The negative impact of “Cancel Culture” and how it affects our society

Should we cancel the “Cancel Culture”?

The term “Cancel Culture” isn’t new to us, but believe it or not, it only became universal after 2016, and all because of Twitter. When the singer Kanye West released a song that had a sex reference about Taylor Swift that she did not approve, his wife, Kim Kardashian, posted a video claiming the opposite, giving birth to the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsCancelled, which would soon initiate the canceling wave.

That was the first of many similar cases, where someone, usually famous, says or does something that people do not agree with and the internet community decides that they should be “culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform” (Vox).

But how far is the “Cancel Culture” going and what is it doing to our society?

Can the “Cancel Culture” be beneficial?

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that the “cancel culture” is valid a lot of times and it is used as an important tool for political and cultural changes in our society. People that have committed irreparable mistakes should be punished and accountable for the consequences of their actions, and it is extremely important for us to be able to point out those errors and claim justice.

The problem begins when we start putting those people in the same category as people who have said or done something with no intention of harming anyone at all but innocently did. There should be a difference between the “call-out culture” and the “cancel culture”, and the lack of division between those groups of people can be very problematic and irresponsible. 

What are we doing wrong?

On the talk show “The View”, the actress and activist Jameela Jamil, who is known for criticizing the approaches of the “cancel culture” on the internet, said that “[…] we now just cancel everyone and what that’s going to do is, it’s going to devalue progress and stop people from wanting to change because they think they will forever be cast aside because of their one sin from the past that they want to improve from, and if we want people to change we have to show them that there is hope to be reaccepted into our society”.

What I think she means by that is that we end up making people afraid of asking questions, questions that might help them learn in the future and become a better person, because of our attitude towards people that have shared a similar behaviour, consequently slowing down our society’s development and scaring possible allies, which is almost the reverse effect that this culture is trying to achieve.

I believe all criticism is valid and necessary, but it’s essential that it comes with an opening for a dialogue or a discussion, not to justify the mistake, but to educate the person who has committed it. We all make mistakes, but there is always room for improvement and if someone demonstrates that they are actively trying to change, they should be given that option instead of getting shutted down.

How can we change it?

It’s safe to say that we are all more educated today than we were five years ago, and that’s completely normal, we’re constantly learning and evolving, and that’s what makes us human. As the progressive Aaron Rose pointed out to Vox, by rejecting the urge of canceling people, we’re not giving up on accountability, we’re just simply defending the idea that people are not incapable of compassion and change.

The way I see it, the issue is when someone is constantly unaccountable and has the privilege and opportunity to change but refuses to do so. With that, I do realize it’s easier to condemn people than ideas, especially ideas that are embedded in structures that we still have today, but I’m much more interested in the root causes as opposed to the symptoms. 

In the words of the television host Trevor Noah, for the Breakfast Club Power radio station, “as a society, what do we hope to do with people who have wronged us? Do we wish to banish them of civilization or do we wish to educate them, inform them, punish them when necessary, and then rehabilitate them and have them come back into our society?”

We often don’t realize the power that the internet has and how platforms like Twitter have given voice to many marginalized people around the world. The “cancel culture”, for a lot of those people, it’s a way of using the only power we have, the one of ignoring the other, to force the people who are in actual positions of power to do something, but we have to be very careful not to undermine it.

The Power of Twitter in the News World

(Picture by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget)

It’s no surprise that Twitter is one of the most powerful social media nowadays when it comes to sharing information with one another. But how did a website that wasn’t originally designed for the purpose of news become so reliable when it comes to verifying information?

First of all, due to its wide accessibility, Twitter has a much more practical way to consume news when compared to newspapers, for example. So, is that enough to make people use it as their main source of information? Let’s break it down a little.

Real or fake?

One of the biggest issues with getting your information from online platforms is that we are often not sure if the source we are using is trustworthy or not.  With Twitter, there are some tools that can help us manage that better, such as verified accounts, headlines, trends and hashtags.

Verified Accounts

Almost every single company will have an official Twitter account, especially big news organizations. Why? Well, it’s a fast and easy way to post any kind of content, and the ability of knowing if an account is verified or not allows you to identify the accuracy of that information.

Now, that’s easier illustrated with business once they don’t usually post fake content about their own brand, but with news that can be a little tricky. Thankfully, Twitter has around 25% of verified journalists, which can guide you through searching what information is real or fake.

