Wednesday, 31 October 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #8: Design Inspirations from Cultural Events

Another set of lecture notes from Joe's Design Futures module. This time we were learning about Design Inspirations from Cultural Events.

What is a Culture?
A culture is the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular people or society.

What are the differences between cultures?
There are several factors that can make a culture unique. These include:-

  • Customs
  • Religious Beliefs and Mythology
  • Music and Performing Arts
  • Fashion
  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • Language
  • Architecture
  • Laws
  • Technology
  • Philosophies/ Ideologies

What are cultural events?
Put simply, cultural events are customs or celebrations that are associated with a specific culture. These include:-

  • The Olympic Games
  • Halloween
  • Oktoberfest
  • Chinese New Year
  • Thanksgiving
  • Bonfire Night
  • Royal Celebrations (Weddings/ Jubilees)
  • Independence Day
  • Remembrance Day

What is the appeal to different cultures?
What do you think is the appeal of discovering and exploring different cultures?
Curiosity, expanding horizons etc.
Why is this important to our own society?
Authenticity, tolerance, multiculturalism etc.

We were then given the task of writing a pamphlet of information about Japanese culture, including their customs, beliefs, lifestyle and language. Once this was completed and presented to the group, we then had to use the information we'd gathered as the basis of a game concept. Regrettably I do not have a copy of either of these deliverables, though rest assured the game concept was absolutely insane!

Anyhow, that about wraps up this lecture. As a side-note, you may have noticed that I haven't updated this thing in a while. The truth is, we have a major hand-in this week for XB3001, so I've been focusing on finishing that. I should have that finished tomorrow, so I'll update the blog then.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #7: Research Backlog

Ok, so I've spent the last few weeks gathering research for this module and already collected a fair amount, probably more than enough to write my report. Except that I haven't been recording it here as I should have been doing, so I have a bit of a backlog to get through.
The following list contains pretty much everything I've gathered for this module:-

1. Stem Cell Basics
A PDF document containing the basics about Stem Cells and their potential uses.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2009). Stem Cell Basics. Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website: <>

2. Regenerative Medicine
A PDF document containing information about using cloning, stem cell research and other methods of biotechnology to advance modern medicine.
Department of Health and Human Services (2006). Regenerative Medicine. Retrieved from </info/scireport/regenerativemedicine.htm>

3. Executive Order 13505
A PDF copy of Executive Order 13505, passed by the Obama Administration to lift some of the restrictions on stem cell research.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2011). Federal Policy. Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website:

4. Executive Order 13435
A PDF copy of Executive Order 13435, one of many laws passed under the Bush Administration regarding stem cell research.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2011). Federal Policy. Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website:

5. Court’s Opinion of Stem Cell Research Lawsuit
A PDF copy detailing the opinion of members of a courtroom about a recent stem cell-related lawsuit.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2011). Federal Policy. Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website:

6. Human Cloning: Ethical Issues
A PDF document containing information and exploring the ethical issues related to human cloning.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation- UNESCO (2004). Human Cloning: Ethical issues. Retrieved from UNESCO website

7. Report 98- The Ethics of Human Cloning
Another PDF document containing information about and exploring the ethical issues related to human cloning.
Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association (1999). Report 98- the Ethics of Human Cloning. Retrieved from Google Search,mod=0&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

8. The Stem Cell Debate
A PDF document containing information about the ethical debate regarding stem cell research.
Abboud, A. (2001). The Stem Cell Debate. Retrieved from Google Search

9. To Clone or Not to Clone: The Ethical Question
An article by Joseph Farnsworth detailing the science behind cloning and the ethical questions surrounding it.
Farnsworth, J. (2000). To Clone or not to Clone: The Ethical Question. Retrieved from

10. Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research
An article on detailing the pros and cons of stem cell research.
Phillips, T. (2012). Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research. Retrieved from

11. Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Another article on detailing the pros and cons of stem cell research, with more emphasis on the politics behind it.
White, D. (2009). Pros and Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Retrieved from

12. The Ethics of Human Cloning by Amy Logston
An academic paper by Amy Logston about the ethics of human cloning, including the viewpoints of several religious groups.
Logston, A. (1999). The Ethics of Human Cloning. Retrieved from

