Reflection on creating the game: The Historian

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What I’ve learned from this Module is how it facilitates team work and brainstorming creative ideas for students. I’ve learned a lot from this experience especially from my colleagues who were very cooperative and collaborative while brainstorming ideas for this project (educational game). I loved the process of creating this game because it gave us the freedom to go wild in our ideas, but unfortunately the time was short, so we were limited in brainstorming many ideas, but we came up with a game that teaches youngsters about the international history. It was really fun when we were gathering famous names and questions to put in each card, and how to distribute bonus cards to make the game even more exciting and interesting. This experience has taught me a lot about team work and producing a result that one is pleased with. It gave us an amazing feeling when our other colleagues were playing our game and they were having fun and trying to figure out which historic character he/she is. This has fulfilled our purpose of this project, teaching people history, combined with fun and amusement. I’m glad to be part of this teamwork, and I’m also proud to be a part of our game, The Historian. 

My Favorite Game: Online Gaming

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          When I was a lil kid, I used to play board games and card games all the time. It was very amusing like monoply, chess, snake and ladder, UNO, etc. But now as technology merged in, I’ve become a huge fan of digital games, all kinds of them, but my favorite one is “Call of Duty”. What I love about these video games is the difficulty of the game and how it tests your strengths in many different ways. Like for an example, some scenes of the game are moving very fast that you have to adapt to it and become fast responsive, this develops your ability with eye-hand coordinate games. Another example, some missions require critical thinking, “how did that turn into that?”, “How to enter this room”?, these things enhances your ability as an outside thinker. One last example is the teamwork, you have to cooperate with your teammates, think of several alternative strategy plans to overcome a specific level. From my own experience, this has helped me to come up with plan A and B, and know if these plans are solid(good) or not. Although I believe these games are useful and entertaining, however the old games of our generation was much more fun since it was all about socializing and having fun with friends and relatives.
          However, since our new generation has adapted to video games, researches have aided the new generation when they said, “Video games allow players to test out different social scenarios, they can learn how to handle the kinds of conflicts they might face in the real world. This allows players to develop social experiences that can be valuable as they mature. Themes such as power and dominance, aggression, pain, and separation can be rehearsed under non-threatening conditions. This allows players to learn to cooperate and accept their peers”. So finally, I love video games, specially online gaming. Because it has introduced me to a world where all players from different countries around the world, are playing with you. It’s a great experience and more fun when now technology has enabled us to play with friends and relatives from far distances and communicate with them while playing too. It’s like, online gaming is a new language to communicate with people outside your country who share the same interest with you, video games!

Reflection on Tina Seelig’s video (Crash course in creativity)

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         This video defines the touchstone value of Creativity. The presenter, Tina Seelig, has deconstructed Creativity with arranged steps that she had successfully explained. It is true that we don’t really know how to unlock creative ideas, how to enhance our way of thinking, but we do know how to practice in order to achieve that skill. It is exactly the Innovative Engine that Seelig has demonstrated. We have inner factors; Knowledge, Attitude, and Imagination. While the outer factors are; Resources, Culture, and Habitat. These factors are all linked together and construct each other to come up with a unique idea, and implement it. It is about innovation. There are a lot of creative thinkers all over the world, but they don’t have all of these factors available. Let’s break it down, Knowledge is the backbone of any invention, of course we have to read books, study, and learn practically and academically. Knowledge after that, helps building up our Imagination, thinking out of the box as we all say it, trying to see two normal things and assemble them to one unique thing. Then we have Attitude, how do we behave if we are working with other individuals, how do we brainstorm ideas, do we collaborate or cooperate. Those are the inner factors that helps us to enhance our way we think. What I liked about this video is the way Tina Seelig has designed this map, she made Knowledge parallel to Resources because they rely on each other as we have to use our resources efficiently and with knowledge. It is like learning how to fish, and be able to use your river and get your own resources. She had put Attitude parallel to Culture because the atmosphere around us helps to do our tasks, it encourages us to work on something particular. Instead of having a small room with no color and imagination, and we have to think of a plan to design a building for example. It is very critical to build an atmosphere that encourages creativity. Finally, there is the Imagination, parallel to the Habitat. This helps us to become imaginative in our ideas and think beyond, even if it is a crazy idea. But it helps in comping up with lots of great ideas, and then try to put one of them successfully into an application. It is not about asking a elementary student what is 5+5=?. It is about asking the student what ?+?=10. The way we phrase the question is very critical, we should ask ourselves a question that has a lot of answers. To help ourselves become innovates and better thinkers. 

