The brief for the Creative Challenge for the first week of the course was to:
“Use objects from around your home to create a custom avatar of yourself. The objects selected should not be random: they must tell a story or mean something to you. There are no other rules and you are encouraged to get visual and have some fun.
Once finished, take a picture of your avatar and post it to the forum. Include a paragraph or two about the objects selected and what they mean to you. You might want to use the avatar as your profile picture.”
Initially, this appeared to be a fun activity and way to express myself and get to know peers. After I complete the task I reflected on why the task was set. I read an article in psychology today about objects and how we use them to express and signal our personalities.
“Things embody goals, make skills manifest, and shape the identities of their users…To understand what people are and what they might become, one must understand what goes on between people and things. What things are cherished, and why, should become part of our knowledge of human beings.” (Csikzentmihalyi and Halton, 1981)” (Hurson, 2013)
Introducing the Invisible Avatar
My avatar is on the bike but she is invisible in tribute to the Invisible Women book included in the photo.
Paints: I occasionally paint and do printmaking and I adore fluorescent and metallic colours.
The dinosaurs: My best friend made these as cake toppers for my wedding.
Coffee: I love coffee.
The Book: Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez is the book that I am currently reading it is awesome. It is about data bias in relation to gender.
Gin: I like a drink.
The pink bike was my daughter’s birthday present. I chose this because it reminds me of her, and I think that the retro design is beautiful.
The puppy: This is my puppy Vera named after the TV detective because I live for a bit of crime drama.
I think that this activity has helped me re-engage with creative thinking. My impulse was to use an object and embellish it rather than build an Avatar from objects. I hope that as I progress on the course, I will become more adventurous with the creative briefs. I also found that the overall aesthetic was important, so the objects not only held meaning but also beauty. Combining images and text in a creative setting is a skill that I will need to develop. I hope that my objects are a true reflection of my personality and articulate my values and sense of humour.
This module of the course is paired with the Indie Games Design MA. The book pictured Invisible Women includes a study of gaming and gender bias that I thought would be interesting to highlight.
“A 2015 Pew Research Center report Found that equal numbers of American men and women play video games, only 3.3% of the games spotlighted at press conferences during 2016’s E3 (the world’s largest annual gaming expo) stared female protagonists.” (Criado Perez, 2020)
C. Perez, (2020). Invisible Women Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. 1st ed. Abrams Press
Hurson, L., 2013. Self, Society, and Our Stuff. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-simplified/201306/self-society-and-our-stuff-0> [Accessed 2 February 2021].