Spatiality in games the real the fictional and the virtual
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Spatiality in Games the Real, the Fictional and the Virtual. Spaces, Visualization and Mental Maps. Visualization is an act of cognition, a human ability to develop mental representations that allow the identification of patterns and to create or impose order.

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Spatiality in games the real the fictional and the virtual

Spatiality in Games the Real, the Fictional and the Virtual


Spaces visualization and mental maps

Spaces, Visualization and Mental Maps

  • Visualization is an act of cognition, a human ability to develop mental representations that allow the identification of patterns and to create or impose order.

  • Visualizations explicitate spatial contexts to engage the most powerful human information-processing abilities, those associated with vision. --MacEachren

  • Every map is a cultural construction that geographers, scientists, and artists alike create to make and convey meaning. --Bender

  • Maps serve as visualization devices that allow seeing relationships revealed as patterns in a spatial format.

  • Maps are surrogates, metaphors of space. --Wilford


Calvino invisible cities

Calvino: Invisible cities

Calvino’s ”Invisible Cities” is a collection of surreal short stories about cities visited by the traveller Marco Polo, places where people act, depict and consider things that make no sense or are impossible.It is written as of a succession of dialogues - meditative conversations between Kublai Khan, the emperor and Marco Polo, the traveller and visitor to Khan’s Empire. Marco Polo is describing to Kublai Khan various fantastic cities he saw on his travels in order for the Emperor to comprehend the sheer size of his own empire.


Invisible cities chess 1

Invisible cities (chess 1)

  • From the foot of the Great Khan's throne a majolica pavement extended. Marco Polo, mute informant, spread out on it the samples of the wares he had brought back from his journeys to the ends of the empire: a helmet, a seashell, a coconut, a fan. Arranging the objects in a certain order on the black and white tiles, and occasionally shifting them with studied moves, the ambassador tried to depict for the monarch's eyes the vicissitudes of his travels, the conditions of the empire, the prerogatives of the distant provincial seats.     Kublai was a keen chess player; following Marco's movements, he observed that certain pieces implied or excluded the vicinity of other pieces and were shifted along certain lines. Ignoring the objects' variety of form, he could grasp the system of arranging one with respect to the others on the majolica floor. He thought: "If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains."     Actually, it was useless for Marco's speeches to employ all this bric-a-brac: a chessboard would have sufficed, with its specific pieces. To each piece, in turn, they could give an appropriate meaning: a knight could stand for a real horseman, or for a procession of coaches, an army on the march, an equestrian monument; a queen could be a lady looking down from her balcony, a fountain, a church with a pointed dome, a quince tree.     Returning from his last mission, Marco Polo found the Khan awaiting him, seated at a chessboard. With a gesture he invited the Venetian to sit opposite him and describe, with the help only of the chessmen, the cities he had visited. Marco did not lose heart. The Great Khan's chessmen were huge pieces of polished ivory: arranging on the board looming rooks and sulky knights, assembling swarms of pawns, drawing straight or oblique avenues like a queen's progress, Marco recreated the perspectives and the spaces of black and white cities on moonlit nights.


Invisible cities chess 2

Invisible cities (chess 2)

  • Contemplating these essential landscapes, Kublai reflected on the invisible order that sustains cities, on the rules that decreed how they rise, take shape and prosper, adapting themselves to the seasons, and then how they sadden and fall in ruins. At times he thought he was on the verge of discovering a coherent, harmonious system underlying the infinite deformities and discords, but no model could stand up to comparison with the game of chess. Perhaps, instead of racking one's brain to suggest with the ivory pieces' scant help visions which were anyway destined to oblivion, it would suffice to play a game according to the rules, and to consider each successive state of the board as one of the countless forms that the system of forms assembles and destroys.     Now Kublai Khan no longer had to send Marco Polo on distant expeditions: he kept him playing endless games of chess. Knowledge of the empire was hidden in the pattern drawn by the angular shifts of the knight, by the diagonal passages opened by the bishop's incursions, by the lumbering, cautious tread of the king and the humble pawn, by the inexorable ups and downs of every game.     The Great Khan tried to concentrate on the game: but now it was the game's purpose that eluded him. Each game ends in a gain or a loss: but of what? What were the true stakes? At checkmate, beneath the foot of the king, knocked aside by the winner's hand, a black or a white square remains. By disembodying his conquests to reduce them to the essential, Kublai had arrived at the extreme operation: the definitive conquest, of which the empire's multiform treasures were only illusory envelopes. It was reduced to a square of planed wood: nothingness . . . . . .


Invisible cities chess 3

Invisible cities (chess 3)

  • Then Marco Polo spoke: "Your chessboard, sire, is inlaid with two woods: ebony and maple. The square on which your enlightened gaze is fixed was cut from the ring of a trunk that grew in a year of drought: you see how its fibers are arranged? Here a barely hinted knot can be made out: a bud tried to burgeon on a premature spring day, but the night's frost forced it to desist."     Until then the Great Khan had not realized that the foreigner knew how to express himself fluently in his language, but it was not this fluency that amazed him.     "Here is a thicker pore: perhaps it was a larvum's nest; not a woodworm, because, once born, it would have begun to dig, but a caterpillar that gnawed the leaves and was the cause of the tree's being chosen for chopping down . . . This edge was scored by the wood carver with his gouge so that it would adhere to the next square, more protruding . . . "     The quantity of things that could be read in a little piece of smooth and empty wood overwhelmed Kublai; Polo was already talking about ebony forests, about rafts laden with logs that come down the rivers, of docks, of women at the windows . . .


