Proseminar – R. Yagiz Mungan

Digital Games as an Interdisciplinary Creative Process

R. Yagiz Mungan visited IU Telecom today and gave a presentation for the Media Arts & Sciences Speaker Series. Mungan described his interest in the intersection of art and research as it applies to gaming, interaction  sound, music, and architecture. His belief is that games are simply another artistic medium–like the painter’s canvas or the illustrator’s paper. Because of this perspective, Mungan applies Wagner‘s term Gesamtkunstwerk meaning total work of art that is the amalgam of many art forms in his study of games.

Mungan is currently finishing up his MFA in Electronic and Time-based Art at Purdue University. Recently, he completed a project named Breezes of… It is a game-based installation that toyed with the idea of escapism. In the game, Players explore a virtual tropical environment. External to the game, a real-world pinwheel spins depending on orientation and wind in the virtual environment. See a video of the installation below.

Proseminar – Thomas Malaby

Digital Anthropology 

Games and Cultural Logic of Modernity

For T600 this Friday, Thomas Malaby visited from the University of Milwaukee‘s College of Letters and Sciences. He presented research from a book he recently authored on digital anthropology. His overall focus was to identify the intersection between the state of games and a culture. One of the primary concepts Malaby introduced was his idea of instrumental nonchalance. He developed the idea after spending some time in Greece. He explained that it was a cultural outlook exhibited by older individuals. This group would always remain unflappable despite what came their way with the hope that acting this way would make them more likely to get what they truly desired.

The second concept was techno liberalism. This concept highlighted a democratic idea that technology should be available to everyone without controls. Additionally, it included a motivation of a mastery of complex systems. One can see evidence of this phenomenon by looking at the success of and behaviors surrounding Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky button. Specifically, the I’m Feeling Lucky button illustrates how some people feel confident enough in their search query mastery to click this button with the reservation that the returned website will be exactly what they are looking for.