13. Cloning and Catholic Ethics
An article from a adamantly Catholic website about the ethics of cloning. (2003). Cloning and Catholic Ethics. Retrieved from

14. Is Stem Cell Research Moral?
Another article from the adamantly Catholic website, this time about stem cell research.
McCloskey, P., O.F.M. (2001). Is Stem Cell Research Moral? Retrieved from

15. Embryonic stem-cell research immoral, unnecessary, bishops say
Another stem cell related article from the adamantly Catholic website.
O’Brien, N. F. (2008). Embryonic Stem-cell research immoral, unnecessary, bishops says. Retrieved from

16. Human Embryonic Stem Cell Policy Under Former President Bush (Aug. 9, 2001 - Mar. 9. 2009)
An small online article detailing George W. Bush's stance on Stem cell research during his tenure as President of the United States.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2009). Human Embryonic Stem Cell Policy Under Former President Bush (Aug. 9, 2001- Mar. 9, 2009). Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website:

17. BBC: Cloning Humans: Can it be done?
An old BBC Q&A article about how cloning works and the ethics behind it, including mention of a cult claiming to have successfully cloned a human.
BBC News’ Science/Nature Division (2002). Cloning humans: Can it really be done? Retrieved from BBC News website:

18. Considerations on Issue of Human Cloning
An article by the Catholic Secretariat of State about the ethics of human cloning from a Christian perspective.
Secretariat of State (2004). Considerations on the Issue of Human Cloning. Retrieved from

19. Reflections on Human Cloning
An article from the Pontifical Academy of Life about human cloning from a Catholic perspective.
Pontifical Academy of Life (1997). Reflections on Human Cloning. L'Osservatore Romano Weekly Edition in English July 9, 1997, page 10. Retrieved from

20. On Human Cloning
An article about Catholic beliefs about human cloning.
Trujillo, A. L., Cardinal (2003). On Human Cloning. Retrieved from

21. The Cloning of Dolly
A scientific article about Dolly the Sheep, the science behind her creation and cloning in general.
Love, J. (1997-2009). The Cloning of Dolly. Retrieved from Science Explained website:

22. Dolly the Sheep dies young
A NewScientist article about the death of Dolly the Sheep. I included this article in a previous post.
Knight, W. (2003, 14 February). Dolly the Sheep dies young. Retrieved from New Scientist Website:

23. Dolly the Sheep clone dies young
An old BBC news report about Dolly's demise. I included this article in a previous post.
BBC News (Friday, 14 February, 2003). Dolly the sheep dies young. Retrieved from

24. Dolly the sheep is cloned
Another old BBC news report, this time about Dolly's birth.
BBC News, (22 February 1997). 1997: Dolly the Sheep is cloned. Retrieved from

25. Dolly the Sheep 'reborn' as four new clones created
Another old BBC news report about four new sheep clones that were recently produced from Dolly's DNA.
The Telegraph, (30 November 2010). Dolly the Sheep 'reborn' as four new clones created. Retrieved from

26. Fadallah condones human cloning
A news article from Lebanon about an Islamic cleric who supports human cloning.
Nasser, C. (2002). Fadlallah condones human cloning. Retrieved from Daily Star Lebanon, via Lebanon Wire

27. FDA Probes Sect's Human Cloning
An article from about an investigation into a cult claiming to have cloned a human being.
Associated Press (2002). FDA Probes Sect’s Human Cloning. Retrieved from

28. What are genetically modified GM foods?
An article from about GM foods.
HowStuffWorks (2000). What are genetically modified GM foods? Retrieved from

29. How Cloning Works
An article from about the science and ethics behind cloning, including some information about Dolly the Sheep.
Freudenrich, C., Ph.D. (2001) How Cloning Works. Retrieved from

30. How Human Cloning Will Work
An article from devoted to human cloning.
Bosner, K. & Conger, C. (2001). How Human Cloning Will Work. Retrieved from

31. How Cells Work
An article from about the functions of various cells.
Brian, M. (2000). How Cells Work. Retrieved from

32. How Stem Cells Work
An article from about what stem cells are as well as their potential use and the ethics behind them.
Watson, S. & Freundenrich, C., Ph.D. (2004). How Stem Cells Work. Retrieved from

