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Here is my first argument outline. It has plot holes and I am trying to find out more. Please feel free to critique and give your opinions on what you think. Nathan already gave me a few pointers

 

Basic Argument:

Computers need to have emotional Intelligence 

  •  Emotion is part of the context
    • We are not always rational: We are emotive beings to think that when we are interacting with a computer we are always in a neutral state is not very in situ!
    • Desiderata and Sociability:  Explanation of context and why problem solving is not enough
    • Example: Nathan trying to find the temporary saved file when his computer crashed. .Using desiderata framework
  • Need based design produces incomplete solutions
    • Usability and Functionality is not enough
    • Pleasure is important for day to day design: What is pleasurable and how need based design does only thinks of it as aesthetics
    • Example: Jeff interacting with Cortana.

 

  • We are in an abusive relationship with computers (I will write a better claim once it makes sense)
    • We are emotionally invested in computers: We are natural meaning makers, we associate everything with a personality.  
    • Our computer are not invested in us: Computers trigger similar social interactions as people, but do not reciprocate.
    • Example: It’s like talking to a zombie!

 

  • We already know that emotive computers work
    • Science Fiction Theory and its awesomeness: what we know from sci fiction theory and how it helps us speculate. In combination with desiderata.  
    • Example: R2d2, HER. Using SF theory framework and ACT framework what can we learn about them.

 

So I already know certain things I need to read (thanks to Nathan). Here are the things that I have read, the italicized are the ones just recommended.

[1] Don Norman: Emotional Design (the whole book!)

[2] Bardzell and Bardzell: Great and troubling beauty

[3] Nelson and Stolterman: Desiderata, Design Way

[4] Trevor Van Gorp, Edie Adams: Design for Emotion. (The whole book)

[5] Crampton and Smith: Design for everyday life

[6] Picard  Affective Computers

[7] switch: its a book on emotional intelligence

So what are your thoughts, comments, concerns?

So I just finally pieced together what I want to do and am currently pulling quotes from different papers. The basic idea comes from Don Norman’s Emotional Design.

When machines display emotions, they provide a rich and satisfying interaction with people, even though most of the richness and satisfaction, most of the interpretation and understanding, comes from within the head of the person, not from the artificial system

I basically want to argue that emotional intelligence is important for the future developments of computers and robots. I will contrast R2D2 and C3P0 with Siri and Cortana (apple and Windows phone) and show the difference in interactions of systems that are capable of emotional intelligence vs systems that only interpret commands.

For example, the other day Jeff Gadzala was showing off Cortana and was trying to get Cortana make a reference to the video game. Unfortunately, Cortana took him literally (“Cortana can you tell me about Master Chief”) and gave him a wiki answer! In this situation for example, had his phone been able to recognize the emotions (casual, joking), it would have been able to offer a joke or two!

I am probably going to dissect each example based on the readings (Sutcliff, McCarthy and Wright, Folkman, Bradzell and Bradzell) and show why emotional intelligence is important.

My question is, does this seem reasonable and narrowed down enough? Are there any seminal papers that I am missing out? Other thoughts and concerns?

I have to say, I did read the paper before the movie. There were a few paragraphs that made my brain go a bit fuzzy but I got the general idea of it. It did make the movie a lot more bearable because I was picking up on what was being discussed in the paper but it was still difficult to feel what all of the symbolism meant. I was trying to put it all together as I watched and it felt like watching the movie was becoming a bit clinical. It went something like oh, I remember reading about this, what did it mean again and trying to think up what the paper said and trying to analyze it at once and moving on. I guess that kept my brain occupied but near the end of the movie I stopped and just casually watched the rest of the movie while eating ice cream.

I think a part of my brain was also trying to make the movie into something that makes sense to me. Basically having the movie be about doppelgängers and these doppelgängers have some sort of connection to each other but they aren’t consciously aware of it.  One saw the other which is why she dies and the other feels the lost. This is something understandable to me and then I try to work out into the more unknown from there with the help of the reading.

Even with some of the understanding from the readings, this genre of film is still very foreign to me. I do watch some things that are ambiguous with symbolism and stuff in it but I am still very use to more mainstream media.  I wasn’t able to get as excited as Jeff with the reading but it did help with the thinking during the movie.