Invisible cities

Invisible cities

- Kublai: Maybe when I will know all the emblems of the cities, I will finally possess all my empire?

  • Marco: No, that day you will turn yourself into an emblem.

  • 'I speak and speak,' Marco says, 'but the listener retains only the words he is expecting. The description of the world to which you lend a benevolent ear is one thing; the description that will go the rounds of stevedores and gondoliers on the street outside my house the day of my return is another; and yet another, that which I might dictate late in life, if I were taken prisoner by Genoese pirates and put in irons in the same cell with a writer of adventure stories. It is not the voice that commands the story: it is the ear.'


Spatiality in games the real the fictional and the virtual

This collection of stories provide the background to speculate on different issues:- visitor versus inhabitant, - home vs. non-home, - outsider vs. insider, - foreign languages vs. mother tongue,- communication vs. incomunicability- language as symbol vs. language as process

Take away:

  • what makes up a city/space is not so much its physical structure but the impression it imparts upon its visitors, the way its inhabitants move within it.


Lynch image of the city

Lynch: image of the city

  • Born in 1918, contribution to city planning and city design.

  • Image of the City (1960) describes a five-year study revealing elements important in the popular perception of a city. Case studies: Los Angeles, Boston, and Jersey City.

  • Place legibility: the ease with which people understand the layout of a place. Lynch isolated distinct features that make cities so vibrant, and attractive to people.

  • To understand the layout of a city, people create a mental map. Mental maps of a city are mental representations of what the city contains, and its layout according to the individual.

  • Spatial visualization serves as a device for relaying representative information about the part of space portrayed, creating an ordered presentation of patterns that instruct the observer.


Quotes

quotes

  • Imageability: that quality in a physical object which gives it a high probability of evoking a strong image in any given observer. It is that shape, color, or arrangement which facilitates the making of vividly identified, powerfully structured, highly useful mental images of the environment. It might also be called legibility, or perhaps visibility in a heightened sense, where objects are not only able to be seen, but are presented sharply to their senses.

  • The observer himself should play an active role in perceiving the world and have a creative part in developing his image. He should have the power to change that image to fit changing needs. An environment which is ordered in precise and final detail may inhibit new patterns of activity. A landscape whose every rock tells a story may make difficult the creation of fresh stories. Although this may not seem to be a critical issue in our present urban chaos, yet it indicates that what we seek is not a final but an open-ended order, capable of continuous further development.

  • Environmental images are the result of a two-way process between observer and his environment. The environment suggests distinctions and relations, and the observer - with great adaptability and in the light of his own purposes - selects, organizes, and endows with meaning what he sees. The image so developed now limits and emphasizes what is seen, while the image itself is being tested against the filtered perceptual input in a constant interacting process. Thus the image of a given reality may vary significantly between different observers.


Quotes1

quotes

  • An environmental image may be analyzed into three components: identity, structure, and meaning.

    • First the identification of an object, which implies its distinction from other things, it recognition as a separable entity.

    • Second, the image must include the spatial or pattern relation of the object to the observer and to other objects.

    • Finally, this object must have some meaning for the observer, whether practical or emotional.

      ”Thus an image useful for making an exit requires the recognition of a door as a distinct entity, of its spatial relation to the observer, and its meaning as a hole for getting out. These are not truly separable. The visual recognition of a door is matted together with its meaning as a door. It is possible, however, to analyze the door in terms of its identity of form and clarity of position, considered as if they were prior to its meaning.”


Lynch image of the city1

Lynch: image of the city

  • Paths are channels by which people move along in their travels, familiar routes followed. Examples of paths are roads, trails, and sidewalks.

  • Edges, are all other lines not included in the path group, dividing lines between districts, they are boundaries between two phases, linear breaks in continuity . Examples of edges are walls and seashores.

  • Districts are sections of the city, usually relatively substantial in size, which have an identifying character about them, areas with perceived internal homogeneity. Examples of district is a wealthy neighborhood such as Beverly Hills, suburbs, trainyards, college campuses.

  • Nodes, are points or strategic spots where there is an extra focus, or added concentration of city features, centres of attraction, hubs of activity. Examples of nodes are a busy intersection or a popular city center, Piccadilly Circus.

  • Landmarks are external physical objects that act as reference points, points of reference. Example of landmarks are a store, mountain, school, or any other object that aids in orientation when way-finding.

  • All of this can be used to streamline or reinforce functionality with regard to:- general orientation (rational) - fulfillment of game goals (rational)- fulfillment of aesthetic goals (emotional)- fulfillment of performative goals, acting out a part (behavioural)


Ergonomic human scaling

Ergonomic human scaling

Paths, edges, nodes, districts and landmarks can be used at different scales:

  • Decorations: fonts, symbols,

  • Tools: objects to be held, clothing

  • Objects to hold the body, furniture

  • Rooms

  • House

  • Block

  • District

  • City

  • Region

  • World


Lynch and cognitive psychology

Lynch and cognitive psychology

  • Ropes with knots as coastal maps

  • Symbolic navigation

  • Lakoff & Johnson: metaphors as ways to embody cognition; space as the ultimate ”being there”


Lynch image of the city2

Lynch: image of the city

  • Activity: mental maps

    A person's perception of the world is known as a mental map. A mental map is an individual's own map of their known world. Mental maps of individuals can be investigated:- by asking for directions to a landmark or other location, - by asking someone to draw a sketch map of an area or describe that area, - by asking a person to name as many places as possible in a short period of time.