33. How Gene Pools Work
An article from about gene pools.
Brian, M. (2001). How Gene Pools Work. Retrieved from

34. and it's Dangerous Impacts
A Q&A where an Islamic Imam talks about his religion's views on cloning.
Al-Qaradawi, Y. (2012). Cloning and Its Dangerous impacts. Retrieved from

35. Cloning People and Jewish Law: A Preliminary Analysis
An article from a Jewish Rabbi discussing cloning and Judaism's position in regards to it.
Broyde, M. J., Rabbi (1998). Cloning People and Jewish Law: A Preliminary Analysis. Retrieved from Jewish Law

36. Stem Cell Research in Jewish law
An online article about the Jewish views about stem cell research.
Eisenberg, D., MD (2001). Stem Cell Research in Jewish Law. Retrieved from Jewish Law

37. To err is to be human - but to clone one divine?
An online article from discussing the ethics of human cloning.
McCormack, C. (2000). To err is human - but to clone one divine? Retrieved from

38. Cloning pregnancy claim prompts outrage
A NewScientist article about a woman taking part in a controversial cloning programme.
Young, E. & Carrington, D. (2002). Cloning pregnancy claim prompts outrage. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

39. UN abandons legal ban on human cloning
A NewScientist article detailing how to United Nations abandoned plans for a worldwide ban on human cloning.
Biever, C. (2005). UN abandons legal ban on human cloning. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

40. South Korea bans all human cloning
A NewScientist article about how human cloning has been prohibited in South Korea.
Carrington, D. (2002). South Korea bans all human cloning. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

41. Global therapeutic cloning ban averted
A NewScientist article about how a worldwide ban on therapeutic cloning was avoided.
Coghlan, A. (2003). Global therapeutic cloning ban averted. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

42. UK judges overturn cloning ruling
A NewScientist article about a court ruling related to cloning that overturns an earlier ruling.
Young, E. (2002). UK judges overturn cloning ruling. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

43. Introduction: GM Organisms
A NewScientist article about genetically modified organisms.
Pickrell, J. (2006). Introduction: GM Organisms. Retrieved from NewScientist website:

44. National Institures of Health Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research.
A summary of the guidlines of the NIH in regards to human stem cell research.
Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, (2011). National Institutes of Health Guidelines on Human Stem Cell Research. Retrieved from Stem Cell Information website:

45. Stem Cells
A New York Times article about stem cells.
New York Times’ Health News (2012). Stem Cells. Retrieved from the New York Times website:

46. "Biotechnology will Feed the World" and Other Myths
A list of various urban myths and misconceptions related to biotechnology.
Charman, K. (1999). “Biotechnology Will Feed the World” and Other Myths. Retrieved from PR Watch website:

47. Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights
A summary of the laws and rules from UNESCO regarding the human genome and human rights.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation- UNESCO (1997). Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights. Retrieved from UNESCO website

48. Cloning Fact Sheet
A general fact sheet about the science behind cloning and its various methods.
U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs’ Human Genome Project (last modified Monday, May 11, 2009). Cloning Fact Sheet. Retrieved from//

49. What are stem cells and what are they used for?
A small article from about stem cells. (2001). What are stem cells and what are they used for? Retrieved from Discovery Health website:

50. A Victory for Stem Cell Research and Patients.
A blog article from a pro-stem cell political reporter regarding a recent legal victory for stem cell research.
Cutter, S. (2011). A Victory for Stem Cell Research and Patients. Retrieved from The White House Blog:

Yep, that's a lot of research..... On a somewhat related note, Blogger's formatting system is a pain in the ass!