In fact, 75% of Twitter users get their news from the platform, being the majority Millenials and Gen Z, who represent around 65% of all users. Being able to select the kind of content directed to you is something that the newer generations have found very suiting. 

On top of that, Twitter users are able to interact and to see other people’s interactions with a post when they click on it. Those interactions can be helpful for the public to collect more information about a determined subject and for the companies to analyse their response to it.

Headlines

Twitter is also well known for allowing a limited number of characters on a post. Some of you might be familiar with the term “clickbait”, which is used to define headlines that immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them want to click on the link to know more about it. 

On Twitter, headlines considered “clickbaits” end up being the most effective ones, due to the flow of engagement of the users when on the platform. But then again, if the clickbait is fake, that could ruin a company’s reputation, so you might want to be careful with that.

Trends and Hashtags

Another useful tool on Twitter is the tab located right beside your timeline, called “trends”. Trends are purposefully directed to your location, interests, and the accounts you follow, so that the user can easily find or search for anything at any given time.

When it comes to promoting news content, just like any other social media platform, Twitter takes advantage of the famous “hashtags”. Hashtags are probably the easiest way to get some extra attention to a certain post or subject people have been talking about lately.

According to the website Oberlo, Twitter users spend an average of 3.39 minutes per session on the platform, so the expectations are high when it comes to quickly finding what they are looking for. That’s why hashtags are so important for both the public and the companies in the business.

Other News Features

As pointed out by the website My GSC, Twitter “is now known for its up-to-the-minute communication from reputable “breaking news” accounts” due to features such as live news broadcasts and placing breaking news tweets at the top of user timelines (Forbes).

The Future of News

It is still early to say if Twitter will eventually overcome the traditional massive media communication platforms, such as Television and Radio, but its influence in the news world leaves no doubt that the competition will only get tougher with time. 

The Future Of Entertainment

Make a choice: Do you want to engage with your media passively or actively?

[Source Photos: THE POST- RILEE LOCKHART- example of the choice.]

Interactive storytelling is a form of digital entertainment in which the story line is not predetermined. The author creates the setting, characters, and situation which the narrative must address, but the user experiences a unique story based on their interactions with the story world.This allows us to build complex narratives that include loops, guiding viewers back to the main story when they strayed too far, giving them a chance of a do-over.

NETFLIX BRANCHES OUT

The December 2018 premiere of Netflix’s Black Mirror Bandersnatch offered consumers a new way to experience the entertainment they’re watching. What viewers might see as a simple choice, such as which breakfast cereal a character begins the day with, could affect the whole show’s story line. There are other choices to make as well, some of which change the plot, and some of which may not.

Viewers aren’t watching these interactive films just once. Rather, they are watching them over and over again to find each ending and post maps of the plot lines. I think I sat on my couch for nearly three hours straight trying to find all of Bandersnatch’s choices as it followed a programmer and designer through the process of game development.

[Source Photos: ETSY- dice used in DnD to play an interactive storytelling game.]

CONTROLLING YOUR OWN DESTINY

Dungeons & Dragons provides a way to understand and expand what Bandersnatch explores. Role-playing games let players pick characters with multiple traits, such as strength, health and special skills, and work together to achieve story-driven goals.

Role-playing games started with players gathered around a table, keeping notes on paper and rolling dice to incorporate the role of chance and probability into the adventure. A human game master coordinated everything, keeping track of what was happening and working with players to advance their stories and the overall plot of the adventure.

ILLUSION OF CHOICE

With Bandersnatch, Netflix used software to process viewers’ choices and deliver the appropriate video. When watching and “playing,” I wondered if there were too few choices. The show offered only two choices of breakfast cereal, and the viewer couldn’t choose to skip breakfast, make eggs, or open the freezer to grab some ice cream. But maybe there’s a very good reason for these constraints.

FUTURE OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

There will be more interactive movies. Netflix has built its own software for Bandersnatch, which it can use for other stories too. There are already several addictive interactive kids’ shows, including Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck.

Gamers are already familiar with this style of film, interactivity, and branching narrative. Cinematic video games, like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, let players make choices in dialog and other cinematic aspects, all of which alter the endings. 

As technology continues to grow and expand, so do movies. Choosing your own ending adds a twist and excitement to entertainment today and will be the future of Media. 

Foldable Phone

The Future of Folding Screens

With all the new “foldable phones” will this become the new industry standard?