  • “Describe Kongens Nytorv along with Nyhavn by drawing a sketch map of it.”

  • Learn how people construct their own realities of place and space.

  • Order of drawn elements


Spatiality in games the real the fictional and the virtual

Bachelard: Poetics of Space

  • Imageability, is the quality of a physical object, which gives an observer a strong, vivid image.

  • Deeply connected to Bachelard’s ”resonance-reverberation”

    Bachelard’s theory of poetic images: emotional anchoring to spaces happens if aesthetic elements consistently interplay with each other to create “resonance-reverberation doublets”


Resonance

Resonance

Connotations awakened by an image, no causal relation to the image that elicited them, but it is led by "the outpourings of the mind". Resonance Suggests the possibility of understanding and making connections with other feelings and echoes.

Through resonance, we find confirmation of knowledge we already possess: relation of the aesthetic image to “an archetype lying dormant in the depths of the unconscious”.


Reverberation

Reverberation

Reverberation is rapture, ecstasy, it “brings about a change in being" through a transformation of consciousness and of the deepest aspects of our being.

Its effects reach the “profundities of the soul”. Reverberation challenges our existing knowledge and opens the gate for change.


Bachelard poetics of space

Bachelard: Poetics of Space

  • Resonance and reverberation together produce an identification with the image "At the level of the poetic image, the duality of subject and object is iridescent, shimmering, unceasingly active in its inversions”

  • The identity of the doublet avatar/player becomes defined by the environment itself. (ex. Fallout 3)


Example fallout 3

Example: Fallout 3

“The character I am representing not only was born here, but spent some of his first years in this environment and used to play with that toy… that was MY trickey”.


Example fallout 31

Example: Fallout 3

  • Not vital to make full sense of the game, (holotapes take care of that)

  • Placement of the tricycle could be purely coincidental

  • Number of players making that connection is pure conjecture

  • Nevertheless legitimate to assume that some players might interpret the facts this way

  • Interpretation is consistent with the game world

  • A “resonant” aesthetic device creates a poetic effect anchoring narrative and ludic elements

  • It provides background information to the relation father-son

  • It connotates in a personal way a location that will play a crucial role in the game (from here the player’s character was born and from here a new world order will be born)

  • Not legitimate to assume that all players can make such connection; (players that do are rewarded with a personal involvement in the background story and in the ultimate goal of the game).

  • The game is dense with this type of resonant devices, not all of them are supposed to be decoded by all players (example, the quest “Stealing Independence” revolves around the Declaration of Independence and is loaded with references and hooks that a non-American audience might not necessarily fathom)


Exercise

Exercise

Oblivion: critiques compare it with Morrowind, procedurally generated goes against imageability, look at Imperial City, apply 5 elements and suggest improvements.

  • http://www.uesp.net/oblivion/map/obmap.shtml

  • http://www.oblivionmap.net/Cyrodiil.html


Psychoanalysis of spatial archetypes mimi lobell

Psychoanalysis of Spatial Archetypes(Mimi Lobell)

The seven primary Archetypes of Psyche and Civilisation :- the sensitive chaos: world of the Great Spirit- the great round: world of the Goddess- the four quarters: world of the Hero- the pyramid: world of the God-King- the radiant axes: world of the Emperor- the grid: wolrd of the Technocrat- the network: world of the Infonaut


Meandering spiral great spirit

Meandering Spiral – Great Spirit

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos as a unity within the Great Spirit, all states of being are mutable

  • Uroboric oneness suppression of ego so as not to separate Self from others and from surroundings

  • The state of mind of the child in the womb and in infancy where there is no individual ego or psychological separation from the mother

  • Animism, shamanism, sympathetic magic, veneration of nature spirits and totems; perceiving the world as a Sensitive Chaos animated by spirits, lines and nodes of energy, syncitronistic linkages, and magical events transcending our laws of space and tirne; oneness with nature, identification with animals and other life forms

  • Non-linear time, synchronicity, feeling of eternity or timelessness

  • Mythic images and rites concerning the Great Spirit, spirit places, totems and taboos, mimicry of animals, sympathetic magic, the making of ritual paraphenalia, transmuting to another life form (e.g., shamanically becoming a bird or animal), attaining psychoerotic perception

  • Emphasis on psychoerotic activities such as music, dance, transformative arts and rituals, holistic thinking, altered states of consciousness, clairvoyance, ecstatic trance states, dreams, natural healing; greatest psychoerotic orientation of all the archetypes

  • Concern with one's responsibility for maintaining the harmony of the living

  • Psychological stagnation in the Sensitive Chaos can produce a desire to regress to uroboric unconsciousness in the womb

  • Psychological liberation in the Sensitive Chaos can lead to erlightenment through transcending ego and healing the primal split between self and other.

