. (2017). DEATH BY VIDEO GAME : tales of obsession from the virtual frontline..

Wulf, T., Bowman, N.D., Rieger, D., Velez, J.A. and Breuer, J. (2018). Running Head: Video Game Nostalgia and Retro Gaming. Media and Communication, 6(2), p.60.

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Virtual reality gaming (DA part 2)

I have previously posted a blog about VR gaming. Talking about what sparked my interest with VR, its locomotion and which ones I prefer, I even introduced an interesting tech (mind-control!) and its different possibilities in future games. Finally, I talked about how haptic technology could improve our immersion when playing VR games. I will be using this blog to get comments for my DA by tweeting about it. I am hoping for people outside of this course to comment on it as well because I know there are a lot of people out there like me, hoping for VR gaming to hit the next step! The comments I hope will be informative to me and help me get a newer perspective with VR gaming or just learn more about the topic.

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Digital Artefact Beta (The Economy of Twin Saga) #3

Twin Saga is an anime MMORPG published by Aeria Games and X-Legend Entertainment. The English version was introduced to the world back in 2016. Since Aeria Games has a lot of games in its library, the currency we can buy using real money is called Aeria points (AP in short). With AP, we can buy exclusive items from the item shop that can give players a huge advantage in-game with the likes of: senshi(a spirit that aids players in battles as well as giving massive buffs), mounts(to move faster in-game), crystals that increases stat, costumes as well as other items. Do keep in mind that all of these bought items can be sold in the game’s auction house to other players for the game’s currency(gold). The maximum cap for gold is 99,999. And the “free” ways of earning gold are by grinding dungeons with mobs that drop a lot of gold, or dungeons which drop rare materials to sell in the auction house to other players.

Another way of earning gold is by events that are frequently hosted by gamemasters through the game’s official forum and discord. These events can both be in-game and off-game. In-game events are hide-and-seek, quizzes, world boss spawns, completing tasks for points.etc and off-game being participating in the forum events like high-scores in mini-games, art design competitions, poem contests, monthly quizzes, screenshot contests.etc… They offer players a chance to get special materials or Astral Crystals (AC). With AC, players can either sell them in-game for gold (1 AC=60-65g), or take part in the astral puzzles. (The rewards of the puzzle refreshes frequently can depend on their drops, a player can get items that give them a lot of boost or items that go at a high price in trades.

The economy of Twin Saga and other MMORPGs engage their players to take part in the in-game economy, not only increasing their motivations to learn about economics, but also showing that online games have the potential to be utilised as a learning tool. (Wi 2005)

There are also trade chats in-game for players. Divided into three communities(English, French and German). We also see this in the discord server as well as gamemasters coming from all three backgrounds to aid players. Although the main language of the game is English, other language communities are also prevalent in this game. It’s just that English is used for trading as most players understand it.

The guild I am in occasionally hosts some events similar to the official events but only for guild members which is smaller in scale but is a form of guild activity and getting closer to one another. This can also be said with official events, you participate in the events and your sense of belonging increases with the game and other players because of the increased interactiveness.

Reference:

Wi, John-H., Oh, N.-R. and Kim, Y.-E. (2005). The effects of economy education through MMORPG. Journal of Korea Game Society, [online] 5(4), pp.13–22. Available at: https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO200535822502059.page

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Introducing VR technology (DA part 1)

I was firstly introduced to the concept of VR gaming while I was playing an MMORPG back in the summer of 2012. Someone spoke about a newly released anime called Sword Art Online where it had an interesting concept of being stuck in a VR game. I decided to check it out, and ever since I had watched it, it left me wanting for advancements in VR tech at that level where we could not distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. Being able to travel between worlds was so amazing to do.

There are some things that are still nitpicked about. Since the technology isn’t perfect, there is no standard way of doing things, the comfort of size and weight of the VR headset is still a thing people complain about as can be noticed by my classmates giving me comments on it. Not to mention the issues with mobility.

~The first step~

Gamepad input/keyboard and mouse is the most basic form of movement, the tried and tested, easy to get used to. However, this offers little room for immersion into the VR world.

Locomotion is aided with various equipment you are able to link with VR headset and the controllers you are given. You can teleport from using the controller in a point-and-click manner, however, this could give you motion-sickness from appearing at place without your brain registering you moving from point A to point B. This can also feel gimmicky and doesn’t give the player a large sense of exploration. Another way to use the sticks is by hooking up a sensor on your body, holding the stick in front of you and stomping. This can be harder to get used to with the player needing to alternate between moving and using their hands. Another simple form of using the sticks happens to be by simple:swinging the sticks to walk around, the only drawback being tiring your arms down.

A more innovative way to aid locomotion is by the shoes and “treadmills” being developed. Cybershoes show some potential, they have the rollers in the bottom and require the player to be seated. However, players can get sore legs from swinging their legs front and back. It is also not supported in a lot of games that still use gamepad movement styles which can mess the movement in-game.

Sony has a 3D rudder for the feet which requires minimal movement and supports a seated style of playing. Essentially making your feet a locomotion tool while you can focus your hands to do other things like attacking/grabbing/interacting with objects. Unfortunately, this could be low-value for money for consumers, seeing as it is only supported by 30 or so games for now. It will take more time for this equipment to be fully supported by more VR games.

The more exciting form of movement can be done with the treadmills and large movement rigs. Something akin to “Ready Player One’s” omnidirectional treadmill is being developed. It’s called the Infinadeck. It is still being updated and you can expect more improvements in the future.

Another popular equipment is called the Kat Walk. It allows strafing with its wheels in its shoes(which is important in games as it allows players to move diagonally which other equipment may not). And it is also consumer-friendly(Kak Walk Mini) with cheaper prices, lightweightness and size which makes it easier to keep in your living space. However, it is not perfect and users have commented about how it is difficult to crouch/stop and pick items up which may hinder the gameplay experience.

The last locomotive equipment I am going to introduce is the Silvercord support rig. I find this the most impressive way of moving around in VR. This rig allows a lot of freedom of movement. Allowing players to “float” mid-air with the support of the rig, opening doors to flying and swimming features in games. It also allows users to sit and move around. The need to actually stomp while walking also lowers the chance of getting motion-sickness when climbing up stairs or descending.

SilverCord-VR Treadmill позволит плавать в виртуальной реальности / Блог  Digent

Learning to move in VR using the various methods available is a difficult thing to grasp for the first time. It feels almost like you are learning to walk for the first time, or learning to cycle/rollerblade/skate. It is somehow fitting, as if you are taking your first baby steps into a new world.

Another thing that has been introduced is mind-control! (sort-of) Nextmind allows users to play some games using just their brains. It requires players to focus on objects in order to lift/break/move them. This gives a feeling of having mind powers in game which is an intoxicating feeling. Not to worry, this is non-invasive and doesn’t rewrite the commands of your brain, it merely reads and communicates your brainwaves back to the game. You don’t have to implant any chips in your brain so it is looking all good on that front. Some cool ideas I got from the Internet for this technology is being able to mind-control npcs in say an RPG game to do your bidding. Or if the game could read your brain is bored with the pace or difficulty of the game and bump it up a notch, or vice-versa if it is feeling overwhelmed(up to the settings of course!) Right now, it can only register one message of our brain at a time and the translation of the reader to the game still takes a few seconds to fully interpret which may be off putting to some players. This is still a new technology and it still has a lot of potential.

NextMind - CES 2021

The final thing I will introduce is Haptic technology. Adding tactile sense in games allows one more sense for the players to feel compared to just audio-visual. This gives players an advantage in games when they can locate where they are getting attacked from faster or get used to the enemies’ attack patterns more easily. It also allows a gateway for human interaction in the VR world(Social VR). In the world we live in right now, we cannot go see our friends and families easily(especially overseas!) But with the help of Haptic suits, we are able to meet people in VR and interact with them physically. Hugs, high-fives, massages are all possible. This improves the immersion of people in VR. For example, feeling the recoil of our gun while shooting, a headcrab jumping on our faces in Half-life, our heart beating when we have low health can make us realize the severity of the predicament we’re in, as well as pumping ourselves with a health syringe and feeling our health go back up with some soothing vibrations.

I Need To Hug Everything That is Cute!! | VRChat Funny Moments - YouTube

Reference:

abduldattijo (2020). The Best Virtual Reality (VR) Games You Need to Know About In 2020. [online] Computing News. Available at: https://www.computingnews.com/best-vr-games/

Finally Functional (2020). 12 VR Locomotion Solutions/Concepts You Probably Haven’t Heard Of. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PFM9KESnH8&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=7

NX Gamer (2019). 3d Rudder VR | PSVR Controller Review. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O32mXRZxye8&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=3

SilverCord-VR omnidirectional treadmill (2019). SilverCord-VR omnidirectional treadmill 2019. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS7GW33rUWQ&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=2

SilverCord-VR omnidirectional treadmill (2020). Сomfortable VR movement for anyone! With detailed explanations. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxZzPmarMsk&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=4

ThrillSeeker (2020). The most Immersed I have EVER been in VR. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBV9hDNd2ws&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=5

Virtual Dreamers (2018). The VR Locomotion Problem. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b0QhXgwlvQ&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=8

Virtual Reality Oasis (2021). VR Mind Control Is HERE! And It Works! YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMXfyZc_Gvg&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=6

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Learning Assessment Task 1 #2

Tommy:

I identified with Tommy right away! Minecraft is a game that means a lot to our generation as it was one of the first instances where we could play with friends online in a Skype chat. Minecraft was also popular around the time gaming channels on YouTube blew up. All the Let’s plays you saw, Minecraft was always there, trending number 1 most of the time. Minecraft opens up the possibility of sharing the seeds of our world with others. I introduced Tommy to the Telltale Minecraft series. It’s an official game series created with the collaboration of Mojang(Minecraft’s company) and Telltale (known for the Walking Dead game series). It is an interesting way Minecraft tries to expand its universe and be more attractive to newer audiences. I also like how snapshots of new updates are released for the Minecraft community to try before the official update. Having competition for community banners is also a novel idea. It seems like the Minecraft community will continue to rise.

Jeffery:

Jeffery talked about a game I was always interested in but I never played. The Japanese Mafia: Yakuza. I came across a video recently, where a Yakuza member reacts to the gameplay of the game. His reactions were funny and gave me a new perspective of how the members actually go on about their lives. I wanted Jeffery to see it. The interesting thing about the Yakuza franchise is that it is older than Jeffery and me, but it still manages to get our attention. There is just something guys find romantic with gangs and fighting. I also wanted Jeffery to know about all the different games of the Yakuza franchise rather than only the ones that are known to the general gaming audience so I wanted him to check out the evolution of Yakuza games from 1995 to 2020. 25 years and still going strong!

Ibrar:

Ibrar talks about the addictive side of pubg. I have unfortunately experienced this from my friends who were terribly addicted to the game. One of the reasons I never really got invested in the game. I talked about how pubg was one of the first of its kind(if not the first). It really blazed a trail for all the similar games that have been released since pubg. Being able to play cross-platform also allowed pubg fans to go full-throttle on the game. I introduced pubg being played by K-pop idols whose fans may have their interest garnered by the game, so a non-gaming field could introduce this game to normal people. Maybe this is another reason pubg had a high proportion of female gamers compared to other shooter games. (42.6 per cent to 7 per cent)

Reference:

Statista. (n.d.). U.S. PUBG Mobile users by gender 2019. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/988128/pubg-mobile-players-us-gender/

World Economic Forum. (n.d.). Game on: How COVID-19 became the perfect match for gamers. [online] Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/09/covid19-coronavirus-pandemic-video-games-entertainment-media/.

Yee, N. (2018). Beyond 50/50: Breaking Down The Percentage of Female Gamers By Genre. [online] Quantic Foundry. Available at: https://quanticfoundry.com/2017/01/19/female-gamers-by-genre/.

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BCM 325 Blog post 1

Ali: https://theaqibali.wordpress.com/2021/01/18/bcm325-digital-artefact-pitch/

Ali’s digital artefact was about artificial intelligence in education. He talked about how AI could be used to aid the learning process of students as well as helping teachers save the time they would use to mark grades and allow teachers to spend more time focusing more on how the students were doing in school/their mental well-being which may affect their academic performance or social relationships.

The thing I liked about his DA was that instead of the usual replacing human teachers with AI, he took the approach of implementing AI in school to aid the teaching of human educators. Which seems to be the more realistic approach, for the time being. Seeing as AI has not developed to the extent of completely replacing educators yet.

I have provided some resources for Ali to check out. They include an online article about how AI is being used in education as well as a report on how students are affected by factors outside of school and how this is mostly overlooked by educators.

