Month: September 2015

Video Games makes Bankers more Reckless?

The article I read was from a magazine called ‘Wired’ the June edition and was written by a woman called Susan Greenfield, who’s research is based around brain physiology. The article is titled ‘Did video games make the bankers more reckless?’. At first I thought this would be another copy and paste article; blaming the violence of video games, saying they’re ruining the world and the cause of everything bad that has been happening etc etc. However after reading the article I found it was much more direct and science based than I originally prejudged.

The article goes on to explain how we are the first generation to have grown up with video games “subjected to prolonged time in front of a screen”. She goes on to explain about the prefrontal cortex; the area of the brain to develop during teenage years, is under-functioning with the schizophrenic and the obese. With these three groups have this under functioning part of the brain, they all tend to take greater risks. This area is not exercised when playing video games.

One example Greenfield used to back up this theory is the case of Phineas Gage, the foreman of a railway gang in the US, in charge of clearing ground to lay tracks, in the 19th century. When using explosives in the ground to create spaces for the tracks, the explosives detonated prematurely sending a tampering iron into Gage’s forehead. Gage survived but when he arrived back to work a few months later. There was a major personality difference. Rather than being friendly as he was before, he was said to have become more reckless. Greenfield states this is due to the brain damage compromising his prefrontal cortex.

Using just that bit of history and science did keep me interested and a bit more convinced than I would of been if she screamed out “Grand Theft Auto is the devil!”. She continues to explain how when we play video games the screen creates shorter attention spans, as all the information is given to you automatically. Also that the thrill in video games to meet the end point of the game (she uses the example of ‘saving the princess’) but it offers no consequences, helping to make gamers more reckless.

Overall, playing a lot of video games gives you less sense of the consequences of reality, makes you more reckless because of the thrill and also because of the multimedia of video games being so easily given to you (visual and audio flashing in front of you automatically) and thus depriving the prefrontal cortex being underdeveloped, this makes bankers today (the first generation to grow up with video games) more reckless.

I found the article very interesting, however not entirely convincing. I did believe what I was being told but not enough to make me believe that if anyone working in the bank I am with, that I should run for the hills. I would also not be convinced to throw out my own video games. To sum it up, I believe you would have to be truly dedicated to playing video games; doing so for years and years, with hours each day for this to have an impact on people, rather than the casual gamers who plays every now and again like me.


Dublin Science Gallery Image


When looking on the website at the exhibition of all the different artworks I found the image ‘Hacking the Universe’ really intrigued me. Created in the Australian National University by Frederik de Wilde, a man living in Brussels who works between the borders of fine art (which he studied in St.Lukas Brussels and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp) and science.

The art piece is about the concept of hacking into the universe. I won’t pretend to understand all the science of it, but it seems like hacking into the way particles react with each other in a low energy state part of the universe (in the article it says; using the quantum field theory). The experiment was done by rendering noise as random numbers to create a visual digital 3D model. They used custom made 3D visualization software, to create the shapes called ‘Quantum Foam #1’ and ‘Quantum Foam #2’. These are the world’s first quantum encrypted 3D printed artworks.

The reason I liked this piece of art is because of the organized chaos aspect of the artwork. The plane (almost like a plane of glass) in the centre, is smooth and clear. The droplet/lumps, appear the opposite of this. They are almost contrasting each other; perfection against imperfection. However because of the pleasantness of the image, I find that they compliment each other, looking at one makes the other appear more interesting.

As an artist who enjoys seeing contrast in other artist’s work, I find that this is why I automatically liked this piece above all the others. To survey this in a very technical way as to why I like it, I would have to put it to the following reasons; the contrast of the plane and shapes, the smooth paint like flow of the shapes and surface of them appearing easy on the eyes and the color palette, consisting of grey and white, not irritating the eyes.

I would show this piece to others I know, although I would definitely prefer the sculpture sitting above my fireplace, drawing attention away from the rest of the room. This is the piece I chose and that is why I like it.

Hacking The Universe

What Independence Means to Me

When I first heard the word independence during class as the theme for my group project, my mind automatically jumped to certain images and thoughts. The main ones being of the 1916 rising or the American Revolution, either photos I remember or images created in my head usually containing the same certain aspects; a man raising a flag, men firing guns and the feeling of anger or rebelling which can be seen in the eyes and expressions of the men. This may be due to my love for history or maybe my Irish heritage and fascination of America, which is making me imagine this, either way this is what I think of when I hear the word independence.

When I think a little longer about the concept of Independence, past the wars between countries, I think about the war on racism and sexism, two things which also take away peoples independence. I find being born in Ireland has really sheltered me from these in a big way, which is not something to be taken for granted. Ireland is multicultural society that has passed a public vote on marriage equality. To compare Ireland to places like Russia; with their strict laws against homosexuality, Eastern countries, where the women are automatically given less rights than men from birth, and the United States of America with their cases of racist police abuse against innocent; due to the color of their skin. This takes away their independence (“not subject to another’s authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free” – independence definition).

I would like my project to either become similar to a history lesson, an interactive concept to make learning about the wars of independence more interesting than reading them out of a book. Or else a view on the independence taken away from others around the world, to help make people aware of the differences between the country we live in and the ones where people are not as freely independent.

Objectified Documentary – 3 Things I Found Interesting

In the documentary ‘Objectified’, I found 3 things in particular very interesting in the world of design. One thing was that I took for granted or had little insight into. This was the amount of handles they had produced all for the same task, but each slightly different; giving them an edge over another handle by the slightest bit.

The second thing I found interesting was the concept of the hamster driving the rumba, I liked this for its originality and the amount of humor I found it. Making it a successful design because it drew me in fascinated.

The third thing I was intrigued by was the talk they had in the film about design having era’s. They were talking about cars having a clear modern design and you could tell by the car the era it came from. Also giving physical objects a human aspect which they used through the face of each car was very fascinating to me because it made cars seem more personal to the owner through its design.