Creative Advertisement (Mercedes Benz – The Journey)

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This is a very smart advertisement for the Mercedes Benz. It’s a story of a little boy who woke up at night all excited to sneak from the house, behind his parents, to walk all night with a smile to the police station, asking the police officer to help him because he is lost so that the officer would drive him back to his house with the new Mercedes vehicle. That is a nice different approach to advertising a comfort of the luxury car. That boy’s smile was priceless when he had to sit in the car. I believed that ad had a suspense in the video because it is not easy to predict that this is an ad for a vehicle, also, the song was very relaxing and sweet, there was even a positive feedback on the song itself. The length of the video wasn’t long, it was reasonable so that the viewer doesn’t lose interest even though he watches it again. So I believe that advertisement was made with intelligence and cautious. Impressive thing that the little boy did all that just to have a ride on Mercedes car. Smart move they did too is, the ad shows at 0:22 there is a BMW car nearby, probably owned by the parents of the little boy, and still he had to all that for a Mercedes’ ride. The Mercedes Company was trying to shoot down the other competitors in a tricky way, yet an impressive way. However, it is great that the video is almost silent, doesn’t have to include conversations to help in expressing itself, just simple and sweet. The creativity in the ad is to make the advertisement speak for itself, instead of saying “Try that product! it is very good and etc.” They just made their advertisement for their car with a silent video which has successfully expressed itself, and made their customers feel psychologically relaxed and pleased with their Mercedes car. So to sum up, lovely music, nice smile with long walk, brand approach with car key, Brilliant!

Reflection on the Nile Project

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It is amazing that 11 countries in the same continent have gathered to create the Nile project through the music and the lyrics. Each country is using its traditional music to show their support of the project. The Nile has nourished lands of human, ecological, and cultural beauty. And each country uses its own melodies to describe their emotions and stories behind the great influence of the Nile. The Nile project was founded in August 2011 by an Egyptian ethnomusicologist Mina Girgis and Ethiopian-American singer Meklit Hadero to address the Nile basin’s culture and the influence on the environmental changes through the brilliance of the African music. The video itself is inspiring because it has previewed each country supporting the Nile project and performing their own melody, which was amazing because no word was spoken in the video, just people from the same region, singing their own stories and happiness. This was a creative way to post a video to the world so inspiring and heart-touching. Creativity has defined the touchstone value of the Nile project and its importance. I recommend you watch the video and take a look at the website too!
http://www.nileproject.org

Define your value!

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If you experienced failure, remember that failure has not come to say, it has come to pass. This is a quote I cherish in my life, it has always helped me to overcome an obstacle, feel good about myself, and always keep moving forward. Because each individual is learning a new thing in his life on daily basis, no matter how old he/she is. We must make mistakes in order to learn from them, and to believe in something and make it happen. We always tend to fear of doing something when someone tells us that it is impossible, sometimes they tell us, “You can not do it.” That is not their call, we shouldn’t obey their rejection and sit there doing nothing. People who want to change something, they neglect all the opinions. Like for an example,

-Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because, his editor said, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
-Bill Gates started a business with Paul Allen called “Traf-O-Data”, which flopped. But then they tried their hand at business again and this time, Microsoft was born.
-Steve Jobs got fired from his own company, but then his return became a triumph.

-Micheal Jordon, “I have missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I have failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Those people had the edge of overcoming the negativity they faced, till they reached their goals. And we all will, if we protect our dreams. This video is one of my favorites, the speech itself is inspiring, hope you too like it. 

Reflection on Creativity and Invention

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This video tells a story about a little boy from Kenya who shares his experience in coming up with a brilliant idea, and implementing it. Richard Turere, tells the story about his family traditions where the animals are sacred in his culture, therefore they respect the living beings. But he encountered several incidents where the lions eat his father’s cattle of cows. The people themselves started to hate lions for killing their cows, so Turere had to come up with alternative solutions to stop this slaughter from happening again. He thought about it and then tried to put a torch near the cows as a way to scare the lions, but that actually gave it a better vision to attack the cows. Turere went to plan B and thought of putting a scarecrow to keep the lions away from the herd. But he noticed that the lions are smart, it felt that the scarecrow isn’t moving, so it continued to attack the herd again. Until one night, Turere had to stay up the whole night with a flashlight, guarding the cows, and he noticed that the lions didn’t make a move when there’s someone walking around with a flashlight. So Turere had this “brilliant” idea!, he took a car battery and a blinker from a motorcycle and did a type of creativity that has to do with deforming the original body, to make a light bulb that flashes from the solar sun stored in the battery. He drew his plan and thought thoroughly till he implemented his drawing to the real world. From my opinion, this boy is a genius! and by genius I mean, creative, not smart in studying and such. And that’s what the world wants, young people thinking with alternatives instead of one. Thinking out of the box, by which I mean deforming the body, just like what Turere did with a car batter and a motorcycle blinker. This boy at last said that he used to hate lions, and now he invented a new thing because of the lions. This is a real lesson, don’t block the things you hate. Who knows? maybe those things you hate, are the reasons to keep you going, or even making you a famous person.

