Wednesday, 21 November 2012

DD3000 DESIGN FUTURES #11: Political Influence on Design and the Importance of Ethics in our Culture

Another day, another Design Futures lecture... Wait a second, have I already used that one? Ah well, doesn't really matter. Today's lecture was about the importance of Politics and Cultural Ethics within Design.

Joe began the lecture by showing us some images that were associated with certain political ideologies and figures. These included:-

  • Capitalism - Structured ideology based around the accumulation of wealth
  • Communism - Ideology where everything is shared and everyone is equal (in theory)
  • National Socialism/ Fascism - Dictatorial ideology that promotes national superiority and dominance
  • Nelson Mandela - Political activist against apartheid in South Africa
  • George W. Bush - Former US President and Neo-Conservative. Responsible for the Iraq War and the War on Terror. Had very strong religious views
  • Joseph Stalin - Communist dictator of the USSR during WWII and the beginning of the Cold War. Famous for killing more of his own people than Hitler killed worldwide
  • Margaret Thatcher - Former Conservative Prime Minister of Britain. First female Prime Minister and also known as the 'Iron Lady'
  • Tony Blair - Former Labour Prime Minister. Policies revolved around big spending, which inadvertendly led to the current financial crisis
  • J.F.Kennedy - Former US President during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Assassinated

After that, we were then set a task of researching various games with political backgrounds. These included:-
Balance of Power- Inspired by the Cold War. Take on the role of USA or Soviet Union, similar to Sid Myer's Civilisation series
McDonalds The Game- Management game focusing on business. Advertises company, but also highlights less ethical side.
Vigilance 1.0- Extreme 1984 'Big Brother' scenario. Players use surveilence to look for and punish crime.
Food Force- Education Game that teaches players about world hunger and how to avoid it
Bioshock- The setting and various elements of the game are based on Ayn Rand's beliefs about Objectivism. Actually a subversion as it depicts an Objectist world that has fallen apart
Half-Life 2- The villains, the Combine, represent the oppressive Soviet Union, while the resistance fighters represent freedom and capitalism
Hydrophobia- Conflict between 2 methods of sustainability: technology vs malthusianism (population limitation)

We then finished the lecture by watching part of an Adam Curtis documentary, named The Trap - Part 1: F**k you Buddy!
Be aware the video is about an hour long. It also might not work. I had some trouble uploading it.

And that's a wrap for this week

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