Monday, 22 October 2012

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #5: Vehicle 1 Progress

Officially made a start to my project yesterday by beginning concepts on the first vehicle, the Stallion (I may rename that later...).
The Stallion is essentially intended to be a mechanised horse-like vehicle capable of traversing all terrains. I began by creating a mood board of images I intended to use as possible inspiration for the design. These included images of actual horses, walking robots, hover-bikes and other futuristic vehicles. You can see the finished mood board below:-
What follows is the reference list for the Mood Board.
1.  Drawing of a Destrier.
2. Concept drawing of futuristic Horse Armour.
3. Image of a black Friesian.
4. Image of a white destrier.
5. Image of Horse armour from the Royal Armoury.
6. Painting of De Bohan’s Destrier.,r:0,s:20,i:133
7. Image of a Star Wars Speeder Bike.
8. Concept Art of a Hoverbike from Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus.
9. Image of Cloud Strife’s Fenrir bike from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
10. 3D Render of a Hoverbike concept.
11. Concept Art of a Hoverbike design.
12. Concept Art of various hoverbike designs.
13. Image of Project Nomad vehicle concept.
14. Photo of a hoverbike prototype.
15. Render image of a Mass Effect Geth Armature.
16. Render image of MGS4’s Crying Wolf.
17. Concept Art of a Hoverbike design.
18. deviantART image of a TRON Horse.
19. Figurine of Odin in Gestalt Mode from Final Fantasy XIII.
20. Concept Art of a Hoverbike design.
21. deviantART image of a Hoverbike design.
22. Image of a Light Cycle from TRON: Legacy.

Anyway, using this as a basis, I started by looking at the general body shape of a horse. From that, I created some silhouette thumbnails of potential designs. As you can see, my initial designs were generally more like an actual horse, before evolving into something more like a hoverbike:-
Once I had these 8 thumbnails, I then gathered some feedback from my tutors and peers to see which designs they liked the best. For the most part, they tended to favour either 5, 7 or 8 (or a combination of these), so I decided to develop those particular designs further. I began by fleshing out the designs a bit more  from the silhouettes. You can see this below:-
Not finished yet. Still need to finish the development, but as you can see I'm making progress. My next DD3992 should include the finished design.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #6: Authentic Experiences and Reality in Modern Games

Today we've been going through Authentic Experiences and Reality in Modern Video Games. The text that follows is taken from the notes I've taken during the lecture:

What is an experience?
- A single or series of events that evoke an emotional response that is memorable.
- There is no such thing as a completely forgettable experience.
- An authentic experience is one that is considered 'real'. However, Joseph Pine argues otherwise:"There is no such thing as an inauthentic experience. This is because the experience takes place inside us, it is our reaction to the events that are staged in front of us. So if we are in any sense authentic human beings then every experience we have is authentic"- Joseph Pine, 2004

 Joseph Pine's talk about What consumers want:

- Experiences can be shared with others, but they will be the exact same experience. E.g. When watching a football match, the fans of the winning side will not have the same experience as the fans of the losing side.
- There is no such thing as a 'completely authentic' experience, either.
- Pine argues that "as people who wish to serve our consumers, we have to render what the consumer perceives as authentic".
- By the very nature, videogames generally provide inauthentic experiences. They take place in artificial worlds, have boundaries etc.
- As games designers, he provide a 'fake reality', immersing the player in a fictional story, fictional environment etc.
- However, we never claim that this world we have created is the real world. Instead, players accept this and indulge themselves in the fake reality.

Why are experiences important?
"Games designers only care about what seems to exist. The player and the game are real, the experience is imaginary - but games designers are judged by the quality of the experience." (Schell, 2008)
- The game itself is not the experience; it only facilitates the experience through the player's interaction with it.

- Books and films are all linear experiences.
- There is a direct mapping between what is created and what is experienced.
- Games give their audience much more control over the pacing and sequencing of events.
- Therefore, more planning is required to ensure that players are given sufficient direction towards experiencing what the designers want them to experience.
- As designers, we mainly use Introspection; examining our own thoughts and feeling about our creations to compare them with the intended experience.
- Reflection, observation and evaluation = informed judgements about what works and what doesn't.
- Introspection is not perfect- what is true for us may not be true for others.
- We don't design games on our own. We work in teams, composed of several different people, each with their own opinions.
- Once released, anyone can buy and play a game, not just members of the intended audience. These people may intepret and experience your game in a way you had not even considered, e.g. a refugee from a war-torn country or a veteran soldier playing Call of Duty may have a different experience from the average gamer.
- 'Personal opinions cannot be trusted' also poses its own problems. For example, certain play testers may simply not be interested in the genre of your game, which will affect their opinion of it.
- You can't leave every decision to play-testing, especially early in the design process. Sometimes you just have to trust your own judgement.
- Before a game is finished, a play tester may dismiss an unusual idea. Rejected ideas = Missed opportunities
- Consciously measuring an experience can also taint the experience and give you a false impression.
- One way to avoid this is through non-evasive passive monitoring. Mapping emotions to a controller is another method.
- While games share conventions with films, TV and books, their interactivity provides exclusive opportunities.

