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Reading response #4

Date:11/21/2019



The game is "a problem-solving activity that is treated with a playful attitude." Although the violent elements of the appearance are eye-catching, in most cases, violence is not the ultimate goal, but a means of solving problems. This means, game like “playing” process which satisfies the curiosity of the players and gives them a sense of freedom and it also creates a valuable experience that is difficult to understand in reality. The article “Discomfort Design: Critical Reflection through Uncomfortable Play” mentioned GTA, I also played GTA in few years ago. I feel uncomfortable when I am doing something that I feel is completely forbidden, such like stealing cars, kicking people and etc. The violence and blood from the game makes me feel discomfort which could not attract me to play for a long time, and my only fun is to explore the map of the game. However, I could understand and could feel that maybe the designer is trying to use a game method that amplify discomfort to push people to think about reality


“GTA”

Moreover, I saw the capacity of the game which might be a good way to create an experience, but I think it still contains some potential problems that we should think of the age groups of game. For those who have formed a world view, this might be an approach to take the stress out, or to experience something that can't be experienced in reality. Maybe after their playing, the game could bring their critical thoughts. However, for some people who are not aware of reality, especially young people, it is possible to achieve different effects.


I think “discomfort” can be a good element by adjusting its degree and expression to add into the game and to enhance the experience, and that could also be applied into the theatre. For “Aunt Dan and Lemon”, people feel discomfort maybe due to the strange relationship between Aunt Dan and Lemon? or maybe since Lemon is a child who is listening to a bedtime story that doesn't match her age? The author does not want to end this with the so-called “satisfied ending”, but instead uses an uncomfortable ending to stimulate people’s critical thinking.


The third article represents Jillian‘s opinion about “the ‘Scaffold’ controversy in Minneapolis”,some art world onlookers thought Sam Durant is a victim, but the author believes that he should not be protected. Many editors have focused on this artist without really considering the history of Minneapolis. In fact, they should spend more time communicating in this community, but they don't.


Compared with Sam‘s scaffold,Doris Salcedo‘s artwork “A Flor de Piel” bring me more emotional feelings. I saw roses, I saw blood, I saw “fragility”...I feel the conflicts of the composition of the elements of the design. She said that the method of sewing flowers is like a method of suturing a wound which is careful and cautious. I think this huge contrast bring people the feeling of shock, the feeling of power.  Like she said “A Flor de Piel really resonates at this moment,” and I could feel that power when I was watching her artworks.



References:

“Discomfort Design: Critical Reflection through Uncomfortable Play”, Lindsay Grace

“Notes in Justification of Putting the Audience through a Difficult Evening”, by Wallace Shawn

“Sam Durant Doesn’t Need Defending”, Jillian Steinhauer

"Doris Salcedo: The Materiality of Mourning", Harvard Art Museum (watch at least from 30:00 on)

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Design and implemented by Sylvia Zhang in July 2019. Last updated Jan 2020.