Katrina: https://katrinamedia915.wordpress.com/bcm325-digital-artefact-pitch/

Katrina’s DA like Ali’s also talks about education, but this time talks about online learning. I have brought up the pros and cons of physical learning and online learning. In my opinion, physical learning is better if you want students to learn as it encourages and creates an opportunity to not only interact with the educator, but also fellow students. Aiding in putting into practise what we learnt in class with class activities. It also brings the students closer as they can actually be face-to-face with one another and not behind a computer screen. However, I have also been part of lectures and tutorials where the educator does not really care about the students’ learning and just goes on about their business with a clock in clock out mentality. For those, students may prefer to have online classes and study by themselves.

I have brought a question up: What would be the difference between an AI teacher and going to Google for answers? Will there be one homeroom AI teacher? Will it cater to all students at the same time? Will physical schools become redundant? Could this mean there will be online schools catering to students from all around the globe? Maybe even teachers from different parts of the world if they will still hire them. What does this mean for the traditional school system? Which country’s system will they use?

I have also brought up the emergence of online universities and scandals regarding their fees. Them promoting themselves as prestigious even though they are just beginning to be introduced to the public.

The resources I have given to Katrina to check out include an online article talking about the pros and cons of e-learning, a newspaper article about how online-only schools are the future, and an online article about an embezzlement case with one online university.

Sarah: https://sarahjrmz.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/bcm325-project-pitch/

Sarah’s topic is about biometric technology. We have increased the usage of this technology from our smartphones, to our smart IDs. We may even have a surveillance system in the city where it has access to our biometrics. Biometric technology allows governments and large companies to track and monitor its citizens/consumers. In a world where freedom of speech is being challenged with censorship and changing of the norms of what can and cannot be said. It seems highly likely the governments of the world will identify which individuals are in line with them and which individuals aren’t. This sounds as if it has come out right from a dystopian novel. Technological privileges may be there for more developed nations, but it could be a blessing in disguise for those considered less technologically advanced.

I have commented using a dire tone, about how we should be careful when using technology that gives our information away. Sarah is someone who loves conspiracy theories, so I have commented with what may spark her curiosity on this subject. Only that, this is looking less likely to be a conspiracy and more likely a cold reality.

I have introduced an online journal about the surveillance system(society), an online article about how having Internet access(and not having them) affects social inequity, and a YouTube video to satiate Sarah’s thirst for some interesting topic that has recently emerged that could relate to her DA.

I hope my comments have helped my peers find more topics to talk about, or include into their findings and research in order to flesh out their digital artefact.

Reference:

Feb 4, A.C. / T. /, 2021 and Ist, 04:20 (n.d.). Alexa, please start my classes: Online-only schools are the new frontier in edu sector | Nagpur News – Times of India. [online] The Times of India. Available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/alexa-please-start-my-classes-online-only-schools-are-the-new-frontier-in-edu-sector/articleshow/80676236.cms

Gautam, P. (2020). Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online Learning. [online] eLearning Industry. Available at: https://elearningindustry.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-online-learning.

Hackl, C. (n.d.). How Technology Will Create These 7 Jobs In The Future. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/cathyhackl/2020/06/24/how-technology-will-create-these-7-jobs-in-the-future/?sh=4caf5fc87437

Jacob, B.A. and Ryan, J. (2018). How life outside of a school affects student performance in school. [online] Brookings. Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-life-outside-of-a-school-affects-student-performance-in-school/.

Marr, B. (n.d.). How Is AI Used In Education — Real World Examples Of Today And A Peek Into The Future. [online] Bernard Marr. Available at: https://bernardmarr.com/default.asp?contentID=1541.

sources, A.T.A.S.U. news content that editors of the M.I. have gathered from other and Permission, R. with E. (2019). Tech Privilege: How access to the Internet impacts social inequity. [online] The Milwaukee Independent. Available at: http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/syndicated/tech-privilege-access-internet-impacts-social-inequity/

Surveillance-studies.net. (2014). An introduction to the surveillance society – The Surveillance Studies Network. [online] Available at: https://www.surveillance-studies.net/?page_id=119.

Thompson, J. (2020). The Unregulated World of Online Charter Schools. [online] Progressive.org. Available at: https://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/embezzling-unregulated-online-charters-thompson-200403/

http://www.youtube.com. (n.d.). “You will own nothing, and you will be happy”? | The Great Reset – YouTube. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD-ioJM8v64&feature=emb_title

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BCM 325 Blog Post 2

Metropolis:

Here, I found an interesting fact. I didn’t know the currency in East Germany was called Reichsmarks.

The work of Fritz Lang was so good, Hitler himself wanted Lang to make Nazi films for him. People were glad that Lang didn’t share Hitler’s ideologies and wonder what kind of movies would be made to represent Nazi Germany.

A crazy fact about Metropolis was that it took one year and 5 months to film JUST THE SHOOTING. That is crazy!

The world of Metropolis really resembles New York. The reason for that being, the director being inspired in his visit to the concrete jungle.

HAL showed human-like behaviour, trying to preserve its life. Even being able to read lips like a skilled detective.

Westworld:

Westworld really reminded me of the RDR franchise, and I was happy to find some fans of the franchise who agreed with me. There really is some romanticism with the Western genre.

I found Hassan’s opinion, who knows what the elite are up to. The recent case of Jeffery Epstein is really suspicious. I just posted an ominous smile to spook this thread.

Being able to experience something like Westworld would be amazing, especially in our generation. Virtual reality popped up in my mind the first thing when I saw this thread.

Like most of us, we’ve all heard of Westworld. But we got introduced to its world from its recent TV series.

MGM did not have the best reputation back then with directors. But Crichton had no other choice because no one would give him the green light for his project. I just stated what Crichton had to deal with.

When I found Crichton had written Jurassic Park. I found it hilarious as they had a lot of similarities and decided to joke around on Twitter. Glad to find some people who liked my humour.

Bladerunner:

I became sad when I saw the fake animals in Bladerunner. With all the poaching and destruction of the environment this reality seemed incredibly likely. I hope we don’t have to come to this and become able to preserve what we have right now/recreate life with science

It surprised me how the synthetic humans were incredibly human-like while the humans were only focused on themselves and were cold to others. This stark difference between the two was something I found interesting. Maybe the writer was trying to tell us something?

Another joke I played on Twitter to lighten the mood. All jokes aside, I hope this doesn’t happen to me or people I know… haha…

Harrison Ford is an iconic actor mainly for his role in the Star Wars series as Han Solo. I found this fact and decided to share it with my classmate.

This thread had a lot of comments and I also decided to share my opinion. Flying cars will never work because although the idea founds cool. It is inconvenient and there are such more efficient ways to travel.

Ghost in the Shell:

I thought about being connected to the Internet with our brain and it did not seem pleasant. What if I wanted break from the Internet? I don’t think we would be able to disconnect so easily.

I found a classmate who shared my distaste for the newer Ghost in the Shell. We have all seen the negative reviews and videos about it. And while watching it, I could totally understand where they were coming from. We could clearly see the motives of whoever created the film. It wasn’t meant to be good, just get attention from people by playing with their nostalgia/hype for the series and cast a famous actress, ignoring the accuracy of the original works and wait for the cash to roll in. A terrible movie, wish we had watched the 1995 animation film instead as it tackles the identity issues and possibilities of technological advancement in depth. The changes they made with this film was incredibly lacklustre and dissapointing to the fans of the original works.

It was fun sharing my opinions and interacting with my classmates, as well as getting to watch the four movies. Really made me think hard about technology.

Reference:

874shares and 1.2kreads (2017). Twitter’s “Popular Articles” Shows What Your Connections are Tweeting About. [online] Search Engine Journal. Available at: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/twitters-popular-articles-shows-connections-tweeting/215707/ [Accessed 4 Feb. 2021].

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The future of VR gaming

There are a multitude of games available in the market. But I want to talk about an idea that may end up becoming the go-to way of experiencing gaming within the next 10 years. Virtual reality (VR) gaming.

Imagine coming home after a long day of work. You take off your shoes, let your feet breathe, and plop down onto your sofa and put on your headset. Then boom! You are in another world flying with dragons and diving down huge waterfalls. VR gaming hasn’t been utilised to its full potential yet as can be seen from consoles still taking precedence in the gaming community. But VR has been making leaps in its development since it has first been introduced to us.

Teslasuit - A Wearable Smart Suit With Applications Beyond Imagination

Looking at VR as a form of escapism, its potential is endless. You are able to immerse yourself completely in a world dealing with magic, monsters, space and the usual gaming stuff. Moreover with the current and future tech being developed, more senses are being implemented into technology. One example is the Haptic suits and gloves to allow players to feel the sense of touch when getting shot or receiving a hug from someone in VRChat. 

Global Digital Scent Technology Market: Industry Size, Status And Forecast  2017 – 2022 - Haptic
Digital device serves up a taste of virtual food

VR gaming introduces a whole new world for multiplayer games and interactions with other people. Gustatory senses and digital scent technology is out there in the market. Maybe in the future, these technologies can be implemented in VR gaming in order to be more immersive.

2019 Omni Directional Treadmill Virtual Reality Equipment Games,Kat Walk Vr  Treadmill Simulator For Sale - Buy Vr Simulator,Vr Treadmill For Sale,Kat  Walk Vr Product on Alibaba.com

Currently a lot of its technology is too expensive or too big to be sold for regular consumers. One example is the VR treadmill. Most of their tech is only available for business and commercial use such as VR centers. However in order to truly revolutionise gaming and be closer to something akin to “Ready Player One”. VR technology must be developed to be easily accessible to the normal user like you and me.

Reference:

Aperture (2019). Virtual Reality: Our Digital Escape. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjrL6kZKgP4

Explore Biotech. (2018). Teslasuit – A Wearable Smart Suit With Applications Beyond Imagination. [online] Available at: https://explorebiotech.com/teslasuit-a-wearable-smart-suit-with-applications-beyond-imagination/

Giphy.com. (2021). [online] Available at: https://media.giphy.com/media/26AHxbQMIf0CzRdTO/giphy.gif.

Haptic (2017). Global Digital Scent Technology Market: Industry Size, Status And Forecast 2017 – 2022. [online] Haptic. Available at: https://www.haptic.ro/global-digital-scent-technology-market-industry-size-status-forecast-2017-2022/

Heim, M. (1994). The metaphysics of virtual reality. New York ; Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nathie (2020). This VR Treadmill Brings Us Closer To Making Ready Player One A Reality (First Look: Kat Walk C). YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jABB85ZTcF8

Science Time (2020). The Evolution of Virtual Reality by 2025. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d-hMZaU5Po

techxplore.com. (n.d.). Digital device serves up a taste of virtual food. [online] Available at: https://techxplore.com/news/2020-05-digital-device-virtual-food.html

The Gadget Show (2019). The Future of VR Games. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PxI7LHU_mA&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=24

Virtual Insider (2020). The Future Tech Of Virtual Reality. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cgZ6J5oE0g&list=PLnRGS-ZphN4RVEXHffWW4mWVuD-8qih35&index=23

Virtual Reality Technology. (2011). New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

http://www.alibaba.com. (n.d.). Buy 2019 Omni Directional Treadmill Virtual Reality in China on Alibaba.com. [online] Available at: https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2019-Omni-Directional-Treadmill-Virtual-Reality_60786495915.html.

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My views on masculinity

I first followed the channels relating to masculinity because they were helpful to me. They taught me how to have a better attitude with life. The importance of perseverance and working hard. How to appreciate the people around me and myself. Furthermore, it is a place for men to bond, just like with sports. Usually the YouTube channels I am subscribed to talk about subjects their followers sent them to review or talk about. This way the subscribers can interact with the channels and share their life story or about some conflicting source they found on the Internet. Outside of these channels, a lot of men do not have a way to share or learn about the experiences they face because men’s issues are disregarded by most platforms. Even talking about the issues faced by men are ridiculed. A civil rights movement: father’s rights movement is seen as a joke because women are traditionally the caregivers and they think men obviously could not have a strong bond towards their own children. The law and society undermine the value of fathers, even fathers themselves underrate their own value they bring to their children. (York, 2020)

I watch these channels frequently. Almost all of their videos if they are talking about a topic that is new to me. They help me understand how society views men, as well as how men and women think. I have seen people ridiculing these “garbage men” for trying to voice their opinions online. The public shaming comes from both women and men so this is where I garner that it is a normal phenomenon to think men should not voice their opinions because of the “privileges” they have. It makes us believe that only men have privileges, which is far from the truth . Any problems men have should be ignored because surely, we are living our best lives with no worries at all? Chivalry has existed from a long time and it is hammered down to every boy ever since they could first process their thoughts that they had to protect the fairer sex.

There is also a popular saying online you see from time to time: “All men are trash”. I’m sure you have heard it somewhere before. I do not know who hurt those women ;D but I hope they are doing alright now. The impression we get from this saying is that “men are trash/toxic”, that they treat women poorly. But even if they were just saying it as a joke, this shows that it is okay to complain to the whole world about the filth that are men. However, if it was a man complaining about the toxic women in their lives, suddenly he would be branded a loser and less of a man.