Game Mechanics
- Mechanics are the core of the game. They can be categorised into 4 key areas.
  1. Space- The space that players interact with, the boundaries of the game.
  2. Objects- Things that reside within the game space that can be interacted with e.g. characters, items etc.
  3. Attributes- Statistics or components attributed to each object e.g. position, weight.
  4. States- Variables of the attributes e.g. percentage of health remaining.
- Mechanics define what is possible within the game. It is important that they function as intended so the experience is correct, otherwise the player will have a negative experience. This can be as simple as a badly designed control scheme.
Poor Game Mechanics = Frustration = Negative experience
- The best story, visuals and audio design cannot make up for poor game mechanics.
- Bugs are the nemeses of designers, affecting the game with adverse effects and unpredictability.
- Thorough and well-executed design can significantly reduce the number of bugs.
- However, there is no such thing as a bug-free game.
- The best games have had all game-breaking bugs ironed out, along with most aesthetic bugs.

- The plot is essentially the narrative. This can be shaped so that the player is encouraged to experience certain emotions.
- These emotion include:-
  • Triumph
  • Tragedy
  • Romance
  • Horror
- Unlike linear plots, games can allow players to have an active role within the storyline, letting them feel more involved and engaged.
- Characters are useful elements in allowing designers to create an experience. They can be broken down into categories:-
  • Major Characters
  • Secondary Characters
  • Tertiary Characters

- Aesthetics are essentially the visuals and the audio, acting as the bridge between the player and the game.
- They make up everything that is seen or heard in a game.
- Gives designer a chance to 'wow' the player and are essential for creating profound experiences.
- Historically accurate or environments that are loosely based on real-life are more believable by association, allowing for a more profound emotional connection.

Why is reality important?
- Games with believable visuals and audio are generally more immersive, making it easier for players to form an emotional connection.
Stronger Emotional Attachments = More Profound Experiences = More Memorable
- The idea of merging the illusion of authentic experience with reality has been explored greatly over the past few years.
- Over the years, developer have developed tricks and techniques to convince players to become immersed. E.g. in MMOs - Time Invested = Worthwhile Experience = Justified Payment of Subscription/ Extras

- Peripherals are physical hardware which allow players to interact with the game, acting as a bridge between reality and the experience.
- They are often themed to a specific game, e.g. Guitar Hero's peripherals, the Wii Remote
- Future peripherals may go further to blend reality with virtual space, e.g. Google Glass, Occulus Rift, Star Trek style Holodeck etc.

And that about wraps it up. Tune in next week for... whatever we learn then.

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #5: Cloning in Media

As with my Honours Project, I've collected a list of books, films and other media that feature the topic of cloning in some way or form.

1.       Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818)
Novel  about a young man who creates a creature in the shape of a man then rejects it, creating conflict between the two. It has been adapted numerous times, with some less faithful to the original text than others. It features several themes that can be attributed to cloning, such as the responsibility of a creator to the created as well as the folly of trying to ‘play God’
Shelly, M. (1818). Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. United Kingdom, UK: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor & Jones

2.       Jurassic Park (1990/1993)
Science-fiction novel by Michael Crichton where dinosaurs are genetically recreated for an island amusement park, only to escape and cause havoc. Later adapted into a film by Steven Spielberg. Offers a cautionary tale on the implications of using cloning to revive extinct species.
 Crichton, M. (1990). Jurassic Park. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf
Spielberg, S. (1993). Jurassic Park. Universal City, California: Universal Studios

3.       The Boys from Brazil (1976/1978)
A thriller novel by Ira Levin wherein a Nazi Hunter uncovers a plot by a former Nazi scientist who is trying to create a new leader for the fascist movement by creating clones of Adolf Hitler. Two years after its release it was adapted into a film.
Levin, I. (1976). The Boys from Brazil. New York, NY: Random House
Schaffner, F. J. (1978). The Boys from Brazil. California, US: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

