Thursday, May 5, 2016

Notification Escape - Unity Game

For my game created on Unity, I decided to utilize the concept of social media and getting notifications as something our society has quickly become addicted to because of the instant gratification affect.

The objective of the game is to catch as many flowers as possible while ignoring the social media notifications. Although it may seem tempting, catching the button will result in the player losing points.

"Notification Escape"also has a nature vs. technology theme to it, as you are forced to "look around and notice the flowers" while picking them up and ignoring the buttons on your cellphone. I sometimes have a hard time ignoring texts or things like Facebook and Instagram notifications, so this game to me was somewhat cathartic and I hope it is for others too.

The process of the game found to be very difficult at first because I was using a tutorial for an old version of unity, so the codes were not matching up. Eventually, it became easier to work with once the code for the hands began to function. If you play for long enough you will notice that sometimes, the notifications give you points. This was a mistake that wouldn't budge in the coding, but a wonderful mistake because it proves that a little social interaction never hurt anybody.

Overall, this was a great experience. I hope it becomes a learning game to help with our impulses so we don't all become cellphone addicted idiots!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

MFA Thesis Exhibit: The Erosion of Memory

At the Jot Travis building, an MFA student named Bahareh Shahrabi Farahani was showcasing her work. Her exhibit was called The Erosion of Memory. 

This was a very relaxing and thought-provoking exhibit. Her work mostly consisted of paintings and lit up boxes hung from the wall. It was interesting to walk through and the title of the exhibit made it all the more intriguing. 

Walking through the exhibit was like walking through a wave of memories. Each arrangement was displayed in a way that provoked a blissful memory. It was especially calming near the center of the exhibit where a curtain draped down to make a wave like structure that did not lead to anything, just encased you in it's delicate curtains making you feel warm and accepted. Almost as if you were lying in a bed with drapes around it. 

The exhibit was unique and interesting. It was fun walking through and observing the work this student had created and experiencing her artistic talent. 

Oscar de la Renta at the de Young

While visiting home a few months ago in March, I decided to check out the Oscar de la Renta exhibit at the de Young in San Francisco. I have always loved his style of dresses and this exhibit showcased a myriad of dresses he had designed from his earlier years to before he had died. It was a beautiful and elaborate arrangement and the designers did an excellent job at setting up the displays.

Each mannequin at the show was dressed up with such precision and detail that they almost looked like surreal models. The dresses fit a certain time period that was expressed by paintings propped up behind some of the mannequins. There were even some mannequins positioned on benches or couches, setting a nonchalant tone to a very exquisite vibe. Oscar de la Renta's style shined through every dress and his remarkable fashion sense was complimented with each description and well thought-out design.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Basya Schecter (in lieu of Naomi Klein)

 Due to the Naomi Klein event being sold out, I attended this "concert and talk" my women's literature professor recommended.

Basya Schecter is an incredible woman who has traveled and spoken to refugee survivors from places like Israel where many are kicked out of their homes. In order to spread their stories and inspire change, she created a touring group called Pharaoh's Daughter.

Together, they create a unique sound which is encased by Schecter's voice and rhythmic guitar. Her guitar is tuned in a way that is different than most which creates a vibrant, personal sound that reflected the stories she spoke on.

She spoke about travels to the Middle East, like Israel and Egypt along with parts of Central Africa. She was very in-tune with the religious aspects of these countries and with her musical talent she portrays the stories and rituals through song and spoken word.

This event was one-of-a-kind and very intriguing. Basya Schecter is a very good speaker and musician. It was a great combination to hear her stories as well as enjoy her music, which also included stories within. I would recommend her music to anyone interested in religious and cultural sounds with an authentic twist. Very inspiring stuff.

Street Game: Bowser's/Trump's Wall

For our street game, my group (Ross Burgos, Kaysha Lacy, and Taylor Dueck and I came up with the idea to create a wall on behalf of Donald Trump's idea to create a wall to "keep immigrants out" by making these very immigrants build this very wall, an absurd idea in our opinions.

We tried to emulate the idea of a basic wall by taping and painting about 30, 16X16X14 size boxes. It took a few days for us to complete all the boxes. Once we completed the boxes, we stacked them and painted a Bowser face onto the front of the box.

Our game consisted of stacking the boxes in order to match the face up - like a puzzle. One team would be trying to build the wall, while another team would be trying to knock it down. The team whose objective to knock the wall down are placed at the very end of the field. They would pass a "Yoshi egg" (a small balloon filled with flour) to each other, starting very far, and progressively moving closer each time they made a catch.

We basically wanted to make the statement that although Trump wants a wall to be built, there will be many immigrants against this idea. We created Koopa Shells with plush fabric and straps to give the players to wear as backpacks. We made four of different colors, yellow, blue, green, and red. Both the players tossing the Yoshi egg and the players building the wall would need to wear these backpacks, since both immigrants will be building the wall while simultaneously knocking it over.

It was a very fun game, and no one seemed to be offended by it. There was an emphasis on bowser because we also created a large bowser cut out that one of us would wear on our heads and use to intimidate the players. We would try our best to impersonate Trump whenever wearing the head, using rhetoric only Trump would say "let's make America great again!" etc.

It was quite the experience but I think as a group we worked very well together and accomplished a lot of nearly impossible tasks together. The end result was awesome. We enjoyed playing the game with students and passerby's as well as discussing our inspiration behind it, giving others a perspective on Trump, something that was not quite discussed before on the UNR campus, or at least not quite as we had executed a discussion. I am happy we did so, and that others got involved.