With companies like Samsung and Motorola coming out with their new foldable flagship devices we are seeing a new trend come to the phone market that may become the new standard. So far this trend has only popped up in recent years and everybody is still testing things out. The question is are they worth the extra $1000 premium and does their functionality make it that much better than what we are used to?

What purpose do they serve?

The whole idea of foldable phones is either to fit more screen size into your pocket or make the same size screen we are used to a smaller form factor but do we really need that?
The problem with this concept is that these foldable phones are becoming almost 3 times the size of regular phones causing you to either need big pockets or a separate way of carrying it. What do you get in return? Slightly more screen space or the same screen space that becomes about as useful as a normal phone. The whole idea of the Motorola Razr and Samsung galaxy z Flip is just to make a normal phone half the size but because of the physical requirements of battery and screens, you get a much bulkier option to fix a problem that isn’t there.

Are they strong enough?

The first flagship foldable phones from Samsung were released to influencers to review them and within days creators like Marques Brownlee either accidentally broke them or had dust get in the hinges of the device ruining the screen. Marques explains more in this video.
Now while the second rendition of the phone is shown to improve the dust issue. The screens are still fragile. Samsung said they improved their screen by adding glass to it in their new “Z Flip” as their screen was previously made out of soft plastic, But under further review by phone repairman JerryRigEveryting in this video, it is shown it is a very thin sheet that does not add any scratch resistance to the device.

Should they become the new standard?

So should we all have folding phones in our pockets? As of right now with the technology we have the short answer is no. With the future ahead though it is very likely we will see every company try a rendition of this and who knows maybe it will get better. Right now however I don’t think that it is worth it to be spending an extra $1000 that is a lot more likely to break from everyday use with normal wear and tear and that is not that functional to an ordinary user. If you are a big baller and can afford to buy or repair a phone after every trip to the beach? then sure maybe these are the phones for you, but as it stands these phones are really just talking points that make your phone experience likely worse if not terrible.

Hatsune Miku – A Virtual Sensation

Hatsune Miku is a world renowned pop star. Having done live concerts internationally and she’s been officially featured in an estimated total of 1,764 songs and 977 albums.

She’s sung music of almost each and every genre, and her “net worth” is approximately between $2.3K and $3K.

But the thing about Hatsune Miku that sets her apart from all the other pop stars out there in every which way, is that she isn’t real!

Image result for hatsune miku live
Miku performing live as a hologram. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJwGWV914kBlV4dKRn7AEFA

Hatsune Miku is a singing voice synthesizing software developed by Crypton Future Media, with a voice based from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita. A software that exists for the purpose of providing a singing voice that can be manipulated by anyone who owns the software. Essentially, she’s an electronic vocal simulator, based on a human voice. And given the image of an anime girl for marketability.

Approximately 6 million copies of the Miku Vocaloid software have been sold worldwide. Earning a total of approximately $120 Million+ USD (both in software sales and music).

With that many copies sold you can expect that there’d be a lot of songs created with her voice, and you’d be right! “Officially”, she has around 1,764 songs, but that’s not even counting the “unofficial”. If you count every song ever posted, you’d have a number closer to 100,000. And after the release of her english version, her international availability skyrocketed, only causing her numbers to increase. 

Image result for hatsune miku vocaloid
Hatsune Miku Vocoloid version 3, English edition. https://ec.crypton.co.jp/pages/prod/vocaloid/cv01_us

Of course, Miku isn’t the only Vocaloid, but she is the most popular. Other popular vocaloids created by Crypton Future media include Rin&Len (a duo), Luka, Kaito, and Meiko. They often accompany Miku during her concerts, and perform songs of their own.

Despite the fact that Miku isn’t real, she has performed at live concerts worldwide. 

Now how might a computer program perform “live” if she isn’t real? Well, with top of the line holographic technology, Crypton has made it possible for Miku to hold live concerts where she performs several of her more popular songs. Each of her animations for every concert are uniquely created by animators, so that no two concerts are the same. 

From the perspective of the average individual, this would all look extremely strange. Large amounts of people celebrating an artist that isn’t actually real. But Miku’s fanbase is vast and very dedicated, and when looking at how her songs are created, it becomes a bit more clear as to exactly why that is.

All of her songs, save for a few, are produced by independent artists who own the Vocaloid software. While there are a ton of legal troubles, especially when we get into the huge kerfuffle that is software piracy, Crypton has developed a fairly solid system for content produced by fans, by having a website dedicated to fan/customer creations.

https://piapro.net/intl/en_for_creators.html

A fanmade song can become “official” and even used in concerts if it’s popular enough, and meets certain standards. 