4.       Sleeper (1973)
A science-fiction comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen about a man who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up in an inept totalitarian state. It is based on the H.G. Wells book When the Sleeper Wakes, and features multiple elements of science-fiction, including cloning, which is briefly introduced when it is revealed that the leader of the state is dead and his followers are planning to clone him from his nose.
Allen, W. (1973). Sleeper. Century City, Los Angeles: United Artists

5.       Multiplicity (1996)
A comedy film about a man who creates clones of himself to take care of all his responsibilities for him. Not a serious film, but it does include some interesting ideas about cloning, such as how each clone has its own personality and that if a clone is cloned, the resulting offspring has a lower IQ.
Ramis, H. & Albert, T. (1996). Multiplicity. California, US: Columbia Pictures

6.       Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) Philip K. Dick
A science-fiction novel about a bounty hunter faced with ‘retiring’ six androids who have escaped. Though the androids are not actually clones, they are made of organic components and their presence in the book does bring up several themes regarding whether a copy of a human is, in fact, human.
Dick, P. K. (1968). Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? New York City, NY: Doubleday

7.       Blade Runner (1982)
A science-fiction action film loosely based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It features the same general story, themes and characters, only the bounty hunters are called Blade Runners and the androids are known as replicants.
Scott, R. (1982). Blade Runner. California, US: Warner Bros Pictures

8.       Gattaca (1997)
A science-fiction film featuring a future society driven by liberal eugenics, where genetic engineering allows for the creation of genetically optimal children. This has resulted in discrimination from the genetically superior ‘valids’ towards the natural, inferior ‘invalids’.
Niccol, A. (1997). Gattaca. California, US: Columbia Pictures

9.       The Island (2005)
A science-fiction/ thriller film involving a facility of clones used for organ harvesting, surrogate motherhood and other purposes. The clones themselves are raised under the impression that they are survivors of a global pandemic, with a lottery allowing certain individuals to go to a paradise known as ‘the Island’ (in reality, a ruse for the harvesting). The clones are all mentally like children, though the protagonist manages to develop further. The film explores several themes regarding the nature of clones and the ethics of creating them.
Bay, M. (2005). The Island. California, US: Dreamworks Studios & Warner Bros Pictures

10.   Womb (2010)
A film about a woman who gives birth to and raises a clone of her dead partner. Themes regarding the nature of clones compared to their original counterparts and the ethics behind the process are explored.
 Fliegauf, B. (2010). Womb. Germany: Independent film

11.   Never Let Me Go (2005/2010)
A dystopian science-fiction novel about the lives of three characters throughout their lives at a boarding school. It is revealed that they are clones created to provide non-clones with vital organs. It was adapted into a film in 2010.
Ishiguro, K. (2005). Never Let Me Go. London, UK: Faber and Faber
Romanek, M. (2010). Never Let Me Go. California, US: Fox Searchlight Pictures

12.   Judge Dredd
The character Judge Dredd from 2000AD is a clone of the first Chief Judge. He and his brother, Rico Dredd, both had their growth artificially accelerated and were given the name Dredd to ‘instill fear in the population’. The character has also been cloned himself.
Wagner, J. & Ezquerra, C. & Mills, P. (1977). 2000AD No.2. London, UK: Fleetway

13.   Spider-Man: The Clone Saga
A highly controversial storyline from Marvel’s Spider-Man comics that spanned throughout much of the 1990s. It involved a clone of Peter Parker known as Ben Reilly, who is ‘revealed’ to actually be the original while Peter is apparently a clone. It was originally planned to be completed in less than a year, but when the comics began selling well the writers were encouraged to prolong the story as long as possible. The result was one of the most convoluted and despised superhero stories of all time.
Kavanagh, T. & Cavalieri, J. & Dezago, T. & DeMatteis, J. M. & DeFalco, T., (1994-1996). Amazing Spider-Man #394-418/Sensational Spider-Man #0-11/Spectacular Spider-Man #217-240/Spider-Man #51-75/Spider-Man Unlimited #7-14/ Web of Spider-Man #117-129. New York city, NY: Marvel Comics

