Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Discussing Alchemy and the Renaissance

The renaissance is the period of high art and culture. In that particular period there had been a rise to many intelligent and philosophical individuals. The renaissance was one of the period where architectural and artistic treatises massed and they were trying to prove that science is derived on the teachings of Greek philosophy, Christian faith and Roman ambitions. Scholars from this period painstakingly rummaged through the past in order to find original texts which are related to these teachings so that it could re-enlighten them about what are true sciences. Most studies were related and based on the human body in which the artists, architects etc. to be obsessed with the nature of the human. From these findings they were found out that ancient sciences had transformative power. Therefore the artist at that period describes art as a form of therapeutic device in which art have the power to move the soul.

In this period alchemy was also well sought after.

Alchemy is both a philosophy and an ancient practice focused on the attempt to change base metals into gold, and achieving wisdom, involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making several substances which can produce various unusual properties.

The practices on alchemy are mostly based on the interest of the body and the soul. They thread through how to improve the human and the well being. Unlike traditional medicines the prescription of medicine in that period is for healing both the mind and body. That time they also believe hugely about the body having a spirit. The spirits is known as the astral body and was thought to be composed of aether from the super celestial region. In order to heal the body, we must heal the spirit with it through therapies which involves vapour, harmonies like hymns and prayers and scents.

There was a huge cultural exchange to pursue alchemy.

"They sought such transformative prescription for the
human body and its soul from Egyptian alchemy,
Greek philosophy together with Arab curiosity (seePic
atrix) with talismans. It was a portent mix."
(From the slide.)

Talismans are one of the main parts of alchemy.
Its believe that the most powerful talismans is the ability to memorise. By memorising the elements and images of these talismans. These talismans represent the divine and the images are carefully constructed respectively to represent the divine. By memorising these images it can help the humans get divine atonement.

Ancient Philosophical Thinking VS Modern Scientific Thinking

Ancient Phiosophical Thinking

Modern Scientific Thinking

Mostly based on improving the mind, spirit and body buy using and deconstructing ancient references so as to create methods of healing in relevance to these teachings.

Believes by “curing” the soul the human will live a much healthier and fruitful life.

Practises in the renaissance period are also based on the divine and how humans can receive divine atonement. Such as producing talismans.

Mostly based on scientific references and theories. Such as curing an illness. Curing an illness is not about curing the soul and you cannot cure a person just by singing hymns but by prescribing modern medicine.

Although aroma therapy could secure a person a healthier life or even maybe curing illnesses however it is proven to work through modern scientific research.

Art cannot cure a person from his illness thus memorising talismans are also, of course not able to cure anybody.

Final Blog Entry for Sem 1:

To start off, we must believe in the thing before we could fully accept its existence. From what I learnt throughout the presentations, anything that is created must be believable in which we could understand. Such example is the genre of fantasy in order for a fantasy oriented item to be believable we must take into the account of what is it used for or where did it come from. For example an orc is derived from Anglo-Saxon, a word meaning demon. Basically they took reference from a demon so as to create a new hellish creature such as the orc. Fantasy balances between mimesis and fantasy. Mimesis takes into the account of that Item being real and from that reality backs up the fantasy like substance of that item.

I found out that the media has a devastating impact on what we are able to express in games now. Its all about what they want from us and not what we want to be accepted by the rest. If you do not conform to the media and address to them, what we do will be in vain. Like games now, if we were to produce another game much like World of Warcraft for instance. The media which is our clients and customers will just be stating and labeling our game as a WoW clone but still sells if some small concepts are added to make it a little different. However if we change and be unique in our gameplay which is completely different, we are taking a huge risk as our clients might be in a smaller range. Horror games such as Left 4 Dead have taken steps to input more action into the horror theme then horror itself just because the market sales in action games are much higher. Games such as resident evil also suffer the same fate.

I have learnt that creative models are useful to give a direction on exactly where your ideas are really flowing. Everybody has their own personal creativity model in our mind which we do not need to flesh out. This creativity model is already imbedded in us, it is how we think and express our ideas in our heart. Even if you do not have it on paper you will still generate creative ideas and it solely depends on what you have been In contact with throughout your life and the experience you have gained from these activities. If you are really going to flesh it out on paper on how your own creativity model should look like, it will be excellent too because you can plan everything out so that you can see it clearly. However I find that it will restrain you from thinking faster because you have to follow the model and think of how your ideas fit into it. It is like following a fixed path and you are stressing yourself to do it. I find that my method of thinking about ideas suits me more.

This is the method I use without me having a fixed model to follow but it works for me.





(just to illustrate)

Fantasy scene with a character

Creature eating girl, holding by the neck on a dead tree in a winter’s night.


Girl , trees , creature

Environment e.g trees

Creature hold girl

Creature, werewolf?

Creature holds girl beside tree


Creature eating girl?


Creature eating girl on a dead tree?

This is how I think when I want to draw a picture but do not know what to draw. First I determined what I want to draw which is a fantasy themed picture with a character. So I roughly gauge what I want the picture to show (in the Ideas column from top to bottom) so I want to draw a girl and I think about what I want to draw for the environment so on and so forth. Then by trial and error for the finals I set up the setting which I CAN draw or what I really comfortable in doing. Most of the time I will just picture it In my mind and keep adding what I want so that I build up on the scene. I finally realized what I want to draw which is in the finalized column.

The future of gaming.

Future of gaming is pretty bright in the technical side. Recent articles from news website CNN showed me that. http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/gaming.gadgets/09/27/living.room.future/

TV screens will be measured in yards, music will be ear-bustingly loud (but will still sound good) and chairs will shake to the tune of both.” By John D. Sutter, CNN

Yes! Big screens and shaking chairs for the win. From the looks of our future from now, most probably we will be sitting in a room with a 360 degree wide screen with you sittin in the middle of it.

And yes shaking and vibrating chairs are welcomed to replace the old and quite useless console controllers which vibrates throughout the game.

Basically these are the technological side of the future of gaming and now for the SHAPE of gaming.

From the past few presentations I have learnt that, yes games are supposed to conform to the media in order to sell well. I believe that games now has to do that in order to make money. However given that technology is rapidly advancing the results might be different in the future. Think about horror for instance. If you mix vibrating chairs and a 360 degree monitor while playing a horror game, Imagine how much experience you will have. However the game might fail just because the “experience” is too strong. The future of gaming really depends on how fast technology advances. There are several limitations of gaming in the past and present and these limitations will affect the game and how can it be developed and constructed and this leads to how the audience are able to accept it as it is.