There is a recent scandal consisting of Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard. The situation is so suspicious on Heard’s part that everything she has been saying is being disproved. A phone recording has come out suggesting that Amber Heard was in fact unstable and the one enacting  the violence. As well as reports and pictures of Depp’s finger being cut by Heard(like someone would cut his own finger), Heard wearing makeup to show evidence of domestic violence to strengthen her case of receiving spousal support after their divorce. Even with all this evidence, the Sun(a tabloid from the UK where the trials are taking place) are strongly in favour of Heard because “they have always fought for justice against women in domestic violence.” Even though there is no clear evidence backing it. Moreover, it all seems like they are just doing it for their image and to blindly stand on the side of women. Depp has since been asked to let go of his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 3 to protect their image of being linked with a supposed “wife beater.” Heard on the other hand, has not received any backlash with her acting roles like Aquaman 2, even with her instability and violence against her ex-husband being revealed on the Internet. I now know clearly which two movies I will be boycotting. The link to this case will be provided in the reference list down below. You can also check out multiple videos on YouTube tackling this subject if you are interested.

Men are vilified more than women when they commit the same mistakes. Even when there is no evidence backing up claims, men still get the short end of the stick. The current social dynamic is one where we support women no matter what. It is more acceptable and encouraged by others, so we turn a blind eye to the voices of men. This is what our “progressive society” is developing into.

Now, my goal is not to vilify women and become the one thing I swore not to be. Obviously this is the way society thinks(both women AND men). It is right that we should have equal opportunities, however, this should also be true when we are judging them(especially in lawful affairs). Society is too in favour of women to the point that some women are using it to benefit themselves unlawfully. They can get away with most things, so they will continue to exploit that system.

I have always considered myself to be a feminist and will continue to fight for the equality of women. But in a lot of places in the world, women are equal to men. I believe people who really care about this subject should go to the places with visible inequality between men and women and actually do something about it rather than complain about facing it in a society that does not have those problems. The gender wage gap is non-existent between men and women in the same position. You only see it if you look at the whole picture because there are more men working in stem fields compared to women. You cannot blame a gender solely because they choose to study and work in certain professions more than the other. Higher education is also seeing a trend of more women than men in all fields besides STEM. The level of education of women is by far surpassing that of men in developed countries. I feel for women who are actually suffering from unfair treatment, the ones that do not have access to education, the ones who are targeted by cartels to become prostitutes for them, the ones who are forced into marriage at a young age. Instead of the 119th tweet about someone claiming she is being oppressed by the patriarchy for stubbing her toe on her desk. I will let go of my identity as a feminist because I believe it is just a label now. It has lost its meaning. I will always believe in the equal opportunity of both genders, feminism now just does not seem to be working like that.

Like feminism, I have stopped giving myself labels and am taking a more holistic approach on life. Why can’t I be interested in more than one thing? Why must I follow a political party blindly instead of looking at their values and what they have done for the group I am represented by? There are more sides to the coin than what appears to be the case. Masculinity is not bad, we should appreciate the good sides of masculinity instead of downplaying it and ignoring the problems men face to support the women’s issues. We should be fair to both sexes if we truly want gender equality.

Reference:

Godwin, R. (2018). Men after #MeToo: ‘There’s a narrative that masculinity is fundamentally toxic’’.’ [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/09/men-after-metoo-masculinity-fundamentally-toxic.

Sarkisian, J. (n.d.). A complete timeline of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s tumultuous relationship. [online] Insider. Available at: https://www.insider.com/johnny-depp-amber-heard-relationship-timeline-2020-7.

TEDx Talks (2020). What Representing Men in Divorce Taught Me About Fatherhood | Marilyn York | TEDxUniversityofNevada. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlSwsE22nX0 [Accessed 16 Jun. 2020].

Thompson, R. (n.d.). How to talk to the men in your life about toxic masculinity. [online] Mashable. Available at: https://mashable.com/article/liz-plank-toxic-masculinity-conversation/ [Accessed 20 Nov. 2020].

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[A3] Digital Artefact assignment

We started this project because we all shared some level of interest towards the vintage lifestyle.

We first introduced ourselves on Instagram to reach people who may have been curious about vintage fashion or those who embody it.  Our target audience were people from Hong Kong as it is the city we’re from and we would actually be able to go to the physical stores to check them out and introduce it on our page to help them promote themselves as well as to allow our followers to be aware of them and hopefully even check them out. Here you can read about us in both English and Chinese(Traditional).

We posted a how-to-style post on our page which taught users how they could make use of a classic piece like high-waisted jeans to style themselves for the colder weather. And also posted tidbits of information about the vintage lifestyle to educate our followers about vintage fashion about its origins and how it affected the environment.

We regularly post in our stories to get paid in this economy of social media with attention as our currency. These stories consist of us asking if they like what they see from the stores we interacted with and giving them options between two sets of clothing and asking which one they prefer as well as outfit of the day(OOTD). We generally pick clothing that are most similar to the ones who got greater response or rate of hearts to follow this algorithm of giving people what they want. This is also a quick way to introduce vintage store pages to our followers.

Currently, our most important feature is the introduction of stores to the public. So far we have introduced four stores on our page with interviews that people can check out and know more about the stores personally. Why the owners of the stores decided to open their stores and what vintage meant to them. This creates a bond between customers and stores and makes the store more personable. We still keep regular contact with the stores we reached and have more yet to come so look forward to them!

One thing I have learnt during this project is that it is much easier to come in contact and have a solid interaction with stores because they are also like us and are also trying to get paid in this attention economy because it affects their business. It may not be that extreme in our case, but there is a certain pressure we both feel. Getting attention from our followers is much more difficult. We may get likes on our posts but having followers interact with or comment on our posts are rare. Therefore it becomes scarce and pushes us to find other ways to get attention.

Juggling our time between our DA, other assignments, readings and our personal life was a struggle. We had to plan out when we would be free for things we had to work together on like the video and the project beta. And to finalize our individual workings and making sure everything is good to go before we upload it online. Because it would be there for everyone to see and hard to edit if people have already interacted with them.

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Week 6: Feudalism 2.0: living in the information stack

“This retardation of innovation is a classical case of what we shall refer to as IP-inefficiency”. This was echoed by Boldrin and Levine in ‘James Watt: Monopolist’. The book they co-wrote together. I will keep this short. Having patents and exerting an overbearing amount of control over one’s work, either creative or scientific, does more harm than good to the overall progression of human advancement and creativity.

There has been no clear evidence to support the benefits of patenting. In fact, it just showed that not only did it delay works such as the steam engine to kickstart the industrial age in the 18th century, it also delayed the ones who patented it due to most of their efforts going to fighting in the affairs of legality. It also hindered the economy as it was found that most of their revenue came from royalties from other people using their ideas instead of actual sales.

I understand patenting. It is nice to have a monopoly where you create the rules and others merely follow. You can hinder the progress of others while you stay on top. However, at what cost? In this day and age, licensing of certain products lasts a lifetime. When someone could work on other projects or improve on their previous work, they will spend their time on legal issues. For some, it could be the end of the road and they will choose to bask in their newfound success and stop developing entirely.

In Japan, “doujinshis” are a recognised form of impression by other artists to commemorate or give tribute to other artists in the field. Some may even collaborate and create a few pages or a whole chapter of manga using the characters of other mangakas(manga artists) in their own art styles. This is a showcase of interaction between different mangakas to bring together the community of manga. And it is possible because each mangakas are distinguishable with their artstyle. There is no clear set of rules in the world of manga and everyone is able to express themselves through their own drawings. Some are so distinguishable you can know the artist of different mangas without even reading about who wrote them.

It is a whole different story when it comes to the West. The comic industry is dominated by the two superhero franchises: Marvel and DC. There are other companies in the underground scene as well. But they just cannot compete against the established superpowers of the comic industry in America. Japan on the other hand, welcomes mangakas to display their creativity and hold almost no monopoly, barring the reputation of publishing companies. Which could influence how many people would want to read or watch your work.

Because of this, hundreds if not thousands mangas have been published all around the world translated into different languages. Transcending borders and inspiring a vast amount of people either through the messages in the different manga or by pushing them to take up the pen.

The strongest argument against this would be the payment of artists. Shouldn’t they get paid for their work? Yes, they should. This is a slippery bridge to be walking on as it is an unfamiliar area for me to talk about as I don’t know about how every industry works and how they allocate payment to different areas of the whole publication process.

Artists can get revenue in a multitude of ways anyways, either through brand deals or sponsorships by other companies, or their work getting mentioned or talked about. This does not lay off the pirates online. But the biggest crime would be to claim the work of other parties as their own. As long as that is being respected, people should not get demonitized by their favourite artists for singing along to their song.

Furthermore, the world consists of 7.8 billion humans. Even more if you are including people from the past who are no more but have contributed to the arts and sciences in one way or another. So you cannot, with full confidence, claim that your idea for something is 100 percent unique. Even if you may not be thinking of anything or anyone while creating something, you have been influenced throughout some point of your whole existence in something, which makes it even trickier to be able to come up with something that is original to some degree.

When it comes to the acknowledgement of the creator, I wholeheartedly agree that should be respected and given the appropriate amount of tribute to. However, saying others cannot use it as inspiration or make changes to them using their own “Walt Disney creativity” hinders the growth of human creativity and takes away the chance for individuals to leave their mark in human history. For this exact reason I say companies or individuals should not be able to have an excess control over their work once it is published.

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Week 5: The attention economy and the long-tail effect

The currency of the digital economy is attention. Our attention is limited because we all have the same amount of time and want to focus on something that we feel is worth our time, this thus creates a great disparity between the hits and niche content.

Nowadays, there is a long tail effect when it comes to service providers like Netflix or Amazon. The reason is because most of our attention will go to the hits and blockbusters but we will still have a lot of niche stuff we can fall behind to inorder to create this identity among ourselves. Yes, everyone watches the Avengers, but does everyone know about the 2002 mystery, scifi, thriller Cypher? I bet you don’t. Hell, I just searched for it just now to be honest. We want to be cultured in what we watch/read or listen to. And now we are allowed to do so. Spotify recommends artists based on what we usually listen to: increasing our ear palate. The same with Netflix and its many unknown movies or series.

This addition of all these less popular forms of art is also good for the artists as they might suddenly be relevant again and get all of these sales going just because amazon thought it was a good idea to recommend your 10 year old book that only 32 people bought.

Less popular stuff is also usually cheaper compared to the more popular ones which provide a big incentive for people to try them out. Many places use this tactic to sell their items. Steam sells the games no one plays for half-price as a discount. And suddenly its the trendy thing to play as online streamers are playing them.

Attention is limited and we all want the best thing possible in front of us. And just because something is not a superhit and is from a niche market does not make it less valuable. People find value in the things that they enjoy and it is always better to have more options with both popular and unpopular items for us to choose from rather than only being able to have access to the most popular.

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Why I haven’t seen a Hong Kong film.

The reason I haven’t seen a Hong Kong film in the last month or forever is because they suck!!!

Michael Jordan crying at his basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2009

All jokes aside, it is because they are irrelevant to me. Aside from the Stephen Chow or Jackie Chan movies shown to us in school. I don’t know about the Hong Kong film scene enough. Hong Kongers mainly watch movies or TV shows from the US anyways. If you have seen billboards, commercials or posters in Hong Kong, most of the time it is an American movie. No one is talking about Hong Kong movies in their social circles or social media unless they are avid fans of them.

From what I know so far, Hong Kong was well-known for its movies in the past. They don’t get the same amount of attention anymore from people outside of Hong Kong, let alone the locals. It could be from the change of focus from the movie industry to real estate in Hong Kong. The city is known for being an international commerce hub, so can see less emphasis put on things other than business. Sports and the arts get less focus in Hong Kong now. It isn’t where people can earn the most money, resulting in people pulling away from it.

The Hong Kong skyline at night

Ultimately resulting in a snowball effect for Hong Kong cinema: Less focus on movies = less quality = low viewing pleasure = people stop watching. The locals watch foreign films and TV shows nowadays. They are more trendy and polished compared to their Hong Kong counterparts.

Hong Kong has a diminishing cultural presence. It can cling on to its golden age of cinema, but its grip on the ledge seems to be slipping. Hong Kong in the eyes of foreigners is still a finance hub when in the past people could refer to Hong Kong’s iconic actors and actresses like Chow Yun fat, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Andy Lau.

Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung

If people want to revive the movie industry in Hong Kong, cooperation and collaboration is a must from different media and entertainment sectors. Hong Kong needs to support its entertainment scene in general, to bring out fresh faces and get on with the current times instead of clinging on to the past.