Reflection on “How Ideas come from: By Steven Johnson”

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              Do ideas come from being a solo worker? or it depends? Some people didn’t know the answer of this question, and they thought these ideas happen by chance like Eureka or something. We sometimes feel that. While working in the middle of something, we have this moment “I have an idea!” from no where and frequently, we thought that this moment just happens. Well what about the groups? If you made a poll, where the question is “Where do ideas come from?” and the answers are, “individuals”, or “Group”. You will find votes from both sides. But I personally think that working in groups is way better, because you get to meet people with different thoughts, different ideas, different backgrounds, and different way of thinking, who could help each one of you together to build up an idea. A good idea is like a puzzle, you have to assemble all the different parts together to see it, you can not just see one piece and say, “that’s a good idea.” That was Steven Johnson’s message, to inform the audience, and by evidence, that working together will write down a lot of good ideas better than an individual one. He elaborated that each one of us has his/her “slow hunch” of something that could present a great idea from knowing each one’s hunch. Like for an example, if there’s someone who has a “slow hunch” of encouraging people to exercise, and the other one has a “slow hunch” of saving electricity. If those two sat down together, they could come up with a sort of a bicycle that produces electricity and stores when pedaling. This is an example of what Johnson has said, “Innovation happens when chance favors connecting minds.” He also told an ironic story of scientists who wanted to locate the distance of the satellite, so they sat down and thought of applying the known “Doppler’s effect” equation to determine the distance from just hearing the sound frequency of the satellite. After that, the US told them they want to locate the submarines instead to fire missiles at Moscow during the Cold War. When they found it even easier, they located the position of the submarines ( Which that technique is now called GPS ). After several of years, people use GPS to locate other stuff. Who knew that ironically the people who invented the GPS, were actually helping someone to find a coffeehouse to drink a latte? But however, connecting minds does make a difference!

I’m blue, da ba dee da ba die…

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Even though this song goes back to the 19’s century, I still love the rhythm. The song’s lyrics tell a story about a man who lives in a “blue world”. It is also stated he is “blue inside and outside,” which, along with the lyric “himself and everybody around ’cause he ain’t got nobody to listen”, may indicate that the term blue represents his emotional state. The song even includes a vast variety of what he owns is also blue as a representation of his character. A lot of people got hooked up by this song as each song can describe an individual’s emotion or a characteristic he/she has. Some people think that this song is an audio representation of sadness and anti-socialism. While the others think that this song is sort of, validating your identity like, I’m crazy, I’m happy, I’m lucky, etc…
To me as a person who loves art and music, I find it very influential and melodic sound carrier that can be considered as a message to the people to be who they are, and be proud of it. The lyrics even seem pretty simple for a song that went #1 in 9 countries. But anyway, I like this song, I’m blue!

Reflection on the video, “Kathryn Schulz: on being wrong”.

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At some point when you see this video. You realize how Kathryn Schulz’s speech actually makes sense when it comes to being right or wrong. We don’t claim that we were wrong, we never do, and we don’t want to, because It makes us feel the lack of imperfection towards other people. We even got used to it to an extent that being wrong means you’re not “intellectual” enough according to the other people. But it is fine to be wrong, it is even better than being obsessed of you being always right. Schulz is sending a message to the people that we don’t know what will happen in the future. When we claim that this particular incident will happen, something else happens instead. She said, “We think this one thing is gonna happen, and something else happened instead.” 

What if you’re wrong? What if I’m wrong? Either way, we learn from our mistakes by being wrong. It is the definition of life. Sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re wrong. We learn every day a new thing even if it is the simplest thing, and then the world turns around and keeps astonishing us everyday. I’ve experienced this feeling several times in both my social life and academic life, and I don’t stop even if I’m wrong. I’m not always right, neither is anyone, and this should be fine for all of us. Instead of putting yourself in a small box called “Always Right”, break out from this box, look at the world and the people around you. Look at things from different perspectives not as objects need to be solved. We should implement a specific phrase in our lives to learn to cope with mistakes, which is “Wow, maybe I’m wrong.”