  • Space:

  • Space as an immediate flowing topological continuum with little geometric order

  • The landscape as an alive organism with lines and nodes of energy depending on human care for vitality (a belief that often gives rise to elaborate tribal myths and ceremonial cydes, as in the Australian Aborigines' myths and rites concerning the Dreamfime), a network of spirit places in nature as the most important spatial "structure" and view of the landscape itself as sacred

  • Impermanent huts and shelters made of locally available natural materials (mud, thatch, vines, hides, ice), which readily disintegrate back into the earth

  • Undifferentiated architecture (no distinctly different building types for different institutions and activities such as residence, burial, government, commerce, manufacture, and worship)

  • Dwellings as spiritual "doubles" of their inhabitants, not bought and sold as commodities, and frequently serving as burial places which are burned or abandoned when the inhabitant dies

  • Little sense of private property (beyond personal tools and huts); territorial rangeAand defined and maintained through myths and rituals rather than laws and walls


Circle goddess

Circle - Goddess

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos as a unity within the Womb-Cavern of the Great Goddess

  • In childhood, the separation from the mother in which the child consciously perceives the mother as the center and source of life, but also as the first "other" with whom it has a relationship

  • At any age, identifying with the feminine principle

  • Perceiving the world as a "Great Round," cyclical in its rhythms, embracing nature and culture as one, encircling one's being in a nurturing matrix, and centered in the Great Mother

  • Religions, rites, and initiations offering direct, personal participation in the Goddess and her mysteries

  • Emphasis on integrating opposites to achieve holistic vision

  • Psychological stagnation in the Great Round can produce excessive passivity and vegetative states

  • Psychological liberation in the Great Round can generate the perception of the Self as Mother, which fosters, on the one hand, a nurturing sense of responsibility for the health and vitality of all life, and, on the other, an experience preceding enlightenment of psychologically giving birth to the phenomenal world

  • Space:

  • Space centered in the Womb-Cavern, a still center which extends to encompass the "Great Round" of the cosmos

  • Emerging centrality and permanence in architecture growing out of the settled agricultural way of life-appearance of granaries and food storage facilities, permanent homesteads and villages, amd the beginning of cities Megalithic construction frequently used for the most sacred structures (tombs, temples, geomantic and astronomical structures)

  • Tendency to shift over time from undifferentiated round structures (thobi, beehive houses, and semi-subterranean pithouses) to more differentiated rectilinear structures, with sacred buildings sometimes remaining round

  • Abundance of single, double, and triple spirals in art, especially on pottery

  • Reverence for sacred places in nature such as springs and rivers, caves, grottos, groves, trees, forests, hillocks, mountains, and any natural sanctuary associated with healing, fertility, revelatory visions, and spiritual rebirth

  • Evidence in myth and folklore of the divination (geomancy) and manipulation of subtle energies in nature (Telluric currents), which are later personified as serpents, dragons, nymphs, faeries, elves, goblins, and the like

  • Territoriality expressed as the right to occupy farmlands, defined not by property laws but by the accumulation of generations of ancestors (ancestor worship) in collective, usually megalithic grave/shrines, which display the clans' long-standing occupation of and investment in the land

  • The Womb-Cavern as the most important structure, whether natural cave, passage grave, beehive tomb, tholos/kiva, labyrinth, or temple sanctury


Cross within a square the hero

Cross within a Square – The Hero

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos as a quartered universe organized around the Lord of the Four Quarters at the center

  • The emergence of the ego in the psyche as a central reference point (similar to the Lord of the Four Quarters in mythology and the chieftain or king in society); separation of self versus other generates dualistic, territorial thinking in general In childhood, the symbolic "Slaying of the Mother" to allow the emergence of the ego, At any age, identifying with the Hero archetype

  • Mythic images and rites concerning the Lord of the Four Quarters; male roles (warrior, hunter, father, smith, hero, protector)

  • Rise of dualistic thought and increasing emphasis on warring dualities: light versus darkness, gods against demons, order versus chaos, the Separation of the World Parents, competition between fathers (titans) and sons (heros, gods), Hero versus Dragon, etc.

  • Mythic theme's concerning the appropriation of female powers by males, such as goddesses being killed and torn apart, made into the wives of gods (Isis, Hera); the theft of women's magical instruments by men; the second (spifitual) birth through the father (through doctrine, bapt:ism, initiation);

  • Territorial preoccupations; concern with protecting one's gene pool, enlarging the territorial boundaries of one's tribe, and displaying personal strength and heroism (often in a manner intimidating to competing males, as in contemporary machoism and street gang warfare)

  • Techne-logos begins to dominate psyche-eros

  • Time is linear within a cyclical segment (recurring age of "Great Year"), and the past is seen as a time of semi-legendary heroic deeds

  • Psychological stagnation can generate excessive violence, aggrescontempt for women and the feminine principle, and a fixation on the role of "protector"

  • Psychological liberation can foster individual will, which, when the ego is integrated with the Self (the crossed mandala), permits enlightened action in the world

  • Space

  • Space is organized around the Lord of the Four Quarters (ego) as the central reference point, from whom the cardinal axes quarter the cosmos and all its phenomena castes, colors, elements, seasons, eras, heavens, deities, animal into four groups