14.    Metal Gear Solid series
A Stealth-Action videogame series created by Hideo Kojima. In the first MGS, the protagonist, Solid Snake, and antagonist, Liquid, are both revealed to be clones of legendary soldier Big Boss. In the second game, Sons of Liberty, a third clone, Solidus, is revealed. Finally, in the fourth game, Guns of the Patriots, Snake has aged rapidly and only has a year left to live. This is revealed to have been caused by his telomeres being deliberately altered. It is also shown that he and Liquid are not exact copies of Big Boss.
Kojima, H. (1998-2008). Metal Gear Solid/ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty/ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.  Tokyo, Japan: Konami Corporation

Monday, 15 October 2012

DD3992 HONOURS PROJECT #4: King Arthur in other media

For most of my preliminary Honours research, I've been looking into the original legends of King Arthur. This has led me to two websites that contain information on this subject. They are:
1. Brittania: America's Gateway to the British Isles- King Arthur Section
Ford, D. N. (2011). King Arthur: The History, the Legend, the King. Retrieved from Britannia: America’s Gateway to the British Isles since 1996:
2. King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table
Currin, N. & Domini, A. (2001-2012). The Legendary King Arthur- King Arthur & the Knights of the Round Table. Retrieved from

I have also looked at the various versions and adaptations of the Arthurian Legend throughout all types of media. They have included books, films, TV series and even video-games. The ones I have looked at in detail include:

1. Le Morte d’Arthur (1485) Thomas Malory (Book)
A compilation of stories from Arthurian legend collected by Thomas Malory. They detail Arthur’s birth up until his death at the hands of Mordred. It is the best known work based on the legends and is often used as a principal source by modern writers.
Malory, T. (1485). Le Morte d’Arthur. First published by William Claxton

2. The Once and Future King (1958) T.H. White (Book)
A four-part book detailing Arthur’s life from his childhood up to just before his final battle with Mordred. Loosely based on Le Morte D’Arthur. It is noted for White’s reinterpretations of many of the characters; here, Launcelot is instead the ugliest knight and a repressed sadist, Merlin ages backwards and Galahad is so perfect he is considered inhuman.
White, T. H. (1958). The Once and Future King. New York City, NY: HarperCollins

3. The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights (1976) John Steinbeck (Book)
A retelling of the Arthurian Legends based on Le Morte d’Arthur written to be understood by a modern day reader and with more exploration of the characters’ psychology.
Steinbeck, J. (1976). The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux

4. The Sword in the Stone (1963) (Animated Film)
Animated film based on the first part of The Once and Future King. Follows Arthur through his childhood up until he pulls the sword from the stone. Merlin appears as his tutor, appearing like a stereotypical wizard. No other elements from the legends appear.
Disney, W. (1963). The Sword in the Stone. California, US: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution, Inc.

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) (Film)
Comedy film loosely based on king Arthur’s search for the Holy Grail. Arthur, Launcelot, Bedivere and Galahad appear and Excalibur is mentioned. The film follows the knights as they search for the Grail, but hijinks ensue.
Chapman, G. & Cleese, J. & Palin, M & Jones, T. & Gilliam, T. (1975). Monty Python and the Holy Grail. California, US: Sony Pictures Entertainment

6. Excalibur (1981) (Film)
Live-action adaptation of Le Morte d’Arthur. Roughly follows the same general plot of the book, with some minor differences.
Boorman, J. (1981). Excalibur. California, US: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

7. First Knight (1995) (Film)
Live-action film based on the romance between Guinevere and Launcelot. Oddly, it contains no magical elements, so Merlin and Morgan Le Fay are absent. Mordred’s role is taken by another Arthurian villain, Malagant. Notable for displaying an age difference between Arthur (played by Sean Connery) and Guinevere
Zucker, J. & Lowry, H. (1995). First Knight. California, US: Columbia Pictures Industries Inc.