Hong Kong has a culture and identity unique to its own. It has untapped potential to differentiate itself from others. Hong Kong’s socio-political issues, usage of Cantonese, and even paying homage to former work in the different genres (romance/racy/action/comedy). I refuse to believe that Hong Kongers have lost their culture and spirit to create beautiful forms of art and leave their mark on the world.

statue of cameraman and director in Avenue of Stars

Reference:

Benh, L.S. (2019). Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline at night. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_buildings_in_Hong_Kong#/media/File:Hong_Kong_Harbour_Night_2019-06-11.jpg.

Savoia, S. (2009). Michael Jordan crying at his basketball induction ceremony in 2009. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying_Jordan#/media/File:Michael_Jordan_crying.jpg.

Time Out Hong Kong. (n.d.). The 100 best Hong Kong movies. [online] Available at: https://www.timeout.com/hong-kong/film/best-hong-kong-movies.

http://www.okay.com. (n.d.). Top 5 Hollywood Movies Set in Hong Kong – OKAY.com. [online] Available at: https://www.okay.com/en/property-news/top-5-hollywood-movies-set-in-hong-kong/361 [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

Yu, H. (2020). The Most Iconic Hong Kong Actors And Actresses—And All The Classic Local Movies You Should Know About. [online] Tatler Hong Kong. Available at: https://hk.asiatatler.com/life/best-hong-kong-actors-actresses-classic-movies [Accessed 9 Oct. 2020].

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Blog 4: Academic research & Ethical Issues

The term: “toxic masculinity” has become popular in recent years, linking violence and sexism with men. It has become prevalent in these times we live in right now where everyone is a special snowflake and trying to be “woke”. Instead of pooling the opinions of everyone for the discussion and trying to understand why people have personal values and understanding of something. The media and Internet especially creates a pro-snowflake environment which censors everything that goes against their beliefs and challenges the universal right of free speech and discussion on the Internet. The special snowflakes lock themselves in their bubbles where everything caters to their belief system. There is no room for argument or outside opinion. They have created Lalaland for themselves on the Internet.

Masculinity now is portrayed as old-fashioned: aggressive and misogynistic. Men have become overly sensitive. Here is a short video of what university students nowadays think about toxic masculinity:

It is funny how everyone seems to be against this toxic masculinity phenomenon, but no one seems to be able to pinpoint what exactly it is. Almost as if the students were spewing propaganda.

The American Psychology Association (APA) created a guideline for therapists working with boys and men. It held controversial views: stating masculinity in its core is damaging to men and those around them. Masculine men apparently, were less likely to take preventive health measures and more likely to take part in harmful activities like abusing alcohol and smoking. This “study” perpetuates the belief of traditional masculinity being negative.

The APA received a lot of flak online after posting this guideline and instead of accepting the validity of some criticism, released a public announcement in their website (now deleted): “When a man believes that he must be successful no matter who is harmed or his masculinity is expressed by being sexually abusive, disrespectful, and harmful to others, that man is conforming to the negative aspects associated with traditional masculinity.” So according to the APA, these negative behaviours are not related to an individual’s flaw in character but about “masculinity.” (Wright, 2019)

The guidelines’ heavy focus on “traditional masculinity” does not do much to help the boys and men. By failing to become compassionate and trying to understand people with values different from their own, setting up this guideline has not only offended but turned away men who were considering psychotherapy. Men and boys may want to seek out counsel to develop traditionally masculine behaviours. (being assertive, taking risks and controlling their emotions) These guidelines will only have an adverse effect, dissuading the men and boys from taking part in psychotherapy. The APA guidelines also display numerous usage of jargon such as power, privilege and microaggressions. Language like these are highly manipulative and makes the guidelines appear more ideological and less scientifically objective. (Ferguson, 2019)

According to Frueh (2019), this manifesto throws away the history of human biology and evolution for a “progressive fantasy” fuelled by the modern ‘social justice’ movement. Masculine traits like individualism; courage, stoicism; ambition; and a willingness to protect and sacrifice for others have contributed to securing freedom and prosperity, but so many people now take them for granted. There is a reason cultures all around the world have similar, if not all the same gender roles, men need to have a healthy amount of masculinity. If not, then who will rise to the occasion in crisis? Armed forces; the police/fire departments’ and workers who risk their lives are all integral to society. Whatever wishful thinking you might have, men require masculine traits.

The whole “gender-sensitiveness in therapy is playing with fire because it allows therapists to assume that the patient’s gender is the cause or determinant of their problems. And since the patients are highly suggestible in their vulnerable state, therapists have to be careful not to gaslight their patients with personal assumptions. (Satel, 2019) The guidelines become ironic here as it seizes the opportunity in the vulnerability in men and boys to indoctrinate them into its ideology by teaching them about the “toxicity of masculinity.” (Smith, 2019)

Other researches claim young men who conformed to traditional masculine norms scored higher on psychological well being. It was because men who valued success and held a winning mentality were more likely to experience mastery in their craft as well as gaining a sense of achievement through their endeavours. (Kaya, 2018) People who have greater self-control: people who choose to hold their anger instead of venting out in particular, lead healthier lives. They had better grades; consumed less alcohol; had fewer physical pains; were less depressed, anxious and paranoid. They also had higher self-esteem, were more conscientious and had healthier relationships. (Pinker 2002)

Pinker also states that men nowadays need encouragement to be in tune with their masculine side – dignity, responsibility, self-control and self-reliance. And to restrain their violence and drive for dominance. Masculinity and femininity are not toxic in themselves. It is to what extreme people take them that makes them look bad.

I have realised that my topic is involved with social science and its resources(both in libraries and online) are not 100% factual as it is not a hard science and relates to human psychology. Although I have had some biases in choosing research papers and sources to fit my beliefs, I strongly believe in the case I am making and have tried to be as truthful to myself and my viewpoint.

Reference:

APA issues first-ever guidelines for practice with men and boys. (n.d.). https://www.apa.org. [online] Available at: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/01/ce-corner.

Campus Reform (2019). Students Hate Toxic Masculinity… But Can’t Define What It Is. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsYKb3T13Wk&t=77s [Accessed 28 Sep. 2020].

Kaya, A., Iwamoto, D.K., Brady, J., Clinton, L. and Grivel, M. (2019). The role of masculine norms and gender role conflict on prospective well-being among men. Psychology of Men & Masculinities, 20(1), pp.142–147.

Mahalik, J.R., Burns, S.M. and Syzdek, M. (2007). Masculinity and perceived normative health behaviors as predictors of men’s health behaviors. Social Science & Medicine, 64(11), pp.2201–2209.

Pinker, S. (2002). The blank slate : the modern denial of human nature. New York: Viking.

Poole, A. the author G. (n.d.). Male Psychology: What’s Wrong With APA’s Masculinity Guidelines ? [online] Australian Men’s Health Forum. Available at: https://www.amhf.org.au/male_psychology_what_s_wrong_with_apa_s_masculinity_guidelines [Accessed 28 Sep. 2020].

Psychology Today. (n.d.). What’s the Problem with “Traditional Masculinity”? [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/happiness-and-the-pursuit-leadership/201903/whats-the-problem-traditional-masculinity.

Quillette. (2019). Twelve Scholars Respond to the APA’s Guidance for Treating Men and Boys. [online] Available at: https://quillette.com/2019/02/04/psychologists-respond-to-the-apas-guidance-for-treating-men-and-boys/ [Accessed 24 Sep. 2020].

Research Digest. (2019). Young Men Who Endorse The Masculine Ideal of Success Enjoy Greater Psychological Wellbeing. [online] Available at: https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/01/18/young-men-who-endorse-the-masculine-ideal-of-success-enjoy-greater-psychological-wellbeing/ [Accessed 24 Sep. 2020].

Salter, M., Ardell, J. and Getty (2019). The Problem With a Fight Against Toxic Masculinity The popular term points toward very real problems of male violence and sexism. But it risks misrepresenting what actually causes them. The Atlantic. [online] Available at: https://www.speechwire.com/files/9316-7%20-%20Discussion%20Artifact%20-%20CURRENT%20EVENTS.pdf [Accessed 24 Feb. 2020].

Traditional Masculinity Can Hurt Boys, Say New A.P.A. Guidelines. (2019). The New York Times. [online] 10 Jan. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/science/apa-traditional-masculinity-harmful.html.

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Research proposal: Feeling lost in life

I am sure all of us have felt stuck in a rut at some point in life, unable to figure out what to do next. And for some, this may probably still be the case. It is a topic that I have discussed with my peers countless times, and one that resonates strongly with me in my personal development. So I wanted to find out how other university students felt about this phenomenon and how it affected their personal development.

As university students turn into adults and are expected to be independent and capable of taking care of everything in life. This sudden pressure with the lack of experience creates a combo most young adults cannot deal with. (Merrill & Johnston, 2011; Turner et al., 2017)

From my twitter poll, the majority of the students (62.5%) do not seem to have a clear grasp of their future.

Two views of emerging adulthood:

Compared to people in their 20s in previous generations, people in their 20s now have one more life stage between their teenage years and young adulthood. That life stage is called “emerging adulthood.” (Arnett, 2004; Arnett, Kloep, Hendry, & Tanner, 2011;
Konstam, 2014)

University students go through two main experiences in emerging adulthood: one of exploration and opportunity (Arnett, 2004) and another of feeling lost and struggling (Smith, Christoffersen, Davidson, & Herzog, 2011). Although I will be talking about the latter, I believe finding your place in life and being on the pursuit of success plays a part in creating this void in people where they become overwhelmed with uncertainty and doubt.

University life creates a variety of stress for students: achievement in academics, bleak future and the challenge of integrating with the system and contributing. Furthermore, the students have to juggle between relationships among family and peers. Which could hinder their learning process and affect their grade (Fish & Nies, 1996; Chew-Graham, Rogers & Yassin, 2003).

Emerging adults are prone to stress due to high expectations to become an independent and capable person who is monetarily self-sufficient and doing well for themselves in their career path. But with more people getting educated, competition is high both in high-education and the workforce. Thus, creating more pressure for young adults (World Health Organization, 1994; Saipanis, 2003).

Research question: Do university students lack direction when it comes to their future path?

From all my conversations with my peers, I noticed that we were always trying to get somewhere. Earn money first, and then we will be happy. Right? Do we know what is in store for us in the future? All of our schooling felt like we were going through the motions, and after finishing our education, we just stopped having a clear direction. Got into college? Check. Got a degree? Check. Okay, now what? There is no guideline for young adults to follow as they are pushed into the real world and expected to be capable of handling everything. This piqued my interest, did any of us know what we were doing?

After going through my research, I have learnt that priorities of young adults have changed compared to the past: Just three decades ago, the average 21-year-old had been wed; had kids; done with their studies; and had landed permanent work or become a housewife. Nowadays, the average 21-year-old does not get married; have kids; look for permanent positions until they are well into their late twenties (Arnett 2004). 

Research also shows the literacy rate of people increasing rapidly compared to the past which creates more competition for the top university spots as well as job positions compared to the past (Roser, M. and Ortiz-Ospina, E. 2013). This discrepancy looks to get bigger as time goes on. I feel as if we need to discuss this topic. There is a generation of young people who are unsure of where they are going in life, even if they are in college or university.

This topic is timely because it is happening right now. The current generation faces this problem. It is relevant because it is affecting young adults and the university students who are studying in this course. I believe this topic is achievable because this issue seems to be a recurring theme among emerging adults. And my reliable coursemates have been active in helping each other out. The research will be a mix of qualitative and quantitative work with online questionnaires handed out as well as individual interviews for participants with knowledgeable answers that can further aid my research. Limitations that I might face are lack of participation from fellow coursemates as I will only know them for a year. I haven’t been introduced to them properly as well. (I haven’t even seen most of their faces!) However, I have hope in my coursemates being amazing people. And I believe this research can dig deeper and reveal more information about university students feeling lost in life.

Reference:

Bird, S. (2016). Christian College Students and Emerging Adulthood: Exploring or Lost? Christian Education Journal: Research on Educational Ministry, 13(2), pp.293–314.

Ding, F. and Curtis, F. (2020). ‘I feel lost and somehow messy’: a narrative inquiry into the identity struggle of a first-year university student. Higher Education Research & Development, pp.1–15.

Metrosetter. (2012). Does the American Dream Still Include Home Ownership? [online] Available at: https://metrosetter.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/does-the-american-dream-still-include-home-ownership/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

reddit. (n.d.). r/memes – The struggles of adulthood. [online] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/memes/comments/al0szm/the_struggles_of_adulthood/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

Roser, M. and Ortiz-Ospina, E. (2013). Tertiary Education. Our World in Data. [online] Available at: https://ourworldindata.org/tertiary-education#enrollment-in-tertiary-education-over-time [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

Rothschild, B.J. (2018). Why stress, anxiety and feeling lost is really a celebration. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/@secretlyfamous/why-stress-anxiety-and-feeling-lost-is-really-a-celebration-4a9aa0ebc336 [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

Shaikh, B., Kahloon, A., Kazmi, M., Khalid, H., Nawaz, K., Khan, N. and Khan, S. (2004). Students, Stress and Coping Strategies: A Case of Pakistani Medical School. Education for Health: Change in Learning & Practice, [online] 17(3), pp.346–353. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Babar_Shaikh/publication/7888674_Students_Stress_and_Coping_Strategies_A_Case_of_Pakistani_Medical_School/links/02bfe50ff750d1b06c000000.pdf [Accessed 15 Jul. 2019].