  • Territoriality is symbolized by the wall surrounding the realm of the Lord of the Four Quarters, which divides sacred from profane, friend from enemy, "mine" from "thine"

  • The omphalos or "Navel of the World" as a central reference point in the landscape mirroring the ego in the psyche, chieftain in society, father in the family, and Lord of the Four Quarters in mythology

  • The crossroads or "urban mark" as another common motif

  • Architecture mirrors the archetype: square or rectilinear fortified camps and cities, with the residence or temple of the Lord in the center and avenues to the north, south, east, and west; forts, castles, and fortified towns are the most common structures of the period


Pyramid god king

Pyramid – God King

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos as the World Mountain, the creation and kingdom of the Father-God

  • In childhood, solidification of the ego, identification with the father to complete the sep aration from the mother, establishment of individual identity, and assumption of adult re sponsibilities in the world

  • At any age, identification with the logos principle

  • Perceiving the world as a Pyramid (e.g., the chronological stratification of time, pyrami dal ranks of social power and classes); concern with moving up the Pyramid, with the goal of reaching the apex of power and wisdom

  • Linear sense of time, preoccupation with immortality and the transcendence of temporal reality, use of a solar calendar

  • Mythic images and rites concerning the World Mountain, the Mountain arising from the Sea of Chaos; the Separation of the World Parents and their reuniting; immortality, mortuary rituals, embalming; the second birth through the Father; ritualized tests of the king's fitness to rule (e.g., the Heb Sed Festival in Egypt)

  • Increasing dominance of techne-logos; emphasis on the functions of the logos principle, such as creation through the Word, order and enlightenment through the Law, belief in the sacredness of rational forms numbers, geometry, names, mathematics, standards of measurement, canonical proportions; interest in the sky and the mind as opposed to the earth and the body

  • Continuation of dualistic thought, as in the Four Quarters, symbolized by the upward and downward pointing pyramids

  • Psychological stagnation in the Pyramid can produce a rigid adherence to conventional codes of behavior and dogmatic religious doctrines, and an excessive identification with the mascuhne principle as highly authoritarian father figure

  • Psychological liberation in the Pyramid generates the perception of Self as the incarna tion of transcendent being, which, having negotiated the axis mundi to comprehend the three planes of existence (heaven, earth, and underworld or pure consciousness, ordinary waking consciousness, and the unconscious), sees the order of the universe

  • Space:

  • Space as the World Mountain, whose layers and faces symbolize the realms of existence, the heavens and hells, and the social structure

  • Great emphasis on the axis mundi the vertical axis between heaven and earth mediated by the God-King (seen as the Son of Heaven, as in China, or the son, agent, or incarnation of the Father God, as in Egypt and the pre-Columbian civilizations)

  • Social pyramid reflected in class-differentiated residences and burials

  • Architectural representations of the World Mountain-pyramids, ziggurats, stupas as the most important structures, which may serve as temples, royal tombs, reliquaries, or astronomical observatories


Rays emanating from central point emperor

Rays emanating from Central Point - Emperor

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos centered on the sun

  • The inflated ego (symbolized by Icarus's attempt to fly to the sun and consequent drowning); feeling that one is God, that one's power is infinite, that one is all-knowing, etc.

  • Very rarely, enlightenment (as the complete transcendence of ego)

  • Worship of the sun and identification with the solar principle

  • Perceiving the world as extending to infinity and eternity from one's own being, place, and time; infatuation with one's destiny to bring about the apotheosis of human civilization

  • Linear time, sometimes with a sense of imminent realization, through the empire (or the Self) of the full glory and expression of human will; also, calendars using an event in the life of an enlightened being as year zero (as in the Christian and Muslim calenders)

  • Increasing techne-logos orientation, onset of spiritual decadence

  • In adolescence, the symbolic Slaying of the Father to permit the liberation of power and will (paralleled in society by the secularized state religion supporting themonarchy)

  • Mythic images and rites concerning the sun, Sun God or Goddess, sacnfices to perpetuate the sun's cycles; themes of enlightenment and radiance; elaborate ceremonies (celebrating the King's birthday, the payment of tribute, processions through the capital); passive entertainments (theatrical performances, dancers, musicians); debasement of the hieros gamos into the practice of keeping "temple prostitutes" for the convenience and pleasure of the emperor

  • Psychological stagnation in the Radiant Axes can produce the inflated ego described above

  • Psychological liberation in the Radiant Axes can transmute the inflated ego's unbounded territoriality into a state of transcendent spaciousness in which the ego is dissolved in enlightenment

  • Space:

  • Space as an infinite field of energy radiating from a central source (sun, monarch, capital, empire), unbounded by territorial limits

  • An imperial cornmunications system, consisting (in pre-electronic empires) Of vast networks of roads equipped with post-houses at regular intervals for 24-hour relays of messengers as well as for the convenience of government representatives and the military; imitation of the sun's rays in town planning through roads or avenues radiating from the palace throughout the capital and empire

  • Obelisks as a vertical component of the Radiant Axes, sometimes serving as the focal point of a svstem of radiating roads, or symbolizing a ray of the sun

  • Colossal statues and murals pompously proclaiming the mightiness of the emperor and the invincibility of the empire

  • The palace as the most important structure, complete with the zoo, parks, gardens, and harems mentioned above; spectacular summer palaces and royal villas


