When i’d first heard that the last and final module for the course was about making a game i was intrigued. Like anyone else, i enjoy playing games and find that games are a great way to relieve stress, so naturally i was open to the idea of making a game, however, when i heard that the game needed to be an educational game, i was a bit apprehensive. In class we discusses the possible topics that were both of import to society and of interest to us and in the end my group ended up choosing pollution as our topic. i had trouble imagining how we could make an educational game about pollution at first so as a group we started suggesting various ideas and slowly the idea for our game coalesced. We would make a board game that looked similar to with the goal of reaching the end of the board. the tiles on the board would have different colours and each colour would correspond to a certain category of questions. if you are standing on the tile that corresponds to water pollution for example, you draw a card from the water pollution pile and your team mate reads the question on the card out to you, if you get it right you move the number of tiles indicated on the card then the other team plays its turn. I enjoyed how we made the game out of old pieces of cardboard and shoelaces seeing as how our topic was pollution and i think the whole experience of making a game was very enlightening.
I would have to say that at the moment, my favourite game would be a card game called Jacks or Trex. Jacks is played by four players and takes on a cycle style in which there are four cycles with each cycle consisting of five games. Each cycle is called a “kingdom” in reference to the fact that in each cycle one player (the King) determines which contract to play in each of the five games. The five contracts are jacks (which is similar to solitaire) , king of hearts, queens, diamonds, and Suns. These contracts can be played on their own or in unison with other contracts except for the jacks contract with must be played on its own. The factors that a person takes into consideration when choosing which contracts to play are the cards the player is dealt, as such a person learns to develop a certain for of mental maths calculating odds and risks deciding which contracts are best in his favour. It is common for player to try and “count cards” while playing, this means that they keep a mental record of which cards have been played and which cards have yet to be played. this can help improve mental mathematical and statistical calculation as well as help improve memory.
If ever an advert deserves to be called creative, it’s this advert. It combines just the right amounts of mysticism and suspense which leads up to a shocking reveal in the end. In a world where you can send a message half way across the globe in a matter of moments, people seldom consider the safety issues involved. The internet is rife with traps for the unwary and people never consider that the information they post online can be used against them and as such this ad serves the purpose of introducing people to the idea that the internet and social media isn’t as secure or private as people believe and that people can easily use the information you post online against you in all manner of way.
The ad starts out by inviting people into the tent of a person who claims he can read their minds, they sit and this soothsayer then starts do dance around doing all those things he needs to do so he can read the persons mind, he then start giving them tidbits of information about their personal lives. He tells one person the school they were in, he tell another that he feels she has insects of their back which turn out to be butterfly tattoos, he describes a person’s house to them, he even gives one person their credit card number and as the participants sit there in awe not quite understanding how this stranger could possibly be reading their minds, Voila! A section of the tent collapses to show a group of people sitting on computers with the peoples Facebook pages open on a big screen. Here is where you make the connection, the big reveal when things become clear, they show then how is it is to gather information on a person you’ve never met before just from the things they share on social networking sites and it drives home the message that while this time the information was used to teach them a lesson, it could also be used to malicious intent.
Throughout watching this video, and throughout this course for that matter, I have noticed that recently, quite a few people have been trying to, as it were, domesticate creativity. They have tried capture that elusive creature that is creativity and tame her to be available when needed, more and more creativity is becoming a systematic discipline you can follow, a process you should stick to, in order to get to the most creative ideas, and while I was considering all that a question came to mind: “Should we really be doing that?”.
The allure of creativity has always been in its elusiveness, in its freedom. I had some difficulty accepting a more systematic form of creativity because simply enough, the word systematic conjures up in my mind a black and white image filled with straight lines and sharp corners, while the most common image that comes to mind when you mention creativity is usually a splash of colours, curves and images all vibrating with a sort of inner exuberance. With those images in mind I felt attempting to tame creativity was nothing short of tragic.
I then tried to shift my perspective, I considered all the natural phenomena throughout the ages and how their documentation and explanation in scientific terms did nothing to lessen their beauty and that it was only to be expected that a time would come when we would try to define the creative process and make use of it the way a turbine would make use of a fast flowing river. Turning creativity into a discipline that can be taught and followed would defog the mysteries of creative problem solving to many more people and make for generally more efficient solutions to the problems that face us in our day to day lives.
Sometimes you can’t help but respect the tenacity of some people, people who when faced with adversity, choose to take matter into their own hands. It is two such people, Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero who have founded the Nile project. Feeling that the distinctive culture of the Nile was coming under threat and wanting to do something about it, Girgis and Hadero decided to play their part in saving the Niles culture and so they started the Nile Project.
The projects mission statement is to “…Inspire, educate, and empower Nile citizens to work together towards fostering the sustainability of the river’s ecosystem.” And they have decided to attempt this using something that is near and dear to both of them, music. They gathered various musicians from countries the Nile crosses and started making concerts in them, after each concert they would gather around university students and various community members to give them an understanding of the Nile’s Social, economic and environmental challenges, they would then help the students think up creative ideas to help solve these problems and support them in the implementation of these ideas.
And once again I’ll say that Girgis and Hadero deserve nothing less than a standing ovation because where people would normally say “We are only two people, what can we do?” they chose to take matters into their own hands and have now started an initiative that will hopefully play a great role in preserving the Nile and its culture.