8. Quest for Camelot (1998) (Animated Film)
Loosely based on the legends of King Arthur; Arthur, Camelot, the Round Table, Excalibur and Merlin appear, but no other elements are present. Furthermore, Mordred is replaced by the fictional Sir Rubar.1 major inconsistency is present; Excalibur is shown as the Sword in the Stone, whereas in the original legend this was Caliburn and Excalibur is obtained from the Lady of the Lake
Du Chau, F. (1998). Quest for Camelot. California, US: Warner Bros. Family Entertainment. Retrieved from online video:

9. King Arthur (2004) (Film)
Live-action film that marketed itself as the true version of the original king Arthur legend. In reality, it is full of inconsistencies and historical inaccuracies; Arthur and his ‘knights’ are roman captains, while Guinevere is a Celtic warrior queen and Merlin her father. Excalibur is also just an ordinary sword pulled from the grave of Arthur’s father. Aside from the Battle of Badon Hill at the film’s climax, it bears little or no resemblance to the original legends.
Fuqua, A. & Franzoni, D. & Bruckheimer, J. (2004). King Arthur. California, US: Touchstone Pictures

10. Merlin (1998) (TV Film)
TV miniseries detailing a somewhat faithful adaptation of Arthurian legend from Merlin’s perspective. The majority of the major characters are present and the story follows the same general plot as the legends. However, some details are different; it is Merlin himself that acquires Excalibur from the lake, later placing it within the stone for Arthur, and the wizard’s ultimate fate also differs from the legends. Furthermore, more prominence is given to the conflict between Merlin and the Fey queen Mab. Aside from this, it is more or less the traditional Arthurian legend.
Barron, S. (1998). Merlin. New York City, NY: Hallmark Entertainment (now known as Sonar Entertainment)

11. Merlin (2008) (TV Series)
Loose adaptation of Arthurian Legend presented as a family friendly weekly TV serial. The characters and elements are roughly the same, but many of the details differ significantly. For example, Merlin and Arthur are both the same age and are companions rather than mentor and student. Meanwhile, Merlin’s powers are not widely known, Guinevere is initially a serving girl, Launcelot is a peasant who becomes a knight and later sacrifices himself, while Mordred is a druid rather than Arthur’s bastard son. Furthermore, Excalibur is BOTH the sword in the stone and the sword in the lake (somehow). Currently running through its fifth series, where Arthur’s impending showdown with Mordred is a major plot point.
Jones, J. & Michie, J. & Capps, J. & Murphy, J. (2008-ongoing). Merlin. London, UK: FreemantleMedia

12. Camelot (2011) (TV Series)
A historical fantasy-drama adaptation of the King Arthur legends. It is both faithful to the source material yet attempts to be plausibly realistic. Some minor artistic liberties are taken; Merlin is much younger than he traditionally appears, the sword in the stone is atop a waterfall and known as the Sword of Mars, while Caliburn is a blacksmith who forges Excalibur. Much of the prophecy and mysticism is Merlin’s doing as well. Unfortunately, it only ran for one season.
Chibnall, C. & Hirst, M. (2011). Camelot. Colorado, US: Starz

13. Code Geass / Code Geass R2 (2006) (Anime)
Anime series about an alternate universe where an exiled prince of the Holy Britannian Empire leads a rebellion against his former homeland. Features manned bipedal mecha weapons known as Knightmare Frames. Many of these machine resemble and are even named after some of the Knights of the Round Table; Lancelot features throughout, but Knightmares known as Gawain, Mordred, Tristen, Percival and Galahad also appear. Other terms from the legends are also used, but only as names.
Taniguchi, G. & Okouchi, I. (2006). Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion. Licensed by Madman Entertainment, Bandai Entertainment & Beez

14. Fate/stay Night (2006) (Anime)
Anime series about magi fighting over the Holy Grail. One of the characters is a female version of King Arthur, known as Arturia, who is summoned by the main character to aid him. This explained as history merely remembering her as a man. The rest of the traditional legend remains the same, aside from the fact that Mordred is a homunculus rather than a bastard.
Type-Moon (2006). Fate/Stay Night. Tokyo, Japan: Kadokawa Shoten

15. Sonic and the Black Knight (2009) (Video-Game)
Sonic the Hedgehog game loosely based on King Arthur’s legend. Many traditional Sonic character appear, including Knuckles and Tails, as the characters from the legends, while Sonic is guided by Caliburn, a talking sword. Here, Arthur is a construct created by Merlin that becomes corrupted, while Merlin’s granddaughter Merlina seeks to preserve the kingdom to prevent its inevitable demise.
Sonic Team (2009). Sonic and the Black Knight. Tokyo, Japan: SEGA