Orthogonal grid

Orthogonal Grid

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos as a great machine knowable by the human intellect through science

  • In adulthood, confrontation of the realities of the world and finding one's place as an ordinary person, concern with survival of oneself and one's family

  • Perceiving the world as 'a Grid of conceptually uniform measureable units, or as a machine, or as inert matter giving off certain appearances because of chemical and electrical interactions

  • Prevalence of relativism in education, eclecticism in religion, nihilism and materialism in philosophy

  • Strongest techne-logos orientation of all the archetypes; emphasis on enumeration and measurement as in census-taking, statistical surveys, empirical sciences, the "objective" documentation of events, mathematics, reading and writing, information storage and data processing

  • Time is linear and uniform, extending infinitely into the past and future

  • Progressive view of history (in some cultures)

  • Sense of liberation/alienation from spirit, matter, nature, the inner Self, history, and tradition

  • Mythic images and rites concerning human intelligence and the rational mind; mastery of ranked disciplines (graduations, promotions, investitures); demonstrations of human skill and character (e.g., sports, after they became entertainment rather than a spiritual activity; closed system logics (art-for-art's-sake, the job well done), pure essences of abstract forms; existentialism; conquest of the natural world; mastery of technelogos functions; faith in progress, statistical uniformity, and predictability

  • Psychological stagnation in the Grid can produce the deflated ego overwhelmed by a sense of anonymity, purposelessness, existential malaise, and loss of contact with the inner spiritual Self

  • Psychological liberation in the Grid can present great freedom of choice, releasing one from centralized authority and tradition. Space:

  • Space is a uniform, three-dimensional Grid, which distributes everything into isolated uniform units and has no center

  • Rectilinear spatial division, such as the Cartesian coordinates, the nomes of ancient Egypt, the padas in Vedic mandalas, squares in Chinese town planning (as in Kublai Khan's plan for Peking), the tatami mat system of Japan

  • Architecture and town planning reflect the Grid in orthogonal street layouts, rectilinear rooms, modular building facades (as on modern office buildings); repetitions of uniform units (suburban tract houses, workers' housing, army barracks, the office pool of desks); and grids of land divisions (agricultural fields, political provinces, counties, townships, etc.)

  • The most dominant architectural structure is the marketplace (e.g., the agora, the 19th century factory, the World Trade Center, the shopping mall)


Network diagram

Network Diagram

  • Psyche:

  • Cosmos is a great network of information, where the interactions are more important than the objects.

  • Everything might be known, but everything might not be worth knowing.

  • The self is something that can be deconstructed and reconstructed.

  • Identity can be changed or multiple.

  • The aeon of the child: no need to grow up, curiosity and playfulness are rewarded. Instant gratification demanded.

  • Postmodern and transmodern philosophy, but multiple philosophies can coexist in different parts of the network.

  • Information, complexity and evolution becomes the paradigm for science, economics and the humanities.

  • Time is divergent: there are multiple possible futures.

  • Mythic images deal with exploration, creation, accessing. The Hacker-trickester, the programmer-creator, the software Guru, the dumb but powerful Spirit in the Machine which may deny access, The Conspiracy, the Global Brain evoked by the Net.

  • Psychological stagnation in the Network can produce a sense of confusion, information overload and rootlessness. Identity and concepts just dissolve into parts.

  • Psychological liberation in the Network can produce the understanding that we can both be individuals and parts of the Network, which can encompass the other archetypes locally. We can become the creators of our own realities, ourselves and our own abilities.

  • Space:

  • Space becomes random: separations may shift from time to time, context to context. Physical space less important than social space, logical space and mental space.

  • Complex spatial divisions, fluid and irrgular. Geographic Information Systems, cellular phone base stations, network architectures, hypertext layout.

  • Architecture and town planning becomes based on the infrastructure, forming a network.

  • The most dominant architecural feature is the antenna tower.


Psychogeography

Psychogeography

  • 1955: Guy Debord, situationist movement

  • “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals “

  • Example: ”If the desert is monotheistic, the district in Paris between Place de la Contrescarpe and Rue de l'Arbal conduces to atheism, to oblivion and to the disorientation of habitual reflexes.”

  • ”Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography”


Psychogeography1

Psychogeography

  • The tool: “La Derive” (drift)

  • an aspect of the situationists’ wider drive to achieve a revolutionary transformation of everyday life.

  • insisting on pedestrianism to experience encrypted events of the city


Psychogeography2

Psychogeography

  • possible topics:

    - heritage buildings

    - traffic

    - urban squares

    - connectivity

    - mixed usage spaces

    - mixed living

    - urban art

    - potential for tourism

    - neighbourhood identity


Psychogeography3

Psychogeography

  • Nhe subjective analysis of neighbourhood behaviours related to geographic location. A chronological process based on the order of appearance of observed topics, with the time delayed inclusion of other relevant instances.