It has long been said that necessity is the mother of invention, this is quite apparent in the case of Richard Turere, a 13 year old Kenyan boy who was charged with taking care of his father’s herd. His herd as well as many other herds have long suffered from attacks from lions and so Richard, driven by a need to protect the herd that is his family’s livelihood, attempted to think up a solution to keep the herd safe that did not involve him staying up all night to do so. (You could say that laziness also has a hand in the making on new inventions)
At first Richard tries to keep the lions away by lighting torches since he assumed lions would be scared of fire, however that did more harm than good. Undaunted by failure he tries a new approach, he builds a scarecrow to trick the lions into thinking he is up and guarding the herd, this keeps the lions fooled for a day before they catch on. So the day after he takes a torch and starts walking around the shed where the herd was being held and he noticed that the lions seem to stay back, as though they were afraid of the moving lights and there came his brilliant idea.
He set up a circuit with a few lights and an old car battery lying around that would cause various blinking lights to go on and off a certain intervals scaring the lions off, and it worked! And this idea spread far and wide throughout Kenya giving Richard some fame and landing him a scholarship in the best school in Kenya. The moral here is that, had Richard given up after his first or second ideas hadn’t worked, he would never have reached what he has to day and he would not be taking the first steps to what we can hope to be a bright future, and so a person should never give up and should always be willing to think up creative solutions for their day to day problems because who knows where things will take him from there.
In the video, Steven Johnson discusses where people get their best ideas. He challenges the traditional view that people often get their best ideas in a “flash of inspiration” while they are sitting quietly somewhere. He states that ideas quite often form over long periods of time starting of as a vague feeling at first and then solidifying and becoming clearer through the interaction and exchange of ideas with others. He backs this up by giving the example of Charles Darwin whose personal notes were full of the components of his theory of evolution before the time he said he had his epiphany. When you come to think of it, this explanation makes much more sense seeing as how ideas don’t soar through the skies looking for people to hit with an epiphany. The brain, while being the most advanced thinking machine known to mankind, can only make up ideas using the things it has experienced in real life and so sitting around on your own somewhere waiting for an idea to hit you probably isn’t the best approach. Instead it would be wiser if you give yourself more experiences to work with by going out and doing something new or sitting around with a group of friends or colleagues and exchanging thoughts and ideas. The ideas and the experiences you gain will act very much like the spare car parts in the video that they use to make the incubator, so the more varied the spare parts you have lying around, the more likely you are to be able to come up with something useful to do with them.
It is a commonly accepted fact that everyone makes mistakes, we are after all only human, quite often however, people tend to believe that anyone is mistaken it’s the other guy and not them. As far back as ancient Egypt it was a commonly held belief that the earth was flat, anyone who claimed otherwise was thought to be crazy or a fool. Obviously if the world was round as claimed by some, the people at the bottom would have fallen off, and as such it makes perfect sense that the world is flat. Of course in modern times, if you ask a 3rd grade student what shape the earth is, he will tell that it is without a doubt round and we all know that to be true based on observation and the scientific method. However it drive you to think, if all those people who were oh so sure that the earth was flat where wrong, what commonly believed fact will turn out to be wrong in the next few decades. It is vital to learn from history and to never assume that we know all there is to know about anything, it is paramount that we always entertain that fact that we may be wrong, because if we start assuming that we know everything there is to know about something, then we stop digging deeper. Our world is the way it is today thanks to people who always assumed that they might be wrong, people who always asked the whys and the hows, the people who grew not from their successes but from their failures. It is said that Thomas Edison, while trying to invent the electric light bulb failed a thousand times before he was able to find the right material to use as filament in the bulbs. It is claimed that he even said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.”. The message being sent here is that people need to learn to be more open the possibility that they may be wrong and that they should not let being mistaken get them down because as they say “The road to success is paved with failures”.
“Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide.” Fear is an evolutionary trait in most living beings, it has benefited us as humans since the days of the cavemen when people needed to hunt for their food. You would feel fear when you perceive that you are in danger and this trigger a fight or flight mechanism where adrenaline comes rushing through the body and your muscles tense as you ready to either flee the danger or stand it down. While fear was instrumental in human survival when you were likely to be attacked by wild animals and needed to react quickly. However, in our modern day and age you fear has evolved to fit into civilized societies. While before fear was mainly fear for one’s life, now fear comes in many shapes and sizes. Fear of judgment is a prime example of such modern adaptions of the primitive mortal fear, in our societies where life is structured around human interaction and a person’s ability communicate with others and convey complex ideas and emotions people will often worry about how they are conceived by others. While such fears are rational since people who are perceived poorly by society around them will have trouble getting ahead in life one should never let fear hold them back. Fear is a double edged weapon, if utilized correctly it pushes people towards the necessary caution that they need to get along with their day to day lives. However if such fears get out of hand they can have quite a detrimental effect, if a person is too worried about others to ever venture outside his comfort zone, he will never grow and develop into the person they could be, it will be quite unlikely that they will achieve their full potential. Imagine if the great minds of the scientific community had been held back by fear of being ridiculed by their peers and not gone ahead and developed new theories that went against what was accepted to be the norm. An example of this would be Galileo when he challenged the view that the earth was the center of the world and that in fact the center of our solar system was the sun. The message here is that while fear is a vital part of the human make up, it needs to be harnessed and controlled if a person wants to grow into their full potential.