I have to say, this made me really miss my CMCL courses. The way I read and watched the film was pretty weird, here was my method:

1. Skim the paper (not engaged… I didn’t know who the characters were, it was honestly hard for me to genuinely enjoy the reading)

2. Watch the film while following along with the paper (I missed a few things in the film, I thought I could multi task better than I could ((a lesson I should have learned by now )) also, the reading did not follow along with perfect chronology, a half assed attempt on both end)

3. Finish the film (I had to pause the film a few times throughout the day because of meetings. A former boyfriend used to get so angry at me for this… not to mention watching a film on my laptop or other device… David Lynch has more on that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKiIroiCvZ0)

4. Re-read the paper (this time I was all about it, I did skip around to look for parts that didn’t make sense to me… like the rubbing of her eye with the with the ring, also I looked for something about the colors in the film- red & green, I knew there was something significant with this, but it wasn’t covered in the text, so I’d need to watch the film again to get more out of it)

5. Re-watch scenes to verify things I missed (I had the paper in one hand and skimmed the film with the other, I saw so much more than I had before)

Overall, I got a lot out of this. The way he criticized and remarked on the film, and the way he went out on a limb at times, but you never felt like he was on thin ice. I can definitely use this for the writing of my final paper and the criticisms of the designs. I tended to get more excited as the process went on- I spent about 5 hours of my day with this, when I could have spent 3 if I just did this in a logical way. Oh well, it was fun.

 

What

‘Film instances as a rhetorical devices to explore social and cultural issues with a technology.’

This is inspired from Pastiche scenarios that draws on fiction as a resource to explore the interior ‘felt life’ aspects of

User experience and complex social and cultural issues raised by technological innovations. There is a detailed and very interesting paper written by Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright on the topic ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Pastiche scenarios as described in the paper can be generated by ‘ cutting and pasting lines of source text and then modifying the story line to allow for the introduction of the technology in question.’ For my final paper, since I am focusing on films which is rich media in terms of visuals, I have decided to use film instances (screen shot of film scenes) to explore the social and cultural issues. I am not sure if these instances can be called as pastiche scenarios.

Also, I have picked ‘Indian films’ as a case study for my capstone (final paper is derived from it) and I am choosing films based on Mumbai culture, specifically those scenes that I believe have captured the context and cultural specificity very well. (I am placing myself as a strong subject in this.)

Why

  1. Films meant more to me than a just another source of entertainment. I feel deeply moved after watch some of the Indian films mostly due to the richness of context portrayed in it. It’s the groundedness of these films, story lines, music and actors acting in it that left a long lasting impression on me. I knew I had to do something about it in my capstone.
  1. Almost in all of my RDSC projects, I have used stories to communicate design. These story, I felt, weren’t very rich. Of course , user experience designers are not graphic artists but I thought we could still stretch our imagination to think about different ways a technology could be used/adapted by people considering different social and cultural context during ideation.
  1. Expansion of third wave HCI that stretched beyond workplace and started considering user experience holistically.

One of the quotes from ‘Critical and cultural approaches to HCI’ paper from Jeffery Bardzell –

‘Cultural HCI should have less to do with telling us about culture and more to do with helping us improve culture. It would be wrong, I argue, to see cultural approaches primarily as another research lens to tell us what is out there in the world; the social sciences are a better fit for this direction of inquiry. Cultural approaches should be used to help HCI improve our lived environment and improve ourselves.

Prior work/sub-domain of HCI

My research and audience group is hugely influenced by these two papers

  1. ‘Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design ‘ by Mark A. Blythe *, Peter C. Wright

In this paper, pastiche scenarios have been used to for three purposes and explained in details by three interesting case studies:

  1. Pastiche scenarios are used to explore ‘felt-life’ issues.
  2. Pastiche scenarios are particularly valuable in participatory design situations, since they engage users in the way that characters in novels might.
  3. pastiche scenarios can be used to explore social and cultural issues with imagined technology.

I am more interested in exploring the third purpose and appropriate it by using films.

  1. Design Documentaries: Inspiring Design Research Through Documentary Film by Bas Raijmakers, William W. Gaver, Jon Bishay

I liked how they started. Their approach really helped me articulate why I chose ‘films’ as a medium to understand and explore cultural and social issues.