  • Once you have the basic structure of your space, navigate it roleplaying all the different personas and note things you like and things you don’t. (see Bowman pdf)

  • Understand the player as a process in time-space


Psychogeography4

Psychogeography

  • Psychogeographic approach:

  • presence in the here-and-now moment

  • containment, the creation of a space for contemplative work

  • psychological "holding"

  • engagement and conversation

  • mirroring, doubling

  • noticing and naming meaning


Environmental storytelling lessons from theme park design

Environmental storytelling: Lessons from Theme Park Design

  • http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3186/environmental_storytelling_.php?print=1

  • http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3185/environmental_storytelling_part_.php?print=1


Environmental storytelling lessons from theme park design1

Environmental storytelling: Lessons from Theme Park Design

  • If your desired goal is Fantasyland, you have up to five different ways to get there. You can take the alpha/photo opportunity path, up Main Street, across the draw bridge and through the castle gate. You could enter through Frontierland or Tomorrowland, or you could sneak through either side of the castle by way of two narrow paths. On one of these paths you will stumble upon Snow White's interactive wishing well. Multiply this "multiple paths" concept to each and every land, and you can see what a web Disneyland actually is. At the end of the day, each visitor will create his or her own linear visit to the park, one that is completely different from any other guest's day. Even within a group of visitors, each member may have an experience unique to them. An experience they can share, but that is still distinctively theirs.


V s ramachandran phantoms in the brain

V. S. Ramachandran(Phantoms in the Brain)

  • Professor Ramachandran's 10 universal laws of art:

  • 1. Peak shift *

  • 2. Grouping *

  • 3. Contrast

  • 4. Isolation *

  • 5. Perception problem solving *

  • 6. Symmetry *

  • 7. Abhorrence of coincidence/generic viewpoint *

  • 8. Repetition, rhythm and orderliness

  • 9. Balance

  • 10. Metaphor *


10 universal laws of art

10 universal laws of art

  • 1 - Peak Shift

    Imagine you're training a rat to discriminate a square from a rectangle. So every time it sees a particular rectangle you give it a piece of cheese. When it sees a square you don't give it anything. Very soon it learns that the rectangle means food, it starts liking the rectangle - although you're not supposed to say that if you're a behaviourist. And it starts going towards the rectangle because it prefers the rectangle to the square. But now the amazing thing is if you take a longer skinnier rectangle and show it to the rat, it actually prefers the longer skinnier rectangle to the original rectangle that you taught it.

    Human artists through trial and error, through intuition, through genius have discovered the figural primitives of our perceptual grammar. The uber-version of the real thing that make neurons fire up.


10 universal laws of art1

10 universal laws of art

  • 2 - Grouping


10 universal laws of art2

10 universal laws of art

  • 2 - Grouping

    Imagine your primate ancestors scurrying up in the treetops trying to detect a lion seen behind fluttering green foliage. What you get inside the eyeball on the retina is just a bunch of yellow lion fragments obscured by all the leaves. What's the likelihood that all these different yellow fragments are exactly the same yellow simply by chance? Zero. They must all belong to one object, so let me link them together. Oh my God, it's a lion - let me out of here!" And as soon as you glue them together, a signal gets sent to the limbic system saying: "AHA, there's something object-like, pay attention here". So there's an arousal, and an attention which then titillates the limbic system, and you pay attention and you dodge the lion.

    And such "AHAs" are created, I maintain, at every stage in the visual hierarchy as partial object-like entities are discovered that draw your interest and attention. What the artist tries to do is to generate as many of these "AHA" signals in as many visual areas as possible by more optimally exciting these areas with his paintings or sculptures than you could achieve with natural visual scenes or realistic images.


10 universal laws of art3

10 universal laws of art

  • 4 – Isolation


10 universal laws of art4

10 universal laws of art

  • 4 – Isolation

    Refers to "the need to isolate a single visual modality before you amplify the signal in that modality". Example: an outline drawing, it is more aesthetically pleasing than a photograph, because it isolates one visual modality, in this case form, which allows for the allocation of more attention to that modality.

    There are obvious constraints on the allocation of attentional resources to different visual modules. Isolating a single area (such as ‘form’ or ‘depth’ in the case of caricature or Indian art) allows one to direct attention more effectively to this one source of information, thereby allowing you to notice the ‘enhancements’ introduced by the artist. (And that in turn would amplify the limbic activation and reinforcement produced by those enhancements).

    Presumably any visual modality (e.g., color, depth, luminance, etc.) could be isolated to produce a stronger aesthetic experience. A single work of art need not highlight only one modality, but the more attention we can allocate to any given modality, the more pleasurable the experience should be.

    LESS IS MORE


10 universal laws of art5

10 universal laws of art

  • 5 – Perceptual Problem Solving

    As anyone knows a nude seen behind a diaphanous veil is much more alluring and tantalizing than a full-colour Playboy photo or a Chippendale pinup - or a Page Three girl, is that what you call it? Why? As I said our brains evolved in highly camouflaged environments. Imagine you are chasing your mate through dense fog. Then you want every stage in the process - every partial glimpse of her - to be pleasing enough to prompt further visual search - so you don't give up the search prematurely in frustration. In other words, the wiring of your visual centres to your emotional centres ensures that the very act of searching for the solution is pleasing, just as struggling with a jigsaw puzzle is pleasing long before the final "AHA". Once again it's about generating as many "AHAs" as possible in your brain.