Sharma, P. (2020). Racing Adulthood by Balancing Work and Life. [online] Feministaa.com. Available at: https://feministaa.com/2020/02/21/racing-adulthood-by-balancing-work-and-life/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

Taylor-Hayhurst, D. (2018). Finding the right direction in life. [online] Success Factor. Available at: https://www.successfactor.co.nz/finding-right-direction-life/ [Accessed 25 Sep. 2020].

Trow, M. (1988). American Higher Education. Educational Researcher, 17(3), pp.13–23.

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Blog 3: Planning your approach

I believe the debate between toxic masculinity to be crucial in helping understand this niche. Toxic-masculinity links topics such as violence; sexism; substance abuse and promiscuity, to men.

Who I am targeting are the younger generation. What we get exposed to can influence us, especially as we are still finding our place in the world, what we see will affect the way we act. From all the negative connotations shown in recent years, I want to show that this topic is not as black and white as it appears in the media. Like how we are empowering women, I want it to be okay to show some love for all the men out there.

Some of the subjects I might talk about could be related to mental health, education, participation in the workforce, the stigma against male caregivers(occupation and household), fatherhood (lack of importance shown, custodial matters), homelessness, incarceration, rate of being victims of violence (murder/crime against), domestic abuse(and lack of support)

Do keep in mind that when I speak about this topic, I acknowledge the difficulties of the opposite sex, I am not bringing up men to push down the progress of women. I am merely stating that both gender issues are important, and we have to give a similar amount of importance to them. After all, men hold the other half of the sky.

I am planning to get my information from online journals, blog posts, census from different countries, websites promoting men’s health, media outlets and online forums. I may hand out online questionnaires or create polls if the situation calls for it.

Right now, I will read or watch one to five related sources of information a day. And in a week, that will add up to seven to thirty-five sources of information. I may cut out recurring or irrelevant information in the process. I think that will be enough to get a small, concentrated amount of data relating to my topic. Finally, I will take into account my previous blogs and the guidelines for this assignment to finish and retouch in the end.

Thanks for reading this week’s blog. I hope you get a sense of direction to where I am heading with this assignment! 😀

Reference:

iStock/filadendron (n.d.). Engaging men in creating more inclusive workplaces gives businesses the opportunity to tackle entrenched power relations and create long-term, systemic change. Available at: https://ssir.org/articles/entry/how_business_can_engage_men_as_allies_for_gender_equality.

Salter, M. (2019). The Problem With the Term “Toxic Masculinity.” [online] The Atlantic. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/02/toxic-masculinity-history/583411/.

Menandboyscoalition.org.uk. (2016). Statistics | Men & Boys Coalition. [online] Available at: http://www.menandboyscoalition.org.uk/statistics/.

‌Twitter. (n.d.). https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1199718185865535490/photo/1. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1199718185865535490/photo/1 [Accessed 20 Sep. 2020].

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Week 2: samples of journal records (technology)

1860s

I was lucky to be born in a period where the telegram exists. Could you imagine what it was like in the past? Delivering messages must have taken ages. They say that the newspaper makes it possible to spread negative messages faster and further than ever before. That is truly unfortunate. However, that also means messages that inspire and strengthen people can reach the hearts of people in every corner of the world.

1880s

Looking out of my Manhattan apartment, I see these ugly cables spread out along these steel beams like a cobweb. They do allow us to communicate with other people with telephones now, so I cannot complain.

1910s

We are living in the best period of humanity! Radio is god’s gift to Earth, not only am I able to hear stuff going around America, but also places like Europe and Asia. Who would have thought sounds could relay information to thousands of households around the world all at once? This feat is incredible! I have been hearing news about people inventing something like an imaging device to replace the radio. Ha! The radio is one thing, but I am not sure how images would be able to replace sound, how could you understand without hearing?

1940s

Those buggers did it. There will be an endless amount of entertainment in the future, with a vast catalogue to choose. I am afraid of how far technology has come. At first, it was a means to make our lives easier. Then it evolved to become a source of entertainment for people, shaping the way we think. Only now am I realizing how powerful and dangerous technology can be. I had never thought technology would be so influential in turning the tides of war and controlling the people.

1950s

I am near the end of my life, and yet it seems like technology is just now starting. It is terrifying how nations can wield this weapon that seems so harmless to everyone. I now believe humanity will get so dependent on technology to a point they cannot comprehend. It will outlast lifetimes and yet keep moving forward alongside humanity. I am both in awe and scared shitless at the same time. I am afraid.

Reference:

New York, E. (2009). Lower Manhattan criss-crossed by wires. Available at: https://ephemeralnewyork.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/broadwayandcortlandst.jpg.

Seaton, J. (n.d.). Why Orwell’s 1984 could be about now. [online] http://www.bbc.com. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20180507-why-orwells-1984-could-be-about-now.

TheCreativeIteration (2010). Technological Dependence. Available at: https://www.deviantart.com/thecreativeiteration/art/Technological-Dependence-172162502.

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Week 1: The telegraph in warfare

The telegraph made communication easy. Messages could be sent faster than ever with the cables allowing electricity to pass from state to state. It gave the Union a ridiculous advantage in the Civil War. When the Confederate discussed strategy with their generals all in the same tent, the President at that time, Abraham Lincoln had been camping in his office, reading letters sent through the telegram. From that position, he could get regular updates about the changes in the battlefield and change strategies to fit their needs and counter their enemies. They could be sent back at a blistering pace.

To the civilians, communication also became more convenient. Letters traveled faster without the need to be physical. News arrived earlier and got updated frequently. Just through Morse code and the telegram, technology has made life much simpler and faster. News from the war was quick to fall under the ears of everyone. And loved ones back home could also communicate with the soldiers more regularly as letters could be processed faster.

The Internet is a place where you can get information about politics and the different parties in it. Social media allows you to hear different political views. It is a platform that can help convince other people (or dissuade them) from supporting your political party. People are allowed to be more vocal on their political opinions, memes have the power to sway the tide between political candidates, and other times, they are just funny.

It is also a place where people in high positions like the President of America: Donald J. Trump can interact and vocalize his opinions or thoughts directly to the masses (both in and out of the United States). That does not always go well with people, but it is what it is. Social media also has videos of international summits or conferences to count for history. And drives in further the point: what gets uploaded on the Internet, stays on the Internet.

Reference:

George, B. (2015). Telegraph & the Civil War. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMHgPa-QdR8 [Accessed 16 Sep. 2020].

News, M. (2016). Civil War History: The Telegraph (Electrical Telegraph). YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AiG1VPRGZo [Accessed 16 Sep. 2020].

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Blog 2: What is the field site for researching your media niche?

Continuing from the first blog, I know this might be a hard concept to understand in the first place because people following or taking part in this “niche” don’t have a name for it. It is a place to learn and foster a positive mindset about oneself. The reason for this topic not being brought up often is due to men being in a so-called “privileged” position according to modern society.

However, they do not take into account that both men and women have different privileges because men and women are different. Just like how different cultures have similar patterns in their family dynamic even if they have never been in contact with other cultures. Yes, men have certain privileges that women don’t have, but that goes both ways.

Another reason for this can be because men learn to accept hardships from a young age. The media shows us that masculinity is toxic. And by accepting that, we can hopefully repent for our sins and appear in a better light.

The main space I get information about this topic is through YouTube. The content creators there post content targeted towards men regularly. And the YouTube algorithm helps find like-minded channels, thus being my choice of medium for this content.

Interaction is allowed through the comment section and polls generated by the YouTubers. Some content, however, is not posted on YouTube because YouTube deems them inappropriate. Those videos would get demonetized if posted on YouTube, so the uploaders post them on their Patreon site instead. Over there, you can support the content creators by subscribing to their account.

The personas of those content creators are usually that of a friend, brother or even a father teaching you to walk in your shoes and giving you life advice. Recently, a channel called “Dad, how do I?” blew up. He posts videos ranging from practical dadvice to storytelling (if you’re into that).

Rob Kenney, the creator of the channel, was abandoned by his father at a young age. So he created this channel for all the people in his shoes. To people who grew up in fatherless homes, whether they got abandoned or their fathers had passed. This phenomenon of his channel getting so many subscribers in such a short amount of time shows how important it is for fathers to be a part of their children’s life growing up as it can help shape them as an individual with strong values.

I hope you have learnt a little bit more about my media niche. Thanks for tuning in and hope you enjoyed reading! ;D

Reference:

Harbin, Jessie. “588 || Dad, How Do I … ?” Shattered Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020, shatteredmagazine.net/588-dad-how-do-i/.

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Blog 1: What is your media niche?

Recently, I have been diving deep into the theme of masculinity. The Western world has made a lot of progress when it comes to feminism. But hidden between the lines, there seem to be ideas of toxic masculinity sprouting out. Most of us might not be aware of it, but this has been happening more frequently since the late 2010s. You might have seen the infamous Gillette commercial.

Not to mention the false accusations of rape, which caused men to serve unnecessary prison time or even killed. We have come so far as civilized human beings, but when it comes time for judgement on these issues, more often than not, we look for the stick instead of the carrot when dealing with men. The white knight inside of people shows itself and takes part in virtue signalling.


There are numerous YouTube channels online directed towards men. I will gloss over the ones that are not relevant to my interests like the RedPill or MGTOW communities whom I believe is passing on the negativity to women. I am just interested in the ones that are mostly about self-improvement. These can come through YouTube channels or podcasts by different people. These sources could talk about the life experiences of people, advice for difficulties in the stages of life, motivation and even simple tips or how-to for men. I don’t have one specific channel or podcast I watch/listen, but many of them.

Among my subscribed channels regarding this topic, the least subscribed has 500k subscribers and posts videos that talks about his opinions on whatever is trending, and the most subscribed channel has 1.9 million subscribers and is about philosophy. Most of them are similar in topic, about motivation and self-improvement, relationship advice and one about how to differentiate between different leathers. The people I watch/listen to range from college students just ranting about their life and having “bro-talks” with their audience, men aged 30-40 reacting to other people and talking about their life experiences, British dude storytelling with valuable takeaways in the end with classical music playing in the background and a channel dedicated to teaching men different things from learning how to tie a bow-tie to which razor to buy, all sophisticated stuff.


The men I watch all have their individuality. Some more upbeat and outgoing, others more calm and cynical. Most channels I watch post videos to voice their opinions and don’t ask for feedback. We can comment on their videos if we want, but the communication is mostly one-way. The content creators I follow usually don’t respond to anything unless something catches their attention, and they want to correct themselves or explain their viewpoint. The reaction channels I watch ask their viewers to send them something to react on (video/news article/message.etc) as that is their form of content. Others could post polls on YouTube to see what their audiences would prefer to see for the next video.


Recently, a YouTuber I watched: Alexander Grace showed his demographic for his videos. Although he targeted men of all ages above 17 (adult), he found out that most of his viewers ranged from ages 18-34. That could either mean that the problems men deal with effect younger men more or that older men don’t care anymore or don’t know about these media outlets.

Thanks for allocating some time to read my blog! I hope you learned a bit about my media niche. 😉

Reference:

We Believe: The Best Men Can Be | Gillette (Short Film … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koPmuEyP3a0.

milan-12. “r/MensRights – Should Women Go to Jail for False Rape Accusations?” Reddit, 13 May 2016, http://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/4j6n7x/should_women_go_to_jail_for_false_rape_accusations/.

“Alexander Grace YouTube Channel Analytics and Report.” NoxInfluencer, http://www.noxinfluencer.com/youtube/channel/UCeY3vg1r0KrvuyPOi7T39eA?tab=subs.

Featured

Next stop for Giannis

The Milwaukee Bucks have not made it to the NBA finals since 1974 when they won a championship with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. 

Although they got close in 2019, making it to the Eastern Conference finals where they lost 4-2 in a seven-game series against the Raptors.

It seems like Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP will have a lot to contemplate if he still cannot make it to the NBA finals, let alone win it.

Giannis is 25 now. He will be in a period where most NBA players hit their peak soon. And him still being in Milwaukee will only tarnish his legacy when looking at his skill and what he can accomplish in his career.

Frankly, no matter how great the “Greek Freak” is, all NBA greats need to have a great supporting cast to win a ring. Khris Middleton is the second-option for this Milwaukee team. And while he is a great player, I don’t think him and the rest share Giannis’s mentality to win a ring and be great.