One specific quote that resonated the most with me –

” We suggest that, for design research in HCI, film can be much more than a note-taking tool; we can use it as a means to explore, understand and present the everyday, and benefit from film’s capabilities to preserve ambiguities and paradoxes instead of resolving them into univocal conclusions.”

How

I am planning to make a card deck of film instances and conduct a small activity of ideating and exploring different possible technological solutions.

My intention is to help designers empathize with and consider different cultural and social issues that could shape the usage of the technology they design.

” It is possible for designers to shape how technology is used but not to determine it.” – Mark A. Blythe and Peter C. Wright in ‘ Pastiche scenarios: Fiction as a resource for user centered design’.

Besides these, few papers that I am planning to refer are:

  1. Critical And Cultural Approaches To HCI by Jeffery Bardzell
  2. ‘‘A great and troubling beauty’’: cognitive speculation and ubiquitous computing Jeffrey Bardzell, Shaowen Bardzell
  3. Interaction criticism: An introduction to the practice Jeffrey Bardzell
  4. MACHINIMATIC REALISM: CAPTURING AND PRESENTING THE “REAL WORLD” OF VIDEO GAMES Jeffrey Bardzell
  5. Cinema and touch
  6. Crafting User Experiences by Incorporating Dramaturgical Techniques of Storytelling
  7. A User-Centric Adaptive Story Architecture – Borrowing from Acting Theories
  8. Carroll
  9. Elliot W. Eisner, connoisseurship, criticism and the art of education

These are some of the collection I have. I am going to refer readings from Foundations, Experience design and Interaction culture paper.

If you have some advice on the paper, or suggestions, or critique, I will be happy to receive it .. 🙂

So I finally get a chance to say what I feel about this subject. Yay me! Where to start? I guess I should start with my stance on the combination of horror and humor as genre’s, especially now and today and that stance is…don’t do it anymore. Seriously, please don’t do it anymore. Perhaps I have a different feel of what horror is compared to others but I am a horror movie fan to those movies that I deem worthy. Nowadays, horror is just consisting of a killer going around, mutilating everything in their wake, a main character that somehow ends up coming across said killer, and them trying to figure out how to escape while trying to kill the killer. Sadly, horror nowadays isn’t the genre it used to be. It’s completely watered down. When I think ‘horror’, I think of something that frightens me. In fact when I watch a so-called ‘horror’ film nowadays, I don’t find myself scared but rather I laugh out loud hysterically seeing blood and guts splatter everywhere and a more expensive showing of ‘1000 Ways To Die’. In this retrospect, I guess you can call me experiencing the comedy side of horror versus the fear. Horror films nowadays are just that: a joke. They are constantly repetitious and some of the elements that happen in horror movies have just become cliched. For example, why–TELL ME WHY!!!–there is always a dumb character that walks in the woods by themselves, ends up lost and with a broken car, starts running with the killer behind them and decide to slip and fall, the one and only black character dies protecting everyone (truthfully, most black people get highly offended by it because they would end up abandoning their own mother to survive, let alone a friend or comrade), the killer walks at a slow pace and no matter how much running the main character does, they end up getting killed; and somehow they manage to squeeze in a sex scene between characters right before the man then the woman (most times but it can be vice-versa) gets killed by the killer. Personally, I feel that in order to experience horror and humor first one must fix the horror side, at least to my standards. In fact, Gore needs to have its own genre to keep people from being confused about what is true horror.

In my opinion, the movie exemplars given by Carroll to me isn’t horror. Many of them are comedy movies/sitcoms (<– and that’s stretching the word ‘comedy’ too much for some of the films)  with horror movie elements. I can’t order a large sized meal from Burger King then get a diet Coke and say that it’s a healthy meal just for the diet Coke (<–that’s intentional. ‘Healthy’ is stretched a lot for diet Coke). There may be some elements like tomato and lettuce on your sandwich and the Coke but speaking realistic, it’s not healthy at all. That’s what I see with many horror/comedy movies nowadays. It’s not done right. Heck, sometimes I question the comedy aspect just as much as the horror.