With that in mind, this means that theoretically, anybody who owns the software has the potential of producing a song that gets officially recognised by Crypton. Because of this, a very strong community has been formed amongst Miku’s fanbase, since a majority of the people producing her music are also her fans.

A wonderful example of Miku’s closely knit community would be when the popular music artist Wowaka, who was largely known for the songs he created using Hatsune Miku, passed away from heart failure at a young age. Both fans of Wowaka and Miku all around the world made memorials and tributes to him.

Even Crypton themselves during the 2020 Miku expo in London paid tribute to Wowaka. When Miku performed “Rolling Girl”, a song produced by Wowaka, it was preceded by a message thanking Wowaka, and the crowd can be heard chanting his name. 

Then during her performance she was given the same model and animation that she had during her very first performance of the song.

Wowaka tribute showcased in the 2020 Miku expo in London.

With a community as interconnected as this, it isn’t difficult to see why Miku’s popularity is as immense as it is. Miku, and Vocaloid in general, is quite possibly one of the most interactive pieces of modern technology ever. With pretty much her entire image being built from the ground up by the community. Crypton Future Media are the ones who made the technology, but it’s the fans and individual producers that made Hatsune Miku who she is today. Not just a virtual pop star, but an interactive one.

MINECRAFT LIBRARY OF UNBANNED JOURNALISM

Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières, are leading a unique movement inside the well known game Minecraft, based around placing blocks. With more than 250 million players each year, the game has for thee first time been considered as a hub of free speech.

Birds Eye View of the library. Source

Governments around the world bring down the “ban hammer” on journalistic freedoms, with the attempt to censor their local and national press, a virtual library has been created to host articles written by journalists which were censored online.

The players are storing worldwide news for the public through a creative loophole, using ingame mechanics and books to preserve articles from around the world.

Library Entrance. Source

“Inside, you can find articles and information about the journalists that are being censored in their own countries,” said Robert-Jan Blonk, senior interactive producer at production company MediaMonks, which helped build the library, in an interview with Fast Company. “We share these stories through the books that live in that library, and people can just openly read them, because even in the countries… where these journalists are from, you’re able to play Minecraft.”

The library itself, which also received some design help from design studio BlockWorks and creative agency DDB Germany, features a fantastic circular rotunda with flags from countries around the world, off of which you can find each of the wings in the library organized by country.

All Readers and gamers can also choose to download the game and map, and for example “walk” their characters into the Russia wing, pick up a book, and read an article from grani.ru, a blocked site in Russia that reports on the government and protests in the country.

Book withing the Library being viewed by a player.

Even the work of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist assassinated by Saudi agents in 2018, can be accessed and read among the overabundance of books in the library.

The contents of the library can not be changed by players; however they can add more. If a repressive government tries to shut down the server hosting the game, other servers and hosting backups can take over in its place according to Fast Company.

“With so many people playing the game, there’s always a version live, so they cannot take it down,” says Blonk.

According to BBC The server can hold a maximum of 100 players at a time, making it extreemly hard to acces because of the sheer number of players trying to log on at once. Despite this cap, the server been visited by 3,889 players from 75 different countries and the world has been downloaded over 7,000 times.

Statue of “Reporters Without Borders” Symbol. Source

The library itself has been created with an impressive scale. Because of its enormous size, multiple teleports have been set up so visitors can avoid getting lost while exploring. The first thing you see as you approach the structure is statue of a fist holding a pen the official Reporters Without Borders symbol for press freedom.

As far as all digital hosts, for any kind of sensitive information go, The Uncensored Library in Minecraft is the first of its kind. Safeguarding information within an online video game is an idea that definintely has never come up before.

Check out the The Uncensored Library – The Film Created by the RWB.

Lady typing on a laptop.

Standout Layouts by Using In-Design

InDesign is Adobe’s software which is used for creating Magazines or designing pages for print and web. Attractive typography and graphics can be created in InDesign. 

Ever since I beginning school, I was very fascinated by Magazine Layouts and wanted to know how these designs are created. But in my IMA program at ACC, I get to know about the techniques which are used to create attractive layouts. As well as some software which is used to make designs and one of the good software is InDesign which I liked the most.

After Photoshop and Illustrator, we learn InDesign which was part of our Digital Design program in IMA. I did some work on In-design such as magazine layouts, Facebook and Instagram covers. Not only in Digital Design but it is also used in the Visual Communication program. Nowadays, I am working and learning the InDesign software in Digital Imaging and Graphics Program.

