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Directed Project 2020 – Entry #7

In moments like these, it is tough to be part of both the game industry and academia.

It’s tiring. It’s harder to just brush things aside and keep going.

I’m trying to design a game about trust, while working in fields that are unsafe to so many people — including me.

There’s always a moment when we ask ourselves “is it really worth it?” in our professional lives. I’ve been grateful that there’s another voice in my head who hasn’t gone silent yet and has answered that it’s not about worth. It’s maybe more about meaning. Does it make sense to you to do it here and now? Most of times the answer has been positive, or after taking a break it went back to positive.

It’s still tiring.

A few hours later: I regained some motivation after watching a video that was randomly suggested on Youtube about Hard Worldbuilding VS Soft Worldbuilding. While I don’t agree with their wording, it made me think a lot about various things, including things related to academia and research creation.

Based on classes I had and various articles I read, there’s indeed a tension between research and creation in academia. To sum things very quickly:

  • Research = analytical, actionable data and knowledge
  • VS creation = outside academia, less reflective, with the intent of being sold or ‘enjoyed’ by an audience.

There’s still a lot of internal struggle as researchers devise ways to ‘legitimize’ creation as a way to produce (not create, maybe that’s the thing) knowledge in academia. 

It may be a far stretch from the worldbuilding video, but I thought of these things because the current format I’m using here, to post my notes about my research-creation project, is a ‘journal’ and vastly disorganized on purpose. I don’t think I’ve explained this before but as briefly mentioned by Miyazaki in the video, there’s an ‘unconscious’ way to create things. When you’re too conscious, even as a creator, you may feel like it’s limiting your creativity.

But I’m also challenging the ideas of conscious VS unconscious here. Especially the conscious = analytical = rational? = good = research/academia goals = controlled and actionable

VS unconscious = ‘more creative’ = feelings? = not so much desired for research/academia = less controlled but easier to sell though. (There’s mysticism about unconscious stuff)  

I’m just tired of binary ways to think about things in general even if I do understand the practicality and appeal of polarized thinking.

Anyway, I think in my case I want to blur everything  — are the notes I’m writing knowledge about creative writing and design? Creative writing about creative writing? Something else entirely? I’m just curious to see how it may shape things or not. I don’t want to control everything in the format of these entries, I’ve chosen a ‘free form’ type of texts on purpose though — I’m choosing consciously to write unconsciously about things. That’s why ‘écriture automatique’ (which partly comes from French surrealism I think) is also sort of paradoxical in its own way. To me it’s more like taking a step back from some codes, tropes, rules when doing something. There’s maybe more physicality to what we call ‘unconscious’ here: It’s more about a ‘gut feeling’, following some instincts that cannot be consciously predefined. But even so I’m like fully aware that I’m doing that, so am I doing it, really?

So yeah that’s why I hope to find more playfulness in both academia and the game industry. I was reading some quote from James Baldwin about how racism would end when white people would start to love themselves? Ah, found the exact quote:

White people in this country will have quite enough to do in learning how to accept and love themselves and each other, and when they have achieved this—which will not be tomorrow and may very well be never—the Negro problem will no longer exist, for it will no longer be needed.


Anyway, maybe academia wants so badly to be seen as ‘smart’ that it’s hurting others?

Maybe the game industry wants so badly to be seen as ‘fun’ that’s it’s hurting others? 

Published in Narrative Design