It is impressive that this team has ended up with the best season record twice in 2019 (60-22) and 2020 (56-17). However, the thing that matters most is still an NBA championship. With all Giannis has done in the years he has been with the Bucks. Show-casing his greatness, putting the Bucks on the map. I feel like he has done all he can with the organization, and no one will hold anything against him if he decides to leave his current home. The young buck has now grown up.

There have been two teams that come to mind when people talk about which team Giannis should head for: the Miami Heat and the Golden State Warriors. I will talk about why both these teams are good options for Giannis to team up.

Miami Heat:

The Miami Heat are a strong team in the East with a lot of solid role-players like Bam Adebayo and Duncan Robinson as well as their focus on team play. Led by their lone star in Jimmy Butler, who is known for his tough mentality and giving a 100 per cent. Giannis would fit right in with the Heat culture in South Beach. The Heat would also get another star to pair-up with Jimmy Butler and give the rest of the NBA a good run for its money.

The Golden State Warriors:

The Warriors may not come into some people’s minds as they think Giannis will not act like Kevin Durant and go to the best team in the NBA. However, a lot of things have changed since then. The warriors are without vets like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Draymond Green is showing signs of decline. The new Warriors team has not truly been tested with all their star players out on the court after Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson’s injury in last year’s playoffs. So this team is relatively weaker than the great 2015-2019 Warriors Dynasty. However, this team still has the splash brothers, the best shooting backcourt of all-time. Even though they may age, their non-reliance on their athleticism allows for longevity and does not greatly affect their game. Not to mention the team’s average age is 25.5, which is a pretty young team to work with.

To conclude:

The best thing about joining the Miami Heat would be following the supposedly “tougher route” and having your legacy hold more meaning. Matching up with like-minded players who share the vision of being the best possible version of yourself and winning.

And the best thing about joining the Warriors would see all-star level spectacles week in and week out in San Francisco. The combination of Stephen Curry and Giannis Antetokounmpo will be awesome to witness. They will undoubtedly be one of the finest duos in NBA history. The gravity of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson pulling players away from him will allow Giannis to toy with his match-up and score more easily. The Warriors also know what it’s like to win while having fun, they have that champion mentality no other teams possess in the NBA due to them winning back to back and dominating the NBA in the previous decade.


No one knows what the future has in store, but if Giannis picks any of these two teams, you know it will be a good one. “The young buck will have grown.”

Featured

Sound of a dying star (ch.2)

When I opened my eyes, I seemed to be transferred to heaven or something similar, because all I could see was rainbow coloured clouds drifting through my feet. And then as I started to get a hold of myself, I felt some pressure being applied on my biceps. I looked up to find the exact green crystal bird that had swooped down on me. Where was it taking me? Maybe to its giant crystal nest to feed its crystal chicks? I did not want to imagine that.

Another thing I noticed about the environment around me was that it did not seem like Earth. Wherever I was, it was a place with purple skies and visible stars shining in the distance. Also, something caught my attention, three of them to be exact. This place had three moons in the sky. When I looked down, I noticed this great expanse of buildings. The unusual thing is that they were not on land, rather they were floating in the ocean of whichever planet I was in. Taking a closer look at the spectacle underneath, it was a bright and noisy place. Genres of music I had never heard before and fragrances I have never come across.

We finally landed on a large landing area resembling a helipad, only it was the size of a football pitch. As soon as we landed, a group of humanoid creatures came to greet me, their skin made of crystals like the bird that had carried me here.

I was suspicious of everything at this point. Waking up to find myself being the only one on Earth, walking down the familiar streets of Manhattan, to find a gigantic crystal bird which somehow managed to bring me to this strange planet while I was unconscious. This had to be a dream. I pinched myself hard, only to reel back at the pain. “Oh, my god!” The entourage of crystal men and women looked at me in confusion: “Is this normal behaviour on your planet?” one of them asked me.

No.. This couldn’t be. This was real.

Featured

Sound of a dying star (ch.1)

My name is Edison Ramirez. 39 years old and living by myself. I work as an audio engineer. When I woke up today, there seemed to be something amiss. The streets were quiet and I could not hear the birds singing their usual songs. The cars on the street had come to a standstill. The streets were also void of people.

I put my deathstrider 78X1 on and listen to the latest hits with its booming-bass system. I take a step out on the streets of Manhattan and go for a jog. As I pass by the cars, I notice that there were no one inside them. That was weird, was the whole city playing a prank on me?

I was supposed to do some checks on the sound system of a huge club downtown. But no one would be complaining if I didn’t show up tonight right? After all, I seem to be the only one in this city. That was when I heard it, a beautiful harp-like melody coming from somewhere close. With a sudden burst of speed, I ran as fast as I could directly at the sound. Maybe I wasn’t alone after all. That was when I saw it, soaring past the tall skyscrapers gracefully with its shimmering green feathers that seemed to radiate alongside the sun. It appeared to be a large birdlike creature about the size of a human.

As I continue to stare at its beauty, it notices me. It makes that beautiful sound again, lulling me to sleep and proceeds to swoop down at me. I then realize that it wasn’t as big as a human but two or even three times bigger than a fully grown man. I stand still in fear, unable to move a muscle or perhaps it was a spell cast by the bird.

And then, everything turns black.

Digital Artefact: Corporate Greenwashing

Nowadays we use products and services by the emergent media powers who rose and gained worldwide acclaim throughout the last few decades. And since we use their services frequently, we have to be aware of some issues pertaining to those companies in order to see everything as it is. And not an image that is spoonfed to us, without having all the right information. We have to understand that the main goal of large corporations is money, and not some social justice bullcrap they would like for us to believe. A common theme for this, especially since the rise of environmental awareness is Corporate Greenwashing. It is when companies falsely promote their products or services, claiming they would help in the sustainability of the environment when they do not. Some examples could be selling products in an incomplete state, claiming it is to preserve the environment (phone adapters being sold separately). Or companies pledging to get rid of their carbon emission when they are moving in different directions(Microsoft carbon emission pledge while working with the biggest fossil fuel companies).

My digital artifact is an instrumental expressing the feelings I have felt whenever I come across this phenomenon. I want to share this with fellow consumers of products and services of emergent media, as well as people who care about the environment and believe they are supporting a good cause. These are the personas of my target audience.  This is to make people aware of what is going on while they are blindsided by the big firms. We should not look at these companies as all benevolent, and we have to be responsible in each decision we make when we think it aligns with our goals but doesn’t in reality. This, in one way is akin to Neo taking the red pill in the Matrix.

I have experimented with different digital audio workstations(DAW) when working on this project, and was ultimately suggested to try FL Studios by a reader in one of my blogs. I learned how to use the DAW and compose music, albeit at a completely beginner level for now. This did make me learn of all the intricacies and complexities of music composition, giving me a whole different perspective when it comes to music production. This also sparked a new interest in music composition in me, which I could try out just for fun. All the tutorials on YouTube definitely helped me come up with something as my final product. If it were not for them, I would be completely clueless with how to use the DAW. This process was me learning an entire new subject from scratch.

I followed the Fail early, fail often(FIFO) approach by previously having posted some prototypes for my digital artefact online and managed to gain some insightful comments and experience to guide my trajectory of this project. The main insight being, promotion and marketing of something being more valuable than the actual product. People on social media are always looking for something to give a thumbs up to, and they have their own standards. The more a product is “liked” by other people, the more deserving of their “like” they will think a product or post deserves. This is similar to social media channels or accounts. The initial beginning stage is always the most complicated and important in order to grow your presence.

When I first started my digital artefact(DA), I wanted to create a comprehensive blog series that would educate people on the topic of Corporate Greenwashing. My lecturer did not want me to work on blogs. Although I would say writing is my forte, this was a huge blow to me. I would be working on my DA with one arm tied behind my back. I did not understand his thinking process, but I decided to give it a shot. Like your average person, I am a music lover. And I thought experiencing the design process of a song could help me get a new perspective with how composers experience music. This was also a way for me to get out of my comfort zone and try something completely out of my field. When I first downloaded the different DAWs, I was completely flabbergasted. How do I even use these applications?

Because my DA was music composition, I figured it was difficult for my peers to suggest what I could do with it. Seeing as none of them had any experience composing music. Following a peer’s advice, I promoted my song on Twitter with hashtags. I also shared it on our BCM WhatsApp group for it to gain some traction. Instead of creating an informative blog series, I ended up creating an instrumental that was more focused on the emotional side of people. To tug at their heartstrings. My instrumental demonstrates what the sense of dread, hopelessness, disappointment sounded like after coming across corporate greenwashing. What I personally feel, I hope people can resonate with my feeling. I chose to make it instrumental because it is easier for the melody by itself to express my feelings on this topic.

I also decided to post my final product on SoundCloud to see how well it would do and to reach a broader audience after taking the suggestion of one of my peers. As of now, I have gained two new followers after releasing this track.

It was very difficult for me, I could not play any instruments and had to go through every note to figure out how each of them would sound like. I watched numerous videos online to help. I even learned some basic music theory because of this! Thank the lords for the YouTube algorithm! Through trial and error, with me posting some cringe-inducing works of mine online. I managed to receive some helpful advice on some DAWs. I found out FL Studio was one software that was popular among the music geeks these days. A lot of composers were using it, and there was an abundance of materials online. It became apparent to me which software I needed to use for my DA, and to become the next big digital jockey (I’m kidding). Although this is the end of my DA project(the last stage of my design plans), I believe there is always room for improvement. To projects yet to come!

Reference: 

Delmas, M.A. and Vanessa Cuerel Burbano (2011). The Drivers of Greenwashing. California Management Review, [online] 54(1), pp.64–87. 

Egbon, O. (2016). After Greenwashing: Symbolic Corporate Environmentalism and Society. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 37(1), pp.73–74.

G Mazzola, GöllerS. and MüllerS. (2002). The topos of music : geometric logic of concepts, theory, and performance. Basel ; Boston: Birkhauser Verlag.

Javier Del Ser and Springerlink (Online Service (2017). Harmony Search Algorithm : Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Harmony Search Algorithm (ICHSA 2017). Singapore: Springer Singapore.

Johansen, B.E. (2015). Eco-hustle! : global warming, greenwashing, and sustainability. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.

Kamitani, M. and Ae, T. (2004). Augmented interactive evolutionary computation for composition. International Journal of Technology, Policy and Management, 4(4), p.337.

Kaschub, M., Smith, J. and Menc, The National Association For Music Education (U.S (2009). Minds on music : composition for creative and critical thinking. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Przychodzeń, W.P. (2013). Greenwashing – Myth or Reality in the World of Business? Management and Business Administration. Central Europe, 21(4), pp.132–138.

Ramus, C.A. and Montiel, I. (2005). When Are Corporate Environmental Policies a Form of Greenwashing? Business & Society, 44(4), pp.377–414.

Schwarz, D., Kassabian, A. and Siegel, L. (1997). Keeping score : music, disciplinarity, culture. Charlottesville: University Press Of Virginia.

BCM 302 Peer review 2

Amanda: https://amanda383323234.wordpress.com/2021/06/26/bcm302-beta/

Amanda’s digital artefact is a YouTube channel to learn about how to take better care of cats. Looking at her pitch presentation, there were a lot of grammatical mistakes. To the point that it was hard to understand.

Instead of: 

“Cat is the one of the adorable pets for people who like to keep in the family. Most cats’ owners knew that how to feed up their kitties well. For example to purchase great odorless Cat litter, and not only afford cats food and canned food but also fresh meat to make their fur smooth.

So, are they the perfect pet owners? How to understand a cat’s mood? What do they still do not know about cats even after living with cats for so many years?

Thus, my persona is those owners who own cats and feed up their cats very well but unprofessional understanding of cats’ some of knowledge. I will run my channel through “Behaviors, health, education and unknown knowledge.” Helping them more understand their lovely cats and to become an excellent cat slave.”

It should be something like: 

“Cats are one of the more adorable pets people like to keep. Most cat owners know how to feed their cats. And other tips such as purchasing odorless cat litter, feeding them fresh meat instead of regular canned feed in order to make their fur smoother. Are cat owners perfect? How does one understand the mood of a cat? What are some things cat owners do not know about their cats even after living together for years?

The persona of my target audience are: cat owners who are responsible in feeding their cats in a timely fashion. However, they may not have the right knowledge to take care of the cats properly regarding their diet, nutrition, and health.

Here is where my YouTube channel comes in the picture. My YouTube channel will focus on the behaviours, health, education, and some secret know-hows of how cats work. Helping cat owners understand and serve their furry little masters.”

I like the short cat video at the start of Amanda’s presentation as it is eye-catching. It was also good of Amanda to show the current situation of households with cats in Hong Kong. This makes it easier for viewers to understand the background of Amanda’s topic. Her presentation has minor problems in her wording.

Amanda shows her methodology clearly, mentioning YouTube as the platform she will be using. As well as introducing four main topics her channel will focus on. Amanda mentions that she would be posting on her YouTube channel and await comments to get a feedback loop. She also said she would ask veterinarians if necessary. But I do not know how she can have access to them. Does she know them personally? Is there a channel she can use to communicate with them?