I agree with Stuart Gordon when he states that ‘The thing I have found is that you’ll never find an audiences that wants to laugh more than a horror audience.’ but the only reason I agree with him is because I’m already biased as to how horror movies should be. To me, horror movies are to test someone’s will to survive when they have absolutely nothing and the situation seems totally desperate. That’s right, NOTHING! No guns, no shovel, no laser gun, no army, no knife, taser, mace, or brass knuckles. You are naked as an individual to protect yourself. That’s how horror movies should be, it should portray helplessness to the extreme. You can’t fight the enemy, all you can do is run, hide, and hope that they don’t see or hear you. THAT’S horror. None of this bullcrap nowadays can make me feel the fear of the character lost in a place that they’ve never seen before, surrounded by multiple enemies that when spotted, they must run for their lives. In that retrospective, I can’t say that comedy needs to be in it. True, I do want to laugh when seeing how pathetic the character is and that they are screwed with absolutely no hope of making it out alive; but laughing takes away what makes horror so awesome in the first place. There is no relief, there’s only suffering and no hope for getting out of the situation.

The only two names that come to mind when I think of these are in fact videogames. Honestly, it makes it much more scarier because you ARE the character that’s helpless. This is interesting because all last night, I watched the walkthroughs for both titles after looking up the top 10 scariest games of all times list on YouTube and a reference from a friend for a more recently released game. Both of those titles are called ‘Outlast’ and ‘Amnesia: the Dark Descent’. After hearing how scary these games were from my friend and knowing how much of a Boss I am, I was like, “Man, grow some hair on your chest and quit being such a punk!’. First I watched Amnesia, without any commentary (usually I hate hearing people talk while the game is being played) and found myself screaming more than watching to the point where I couldn’t even watch the first 10 minutes. It was too quiet and had me on edge so I had to find a video with commentary to make things easier. Needless to say, I didn’t finish it. So when my friend said ‘Outlast’ is scarier, I didn’t believe him…until I watched the first few minutes of it then called it quits. Those are true horror genres. When grown men with deep voices are so frightened that they scream out 6 octaves higher, that’s real horror. People truly forgotten what it’s like being caught off guard and surprised then realize that you have no means of protecting yourself. You can’t laugh at that. But with my sense of crude humor, it is possible to instill comedy in it to my liking, but like I said before, it’s got to be done right.

Sorry for the long post! You can tell I’m passionate abut this subject. 🙂

I like this paper a lot and it got me to think a lot about horror, comedy, the fine line in between and user reactions and response to context.

Specifically, such fictions are generally
designed to control and guide our emotional responses in such a way that, ideally,
horror audiences are supposed to react emotionally to the monsters featured in
horror fictions in the same manner that the characters in horror fictions react
emotionally to the monsters they meet there

Carroll mentions this and it really resonates with me. I think a major factor to what is humor and what is horror has to do with the reactions. For me, the reactions of the actors give the audience a context…is it horror or is it comedy. That being said people themselves bring something to the table and decided if it is infact horror or comedy.

So Jared just posted a video on Day-Z. Honestly what made that funny was the guy who was laughing at it. If I personally was playing that game and that happened, I would not hang around, I would head for the hills. It may be because I am in the studio alone this late, but in my context, that was terrifying.

And that brings me to my primary argument. In movies what separates horror from comedy is the reactions of the characters. Carroll points out that horror and comedy both have similarities especially since both of them seem to take a normal situation and juxtapose it with something opposite. Dracula is dead and not dead at the same time. With this juxtapositioning in mind, I want to show the difference in the way we interpret horror and comedy is based on the reactions of the characters. The walking dead vs Shaun of the dead would be ideal examples. Specifically their first encounters with zombies.

In the walking dead the main characters expression is of confusion and fear. Character reaction to Zombies TWD_Ep_101_Sneak-325

This is similar to what Carroll says. But the point is, the actor and his reactions tell us this is serious. There are other queues in the shots, but their reaction to an unusual situation tells us that we should be fearful for him.

Whereas in Shaun of the dead, the characters react very differently to the zombies. they at first sort of ignore them, but when they find out you have to destroy the brain to destroy the zombie they get a hold of their LP’s and proceed to throw it at the zombies

shaun-of-the-dead-records

It is this absurd reaction that tells the audience that this is comedy even though almost everything else is the same. You will never see this happen in the walking dead. The actors will never take their time and go through their LP collection while death approaches them slowly.