10 universal laws of art6

10 universal laws of art

  • 6 – Symmetry


10 universal laws of art7

10 universal laws of art

  • 6 – Symmetry

    It's well known that both facial and body symmetry are generally considered attractive, though the role of symmetry in attractiveness may not be as large as previously thought.In fact, symmetry can give us a great deal of information about the environment, such as the presence of biological forms (which are usually symmetrical) and human-created artifacts. It's not surprising, then, that we find symmetry appealing in art.

    Since most biologically important objects — such as predator, prey or mate are symmetrical, it may serve as an early-warning system to grab our attention to facilitate further processing of the symmetrical entity until it is fully recognised. As such, this principle complements the other laws described in this essay; it is geared towards discovering ‘interesting’ object-like entities in the world.

    Thus, much as with grouping, contrast, and perceptual problem solving, art that uses symmetry (like the Escher drawing below) takes advantage of the fact that symmetry itself is rewarding in order to motivate us to allocate more resources to objects that exhibit it.


10 universal laws of art8

10 universal laws of art

  • 7 – Abhorrence of Coincidence/Generic Viewpoint


10 universal laws of art9

10 universal laws of art

  • 7 – Abhorrence of Coincidence/Generic Viewpoint

    The human visual system is a Bayesian deduction machine. This means, among other things, that out of all of the possible interpretations of a particular visual input, the visual system will pick the most likely. This has two implications, which Ramachandran uses to formulate another principle of art: we prefer generic viewpoints, and we abhorr coincidence.

    We automatically intepret Figure A as depicting one figure partially occluding another, instead of the two objects in B. This is because, while there are multiple viewpoints from which the image in A might be produced through occlusion, the objects in B could only produce it from one viewpoint.

    In A, the palm tree's placement is suspiciously coincidental with the positioning of the pyramids, while B seems much more natural, with the palm and pyramids offset. Suspicious coincidences are suspicious because they are highly unlikely, and therefore our visual system tends not to like them. Thus, they and unique viewpoints are less rewarding.


10 universal laws of art10

10 universal laws of art

  • 10 – Methaphor

    Whether metaphor is purely a device for effective communication, or a basic cognitive mechanism for encoding the world more economically, remains to be seen. The latter hypothesis may well be correct. There are many paintings that instantly evoke an emotional response long before the metaphor is made explicit by an art critic. This suggests that the metaphor is effective even before one is conscious of it, implying that it might be a basic principle for achieving economy of coding rather than a rhetorical device.

    Much like the visual system is designed to notice groupings, contrasts, and to be excited by exaggeration, our cognitive system is designed, at all levels (including the perceptual) to notice connections between inputs. You might say that we have "analogical minds." It's likely that in order to facilitate the search for such connections, finding them is itself rewarding, and thus may contribute to the pleasureable experience that many visual metaphors elicit. However, metaphor and analogy (of which metaphor is likely a special case) also allow the artist to activate a wide range of images, concepts, and experiences, sometimes vivid ones, which carry with them their own affective appeal. There is evidence, for instance, that poetry using vivid perceptual metaphors is more appealing than poetry using less vivid metaphors.


Grammar of visual composition peter stebbing

Grammar of Visual Composition(Peter Stebbing)

The basic syntax in a visual composition consists primarily of four types of relationship:- contrast, - rhythm (visual pattern), - balance (visual symmetry),- proportion (CRBP) they enable us to create harmony or unity within a work.


Grammar of visual composition peter stebbing1

Grammar of Visual Composition(Peter Stebbing)

  • Contrast: a difference which makes a difference and which can be identified by any of our senses. (Gradation, Variation)

  • Rhythm or pattern: is a repetition of a contrast which may also occur in one or a combination of the four basic symmetry operations. (Repetition, Pattern)

  • Balance and symmetry: Two or more visual elements or forces are set against (oppose) each other so that they equalise or neutralise their tensions often resulting in a symmetry of form. (Equilibrium, Symmetry)

  • Proportion: is a ratio composed of two or more contrasting quantities used repeatedly in either the same and/or different measures in a design. (Golden Mean/Section)

  • Harmony or unity or ‘the form of an aesthetic object is the total web of relations among its parts.’ CRBP are all relationships and so the definition of form is synonomous with aesthetic harmony. (Harmony, Movement, Expression, Motion)


Grammar of visual composition peter stebbing2

Grammar of Visual Composition(Peter Stebbing)


Ergonomic human scaling1

Ergonomic human scaling

  • Decorations: fonts, symbols,

  • Tools: objects to be held, clothing

  • Objects to hold the body, furniture

  • Rooms

  • House

  • Block

  • District

  • City

  • Region

  • World


A prison one environment two ideas one game

A Prison – one environment, two ideas, one game

  • Piranesi and Bentham (pictures)

  • Sanitarium pictures (combining the 2)coexhistence of opposing ways to understand prison, bad for control freaks and for crypto-anarchists


Game examples

Game Examples

  • Alice

  • Undying

  • Bioshock


Assorted principia

Assorted Principia

  • We notice animals more than we notice objects (Nature magazine).

  • Hidden skeleton of objects (Peter Stebbing)

  • Perceiving the world as a solipsist where everything has possibly a hidden message for each persona (airplane analogy)


Assorted principia1

Assorted Principia

  • Alien vs predator (exploring same space in different paths as different characters)

  • Behave: mentally navigate the spaces about to be created with the attitude of each persona and list elements you want to have included.


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