I liked how Amanda looks at cat owners in a self-deprecating view as that is how cat owners usually think of themselves. This sets a familiar tone for other cat owners and helps them relate with Amanda’s YouTube channel. Good job.

Amanda mentions getting inspiration from cat videos on YouTube videos and comments but I do not know how she got inspiration for her upcoming content. Maybe explaining a little bit more of that would be better. For example, the title of her next video and how she got its inspiration.

I checked out Amanda’s YouTube channel(Miu Miu 課室) and I think it looks promising. Her logo and her videos look professional. I also like her video intro as well as the cat filter she uses in her videos. It is really fitting.

What I noticed from her YouTube channel is that her videos are mostly two minutes long. Since they are short, I would recommend her try out the story system of YouTube to attract new subscribers by posting short highlights of her videos there. There is also a whole community feature so she could try and attract people by posting some stuff there about her upcoming schedule and plans for the channels, or creating polls for people to participate in. This will also help Amanda gauge what kinds of content her subscribers are looking for.

If she does not have a lot of content yet, she could limit her videos to one video a week instead of her proposed two videos a week to keep a consistent schedule which will be easier for her subscribers to follow. But it is all up to her and how much content she has. Right now Amanda’s content looks good, the only thing left is to get people to notice her channel.

Tommy: https://jockercs.wordpress.com/2021/06/27/bcm302-da-beta/

At first I was confused with Tommy’s new project until I realised he wanted to help his target audience “renovate” their homes instead of “relocate”. It is a simple mix up but one that must be addressed quickly to clear up things.

I learned from his beta that the persona of his target audience is that of people who have no experience renovating and are looking to renovate their homes. I thought the idea of using a video game to help people learn about renovating was a novel one.

I want to know whether Tommy wants to give suggestions to people asking for his advice or mainly just to teach people the basics of home renovation. One way would be by having people send him pictures/videos of their homes and ask Tommy what can be done to improve. I think the method suggested by Tommy is to teach people the basics of remodelling a home, but maybe people are just looking to redecorate and move their furniture around. Would it be better to recreate their homes in House Flipper and give them direct suggestions? Because that would be the most direct way to help as everything would be similar. Although creating a model of the customers’ homes would create a heavier workload, it could lead to a profitable business opportunity in the future.

Tommy’s current idea of releasing videos about him remodelling homes could also work. If he is mainly focusing on the Hong Kong market, it may be better to focus on the smaller apartments in the game to recreate similar living spaces.

I think Tommy’s idea of integrating a video game in an educational way is really innovative as he can blend work and play together. I think he has to have a clear production schedule if he wants this to go through. I think it would be reasonable if Tommy uploads a video of a remodel in House Flipper every two weeks on his YouTube channel to balance out the time he spends on House Flipper and his other schedules.

And as he is focusing on YouTube, it would be good if he focused on the tools provided by YouTube to promote himself. YouTube has a lot of community features like posts, stories, and polls to engage a niche audience into his channel. Maybe they will find him looking to learn how to renovate, or maybe the persona of his audience will shift. I cannot wait for his first video upload. It would also be good if he linked his YouTube channel!

BCM 302 Project Beta (revision)

I chose to make a song based on my lecturer’s feedback as he thought my original plan of a blog series was not special. It was my first time creating a song and I found it very difficult. I had to research the digital audio workstations(DAW) and learn how to use them individually to figure out which was the simplest for me to understand. They all had different features and I ran into some trouble with not being able to open my work because I was using a free software. So I had to scrape my work and redo it in another software where I could save and open my work. I also ran into some trouble not being able to export my video file directly from my DAW and had to use a secondary video editor, which I also had no experience in. However, Google was reliable by teaching me the basics of how to use the softwares.

Since I was making a song, I had to pick my lyrics concisely and filled with the information needed for viewers to understand what I wanted them to hear. I also had to create my melody to fit with my lyrics. I have no experience playing instruments, as well as zero musical knowledge so that was really fun. At first I considered making an acoustic song, but the information I found on the internet was that DAWs were commonly used by music producers and as I watched their videos, I leaned in towards their type of music which were modern hip-hop/trap. It also aligned with my goal of connecting with a younger audience as they listen to the same/similar genres.

Do not expect the quality of the more popular artists, I am just an amateur who did not have any experience with this work. However, I gained some new knowledge about music and video production which was fun. Please enjoy the video and be wary of some cringiness. 🙂

Reference:

Studio, F.L. (n.d.). The DAW Every Music Producer Loves. [online] FL Studio. Available at: https://www.image-line.com/.

http://www.youtube.com. (n.d.). Corporate Greenwashing (BCM 302 Project Beta). [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/80CYfc_9ITE

My iteration of Race Against Time (RAT)

My iteration of Race Against Time (RAT)

Since RAT is for 4-6 players, the map will be a hexagonal-shaped one consisting of 60 steps, and each six will be coloured a respective colour to signify a player’s end-stage. The coloured steps will be the 54th-60th step of each player and will be behind their starting point. I also want to keep the initial stage of it simple to avoid complications.

While 60 steps may seem to be too few for a game that relies on progressing through the map, the game rule of moving forward and backwards depending on the die rolls(EVEN to move forwards and ODD to move backwards) will slow down the progression and make the games last longer. You cannot go further back than the starting point, so players don’t have to worry about falling too far behind. There is an equal chance to get a die roll(⅙). Therefore, the likelihood of moving forward is larger than moving backwards (1,3,5 < 2,4,6).

As the final six steps of each player will be coloured, it will make it easier for players to keep track of their progression and commit to different strategies depending on their situation. Players will be allowed to end their game after reaching the end and waiting for other players to finish theirs, or they can continue if they want to build a stronger army. Players need to be careful in picking which players to attack because an army card can only attack another army card with the same value, and players will have to hide their cards from others(except encounter cards). So attacking someone will also mean revealing your card at hand. Here is where bluffing and reading others will come into play.

As the primary mechanism of RAT is card collection, reaching the final six steps will not mean much, it is just an indicator of the passage of time. So more emphasis will be placed on getting strong troop cards. Players cannot see the cards of others. So they have to rely on other cues such as body language or keeping track of the cards used. Something akin to poker.

I have changed the lore of my game setting. Instead of “competing against other races to become the ruling race of evil”. It will be: competing against other races that are shunned in the world to choose the race that will guide the so-called “evil” races to fight against the oppression done to them by the “good” races. By doing this, I hope to introduce a new narrative of identity and game direction to fantasy-related material.

Some of those races

The themes of RAT will remain a fantasy, dice-rolling, card-collection game as it was the idea I first brought up. High fantasy is a reliable genre to fall back on, and I wanted to explore the perspective of being put in the shoes of the “other side”.

The dice used for RAT will be a 1d6 die. And the turns of players is decided on dice rolls, something similar to rock, paper, and scissors.

The game targets fantasy lovers and is ideal for people aged 12 or above who can comprehend the complexities of identity and race. And also to understand that there is more to it than just black and white.

 The cards will consist of troop cards, an action card(one for now), and encounter cards.

Cards: Most common to least common

  1. Minion card (+1 value to troops): Summon minions, attack minions of other factions(can choose to attack minions of any factions depending on your choice as long as they have minions) Thirty-one in each deck before reshuffle

  1. Shield/Barrier card: Create a shield to protect a troop card for the next round. Twenty-six in each deck before reshuffle
  1. General card (+2 value to troops): Summon general/attack a general of another faction Twenty-one in each deck before reshuffle

  1. Overlord card: Absorb dark energy and become stronger/ hex an opposing player Sixteen in each deck before reshuffle

  1. Fight against “Good”: Encounter your oppressors (let go of one army card) Eleven in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Terrible omen card: Natural disaster befalls the whole field: let go of two troop cards. This card affects all players. Six in each deck before reshuffle

  1. Boon from the devil himself: You get the choice to either get a saving chance for one troop card(can use anytime until before the endgame) or draw a card from a random player. There is only one boon of the devil in each deck until the cards are reshuffled!

If you draw a card you can’t use, your action ends after moving along the board.

Currently, I will try to create the board and cards by hand. I do not have much experience in web design and printing stuff out. That will be a thing to consider later along the way. At the current stage, everything will be at its barest. I haven’t thought about distribution and publishing yet since I still have things to prototype and playtest.

Overall, I want to create a fun game that is easy to pick up and played in a casual setting. The well-known high fantasy theme of the game will make it easy to get into, and I can only hope my iteration is enjoyable to other people. So fingers crossed!

My groupmates’ blogs:

Ali: https://theaqibali.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/blog-post-3-play-cricket-at-home/

Chaman: https://ck15blog.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/game-experience-design/

Katrina: https://katrinamedia915.wordpress.com/blog-post-1-part-3-k-pop-random-song-challenge-game/

BCM 300 Blog Post 2

Our game is Race Against Time (RAT). What I did for our project is write the whole game mechanics. I asked our group for some ideas in our WhatsApp group and designed the game after I suggested classical Role-playing game(RPG) themes like the different monsters. Katrina suggested moving up and down the board using the odd and even number of the dice while our other two groupmates were content with how we were progressing. I took some inspiration from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for the game design. And as I was starting to play in a Dungeons and Dragon’s campaign, the dice-rolling aspect and monster types also provided me with inspiration on how to proceed.

I tried to allocate roles in the group since everyone needed to contribute. I suggested our group members work on the illustrations or design aspect: Cards(monsters and symbols) and the board(map and terrain of the game).

The game has a level-up progression which can also go down. I have played lots of video games with a progression system, so maybe I got some ideas from there. I decided that being able to battle with other players to lose levels could make the game more fun than just levelling up with no obstacles.

I also decided to add more spice to the game. Cards with more game-breaking value will become rarer. I decided to reduce the number of protection cards to make the game less defensive and encourage a free-flow offence.

I will try to encourage my group members to contribute further by defining roles better. They may not be comfortable with designing. So I will ease their pressure and give them easier cards to design (action/event cards) and the map(terrain). I will also give them suggestions to make their work easier. I am happy about Katrina’s work in the monster designs. I explained that they don’t have to be professional-looking, and a rough sketch should be enough. But she blew her task out of the park by overperforming. I appreciate her effort.

Here are her sketches

There are many rules to the game. Therefore, I think it will be simpler for me to post the rules as a separate blog. The rules are basic and easy to comprehend. But complex enough to keep people engaged as I was thinking of an easy to get into, hard to master formula. But for now, the game will mostly be luck-based. So I am planning to make some adjustments to introduced more skill-based elements in the game.

Here are the rules about our game(subjected to be changed in the future):

Race Against Time (RAT) rules and introduction

Race Against Time (RAT) rules and introduction

Group members:  Katrina, Richard, Chaman, Ali

Game Title: “Race Against Time” or RAT in short

Age rating: 12+

Game Description: 

  • 4-6 players
  • Dice-rolling(1d6), card, turn-based, role playing encouraged!

Aim: You are a part of a faction of monsters competing against other races of monsters. Build your army and get to the amulet of doom before the other factions to become the supreme overlords of evil! Reach the end to fight against the forces of good. If you lose, the forces of good will eliminate evil forever. Don’t let that happen, my children!

Rules: 

  1. Each player chooses from a different evil race: orcs, goblins, trolls, kobolds, gnolls, lizardfolk, the undead…or whatever you can come up with using your imagination! 
  1. Each players has to roll a die to determine the order of the turns: higher rolls start first, players with same rolls need to roll again to see who starts before another (if both players roll a four and are competing for the second turn, the player who loses the roll to decide will be moved to the third turn)
  1. If a player rolls an EVEN number, they get to move up the board by the number they rolled while picking up a card. On the other hand, drawing an ODD number means a player has to move back said amount of numbers without drawing a card. You cannot go further back than the starting point. 
  1. A player’s army consists of minions, generals and the overlord(you). You start off with yourself at level 1 and will try to recruit minions and captains to strengthen your army. You can upgrade each of them to level 3. (lowest being you by yourself 3*x1, highest being unlocking everything to level 3) Minions(1*x3)+Generals(2*x3)+Overlord(3*x3)=18. Player character’s level cannot fall below level 1*
Minion Level 1 (1 power)General Level 1 (2 power)Overlord Level 1 – Player* (3 power)
Minion Level 2 (2 power)General Level 2 (4 power)Overlord Level 2 (6 power)
Minion Level 3 (3 power)General Level 3 (6 power)Overlord Level 3 (9 power)
  1. Sixty steps are needed to reach the amulet of doom. If you do not choose to end the game after reaching the end, you have to move back the amount you rolled over reaching the end.
  1. The player who reaches the end can choose to end the game when they reach the end. But must roll three dice to see if they can defend against the force of good(rolled outcome decides the battle rating of the forces of good). They can also choose to not end the game until they unlock all levels, but must risk moving backwards and being attacked by other players.
  1. The game also ends if more than one player reaches the end, and the two players have to battle to decide the overlord(compare levels). If both their battle ratings are the same, the player who arrived at the end first will become the supreme overlord. (You still have to battle the forces of good to decide the outcome of the game!)
  1. If the supreme overlord of evil fails to beat the battle rating of the forces of good, it is game over and all players would have lost.