We can see how reactions of the characters can persuade our emotional reactions. Now let me give you an example in which we bring our own feelings into it. This is not horror related, but has to do with comedy.

In Inglorious Basterds there is a scene in which the Bastards have captured a group of Nazis and proceed to brutally interrogate them. What is interesting was the audiences reactions to the interrogation. People were laughing when they were graphically scalping heads, even when they beat a soldier to death with a baseball bat. It was funny primarily because we all know the Nazis were not good people (a dumb way to summarize it!)

Similarly in the movie, the Germans were watching a movie in which the Americans were dying…the Germans in the audience were laughing, but the audience in the real theater were not. We do not associate the death of American soldiers to fun.  What I am trying to say is that we as an audience also have a say in what is funny and what is horror. Our experiences and context definitely shape our reactions.

Thus in a similar fashion, I think Jared’s video is funny only and only because the guy is laughing….I swear, watch the video without the guys laughter and it becomes pretty scary!

 

I am not a person who finds clowns funny or frightening, I find them annoying more than anything.  I have another post coming, but as I was reading this, I thought of this music video for a song by Blondie directed by Jonas Åukerland.  This video features one clown seen as the humorous happy go lucky guy wanting to proclaim his love.  The other clown is seen as the monster of the two, forcing the good clown into the Tiger’s den, where he is subsequently killed.  Carroll described clowns as an entity that fit in his combination of horror and humor, and this video shows both sides of the coin, where one clown represents humor, the other horror, and the tiger being the monster.

One page 116 of their book, Film Theory, Elsaesser and Hagener state:

[W]e do not experience any movie only through our eyes.  We see and comprehend and feel films with our entire bodily being, informed by the full history and carnal knowledge of our accultured sensorium.

Can the same be said about design? Do we have technology we view as an extension of ourselves — that we feel are a part of us?  Sure we have people out there who go as far as taking their laptop to the bathroom with them, but do we go as far as feeling their effect on us — not just physical, cause we would all be talking about eye strain, but an emotional effect, that when we see an item, it makes us happy or if it makes us sad?  McCarthy and Wright have their paper, Empathy and Experience in HCI and state,

[T]he empathetic approach, which builds on inspiration achieved from a rich understanding of people’s experiences, dreams, expectations, and life contexts and is developed through a meaningful emotional encounter between designer and user.

Maybe a lot of what we need to look for is beyond the surface.  An online community I am part of is FindAGrave.com. For as morbid as it may sound, I have been working on putting together my family tree by linking where they are all buried.  To many people, the first time they may use this website, it may just look like a bunch of headstones, but when a person becomes part of the community, the emotional encounter between the designer of the group and I has become apparent.  Seeing these pictures and knowing these are people that helped shaped who I am today made me feel so much more than seeing a picture on the site, I felt connected to not only the people the pages memorialized, but also the people that helped put this network together — realizing there is so much more behind it than just what I see at the surface.

 

I was going to argue about why certain games and movies do not pass the test of time and more specifically why older games will die faster than older movies.

I want to be clear, I am excluding games like Tetris, old mario, games that have simplistic mechanisms. I want to talk about more complex game mechanics and how the complex interactions have gotten better over time which in result makes the mechanics of previous games feel sluggish and problematic. I am claiming that the better more advanced versions of certain interactions are slowly killing off the older games. The same way better visual effect driven movies are sort of ruining the older ones. If you do not have nostalgia associated with an older game, you will have a hard time playing it, or even understanding why it was such a good game when it came out.

Example: Re-watch “Star wars the Phantom Menace” Do not think about the movie, look especially at the visual effects. Back when it came out, it was the most spectacular thing you had seen, now, you can easily see the pixels! Now I am not saying this ruins movies like the old school “Clash of the titans.” I am saying Visual effects is killing itself.

Similarly, try going back and playing Half life, or even the first assassins creed. The interactions specifically feel problematic. For example in the newer games, if you character reaches an edge, they do not fall off. They sort of step near the edge and back up unless you force them to fall off. In older games like Prince of persia and even Zelda, if you reached a corner and stepped a little bit more than you should have you would fall. For long distance jumping you had to get the exact steps. Whereas in todays games, the game mechanics sort of compromise and complete the task any way. So I propose if you go and play an older game, these tiny differences will add up and make it a frustrating experience.

I need to do more research.