Cards: Most common to least common

  1. Minion card: Summon minions, attack minions of other factions(can choose to attack minions of any factions depending on your choice as long as they have minions) Fifty in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Shield/Barrier card: Create shield to protect a certain force of your army(shield must be broken by an attack) Forty in each deck before reshuffle
  1. General card: Summon general, attack a general of another faction(can choose to attack a general of any factions depending on your choice as long as they have generals) Thirty-two in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Overlord card: Absorb dark energy and become stronger (gain a level for your own character!), hex an opposing player(attacks a level of another player if higher than 1) Sixteen in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Good vs. Evil card: Encounter with the force of good (minus one level in each of your forces) Eight in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Terrible omen card: Natural disaster befalls the whole field (minus two levels in a troop of your own choosing – if you do not have two levels in any of your forces this round, you have to skip growth cards for the next two turns). This card affects all players. Four in each deck before reshuffle
  1. Boon from the devil himself: You get the choice to either shield your whole army(shields must be broken individually), gain one level for all of your army, or attack all forces of another player by one level. There is only one boon of the devil in each deck until the cards are reshuffled!

If you draw a card you can’t use, your action will be skipped after moving along the board.

Answering questions about my BCM 302 pitch

What is corporate?

First of all, I would like to define what is “corporate”. When I say “corporate”, I mean a company or companies large enough to affect our lives. Some of them include Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon. Their products or services at least 40% of the world population uses. I had a question about whether bicycle manufacturers are considered “corporate”. And while they may be successful in their field, they provide their products for a very niche market. Meanwhile, the corporate I am referring to is recognized by all or at least most of the human population.

How riding a bike can combat vehicular emissions?

Extremely simple. Riding a bicycle does not require the ride to emit vehicular fumes, which private cars emit. Research by Roy, Miah, and Zafar has shown that riding cycles could reduce carbon emission by 53%, even if only 40% of car owners suddenly shifted to riding bicycles instead. I understand that cycling long distances may not be feasible for all people. However, we can always rely on public transport. Which also does less harm to the environment compared to private vehicles.

Are oil and car enterprises putting pressure on the world’s governments to keep using private cars? Answering the Chicken or Egg question.

The egg came first from species that weren’t yet chicken. Anyway, it does not change that most governments do not attempt to build efficient enough public transport because the costs are too high to break even. Even if a country or city’s economy increases due to the mobilization of its citizens, the profits margin is difficult to see on paper. So many countries cannot be bothered to do so. Private vehicles also become a symbol of status for people or even their culture and way of life. So it becomes difficult to gauge this fully. I will be posting more blogs to talk about this stuff more comprehensively per my original plan. I just had to answer some enquiries on this topic for my course because I could not move on otherwise.

What does it mean when I say “same as me?” – to the lecturer and students

I think I mentioned the person of my target audience in my previous pitch:

  1. Those who care for the environment – learn more about this topic through my blogs.
  2. People who are into activism. Particularly the younger generations. They can be seen on social media advocating for their beliefs/social-political issues and encouraging others to participate. The reason I used: “same as me?” To avoid putting people into groups and dehumanizing them – to avoid treating them merely as products. I was following what the video resources provided to us taught me.

Why people do not know how much does beef affects the environment? And how I know that?

Like I said in my pitch. I will be going across these questions after going through various research materials online. I am merely allowing myself to investigate this suggestion because it does sound intriguing to me. In my pitch, I stated that I wanted to look at these questions, and I will. 

  1. To figure out how much beef affected climate change
  2. How does it compare to other carbon emissions?
  3. And depending on what I find. I can decide whether to investigate: 

A. What people are trying to cover up by making us eat less meat/benefits of cattle

B. The other alternatives to farming cattle and the future of meat

But I have learnt that maybe I should not be revealing all my cards early. Oh well ;(

What should the readers do after reading my blogs?

I am not preaching that I am all-knowing and everyone should do whatever I say. I am just like you, trying to figure out what is going on with the world. This project is also a journey to help me to learn more and not just copy and pasting stuff I found online. Like most content found on the Internet, this will also be one of those that inform people. They may not have heard about it before. And if they have heard of them, then great! We can raise awareness. There are documentaries and videos online that only educate as well. I do not see that as a problem. Not everything has to invoke action in people because an individual can make their own decisions themselves. Did you learn something new? It is up to you to do whatever you deem necessary.

Other enquiries

  • I am aware of fashion companies and their recycling/donation clothes scams. I am happy to indulge in this topic if it pleases you as it is also a form of greenwashing. I wanted to keep my project simple and easy to follow to avoid overloading my project with too much content. So I did not choose to talk about some issues and only focused on the biggest ones. But if you do feel that strongly about it, I will sate your hunger, maybe? 😉
  • We have to keep in mind that most companies are doing something that harms the environment(agriculture, manufacturing). But we cannot simply say no to everything now, can we? That is why I think it is best to focus on the issues that are on the bigger scale but covered up by the major corporations.
  • My aim is not to talk about everything we can do to protect the environment. But to specifically investigate greenwashing. I chose specific themes so that they can all add up and support my findings in the end. I am looking at the big picture.

Personal goal

I have gotten some likes on my blogs which pleases me. But I am looking for comments. Comments that may be there to encourage my project or disagreements that give me new perspectives. I am open to all that helps me get closer to my goal of learning. Therefore I think the most necessary action is to promote my blogs on similar topics I find in Twitter hashtags and WordPress. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment! 😀

Reference

Roy, P., Miah, Md.D. and Zafar, Md.T. (2019). Environmental impacts of bicycle production in Bangladesh: a cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment approach. SN Applied Sciences, 1(7).

BCM 302 Peer Review 1

Marcella:

I liked how Marcella changed her group’s trajectory from their first draft. Having a clear target audience and content will help her proceed and improve her group’s project. It is good that Marcella and her group will adjust her scope to stand out from all the other content creators talking about removing stress. After Sam’s consultation. Because comparing the two, it seems like her group is on the right path now.

The topic of Marcella’s group is something you can find everywhere. So it may be hard for them to stand out from others. I also think her group could try and differentiate between stress for students before covid and during the pandemic. It seems the same to me. There is also a lot of content online to help people deal with stress and problems caused by it, so I find their idea of listening and giving advice pretty interesting. It is like Agony Aunt.

I also see some problem other people may have about receiving advice from random people online. I feel like it would be good if Marcella’s group can try to relate with their target audience: students. As fellow students/friends. Because imitating professional therapists/consultants without having the right qualifications could be a risky move in some circumstances. And it is better to make it clear from the start that Marcella’s group may not have all the answers because they are at the same/similar level to the ones they are trying to help.

Overall, I like the idea of Marcella’s group and think it is fun and creative. I hope her group is successful in managing their Instagram page.

Ali:

Right from the get-go, Ali’s pitch is something that we have seen multiple times in the age of covid. So it is hard to catch the attention of people. Similar to Marcella, I ask Ali how what he is doing is different to other content channels. And I want to know why people would want to tune in to Ali’s project. Ali should think about adding or changing something about his project to grab the attention of people. Ali states that he intends to give out tips on how students can cope with stress from academics(University to be more particular). However, these are all things one can easily Google online. I don’t expect people to subscribe or follow people just on their content of releasing stress.

I think Ali should consider how students view their University life to start. Maybe some of them don’t care about it compared to others. Some may be getting by just receiving a certificate at the end of their courses, while others may not care about their grades. A good start would be defining what he means by “a stressful University life”. Does it only mean stress caused by results? What about interpersonal relationships or not having more time on other things like your passions or building yourself? What if University students get stressed by parts of their life other than their studies? Are they all the same? Clearing this up not only help Ali move forwards but also help people understand how Ali is trying to help.

Ali said he would get responses from his blogs on social media. A good way of increasing the chances of getting comments that I recommend to Ali is searching for “University students” with problems online and recommending his blogs to them. Because if he only posts his content, it may just be ignored by people or completed by friends who already know Ali. Ali will already know how the people around him feel about stress as University students, and he will not have learnt anything new to aid his project. So I recommend him to find University students through social media channels like Twitter or Instagram and search for hashtags to locate them. That will force Ali out of his comfort zone and help him get new perspectives.

covid vaccination, yay or nay?

I am about to get my 2nd dose of vaccination for the coronavirus in the coming week. I was a bit sceptical at first. With the sociopolitical environment of Hong Kong and the population’s mistrust of the government. I also had doubts regarding the vaccines and about all the conspiracies I have heard about the implantation of microchips and whatnot. Honestly, I understand what the vaccine sceptics are saying. After all, I was also one before.

When people say how we can find a vaccine for covid so fast when the outbreak occurred just over a year ago. Well, we had always been researching the SARS virus. The coronavirus is quite similar to it. And when the whole world is affected by the pandemic, obviously more funding will be put into it to come up with a cure as soon as possible.

Right now, I would say the more developed countries of the world are more equipped to deal with the pandemic. Recently in India, their Prime Minister: Narendra Modi gave a green light for Hindus to celebrate the Kumbh Mela which is celebrated every 12 years. The last one was held back in 2010 so the upcoming event should have happened in 2022. But due to some astrological signs being favourable, it was allowed to be held a year earlier.

From this, India has seen the biggest surge of corona cases. This has also spread to neighbouring countries in South Asia and further. Caused people to flee from India back to their home countries. Unfortunately, the messages from the stars and higher powers could not do enough to save the lives of thousands, if not millions of people. This all happened because a certain individual could not afford to upset his main supporting group. But at what cost?

From this event, all the people becoming desperate for oxygen supplies in their hospitals and vaccine doses. I could see that I was in a privileged position. Where I was living, I could get vaccinated for free. We were used to a viral outbreak because of SARS back in 2003, so hygiene is always at the forefront in Hong Kong. Public toilets have their soap replenished frequently. You will find rubbing alcohol wherever you go. Signs telling citizens to always wash their hands even before the corona outbreak. Masks are also pretty accessible now with stores specializing in them opening up in every block.

I understand the distrust for the government, and rightfully so. However, we cannot consider every governmental thing to be bad. Getting a vaccine will not only protect ourselves, but the people around us. And reaching 70% of the population vaccinated should be the primary goal for us as citizens. This will provide us with herd immunity and help us get rid of the virus. After this, things will be back to how it was before. Being able to resume our lives before the pandemic. Going out without masks, taking part in social functions, and even traveling out of the city if the countries we want to go to are safe.

Getting a vaccine should not be a matter of if, but a matter of when. The trials of vaccinations available to us have already completed phase 3 of the efficacy trials, so it should be safe to take them now because the side-effects are clearer. I really wish you would try and see the position of privilege you are in, and look at the countries suffering because they don’t have enough resources. And if you can’t do that, then at least see how you can help normalize your situation to the way it was before the pandemic.

Now I want to know whether the opinions of people have changed regarding vaccines. This issue is important because we all need to work together to fight the virus. To resume our life to how it was before the pandemic as soon as possible. And to prevent future covid cases and deaths.

Reference:

Bailey, D. (2020). Who would get the coronavirus vaccine and how? BBC News. [online] 11 Sep. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54027269.

CBC. (2020). COVID-19 vaccine a matter of “when not if,” but must be produced safely: Fauci. [online] Available at: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/dc-house-coronavirus-briefing-1.5623382

Corum, J., Zimmer, C. and Wee, S.-L. (2020). Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker. The New York Times. [online] 16 Oct. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html.

Gamio, L. and Glanz, J. (2021). Just How Big Could India’s True Covid Toll Be? The New York Times. [online] 25 May. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/05/25/world/asia/india-covid-death-estimates.html

Singh, V. (n.d.). BJP supporters say “won’t forgive” Modi for COVID “indifference.” [online] http://www.aljazeera.com. Available at: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/27/bjp-supporters-say-wont-forgive-modi-for-covid-indifference

Sky News. (n.d.). COVID-19: Is India’s coronavirus crisis spilling into neighbouring countries? [online] Available at: https://news.sky.com/story/is-indias-covid-crisis-spilling-into-neighbouring-countries-12291385

The Indian Express. (2021). A look at Covid surge in India’s neighbouring countries. [online] Available at: https://indianexpress.com/article/world/covid-19-vaccine-nepal-pakistan-bangladesh-sri-lanka-india-7304585/

The Wire. (n.d.). Kumbh 2021: Astrology, Mortality and the Indifference to Life of Leaders and Stars. [online] Available at: https://thewire.in/government/kumbh-2021-astrology-mortality-and-the-indifference-to-life-of-leaders-and-stars