With this software, users can learn about layers and how to work with layers, create and edit text frames, move, scale and crop graphics. Additionally, users can also learn how they can adjust the space between frames. InDesign is also useful for adding captions to graphics frames or shapes such as circle, square and others. Users can add not only text but also images into frames, adjust the text around the object. After that, they can resize the shape of the frame and content to fit as their choice.  

With the help of different tools in InDesign, users can create simple or basic shapes and convert the shapes into complex graphics. In-design allows the user to import, PNG, JPEG, PICT, PDF, PSD, TIFF, and EPS, and the user can set the transparency setting of images or other graphics.

InDesign works on spreads and master pages, which is helpful for creating Magazine layouts. InDesign also provides templates for different layouts like books, magazines, web pages as well. Users can select any of them because most are free provided and they just need to put their own text and images in those, which is very easy to use, and tutorials are also available.

Users can also make a margin and bleeds when printing at the end or beginning of the design. InDesign works on both either RGB or CMYK. Which are very useful for any format for web or printing. InDesign is very similar to Illustrator, but it may not be widely used as Illustrator used, while it is also an excellent software for creating Magazine layouts.

I love to work on InDesign. In many documents, it is very flexible and easy to use. I am just using the theory of ACC “Learn by doing” and getting experience.

AE

How to Place Video in Text or Shape in After Effects

Adobe After Effects is a creation of digital visual effects and motion graphics such as titles and animation or visual effects such as compositing, explosions, lightning, etc. In a video editor, you can cut things, rearrange things, adjust the audio, adjust the panning, etc.

In addition to using complex camera movements and unconventional angles, having stellar visual effects and eye-catching can also be very useful for capturing the attention of your audience. An interesting graphic technique commonly used by filmmakers is to play video within a form or block of text. As complicated as this trick may seem initially, it is actually very simple to do it within Adobe After Effects.

So, if you are someone who is looking to try this technique in one of your next projects, do not miss this video, which will guide us through the process of composing a video in the framework of a way or text.

To begin, you must create a new composition within After Effects according to your own project/video specifications. Then, continue adding a new solid layer while choosing a suitable color for the background.

Next, you’ll create a shape or text layer of your choice, just make sure that the item you created is on a separate track (that is, do not create a masked shape in your background layer). As a side note, if you want to align your newly created graphic to the center, go to the alignment panel on the right side where you can adjust the desired position accordingly. Once you’re done with your graphical element, import your video clip into After Effects and place it into the composition, positioned below your shape/text layer.

In the timeline, navigate to the Track Matte settings and click the drop-down menu on your video layer’s Track Matte Properties. Of the available options there, you’ll want to select the Alpha Matte (form layer name here). As a result, your footage will automatically take on the form of your shape & text layer. 

If you want to go further with this effect, you can experiment with other Track Matte options. 

Optionally, you can link all your layers using the Parent & Link function, which can be quite useful when you want to animate the graphics and make your video more visually appealing by adding movement to your entire composition. Just be patient, take your time, be creative and see what else you can bring to the table using this simple but extremely effective composition technique.


IMA’s Tools

The Interactive Media Arts program is a course at Assiniboine Community College. It covers a wide variety of material in many different applications that can achieve all kinds of results.

The majority of applications we use in the IMA program are all a part of Adobe Creative Cloud. So far the only exception is in Web Design. For creating images we use Photoshop and Illustrator, for creating videos/animations we use Premiere Pro and After Effects, for audio we use Audition, and for layouts we use InDesign.

Photoshop, in the most simple of terms, is a much more refined and complex version of Paint, but it has much more than just brush and eraser tools. There are dozens of tools and dozens more complicated features.

In Illustrator you can make images in a much different way than Photoshop. As you zoom in on an image, you will eventually zoom in far enough to see that the image is made up of squares. But images created in Illustrator are made of vectors and no matter how far you zoom in, they won’t blur until you export them. Illustrator does have less complicated filters and editing tools than Photoshop since working in vectors works a computer much harder than if it was using pixels.

Premiere Pro is meant for lengthier and more professional productions such as movies, shows, and documentaries. It has many tools, some in common with Adobe Audition but only the most basic. Since they are all a part of Adobe though, they all work well together and you can easily edit a sound in Premiere using Audition.

After Effects is meant for smaller animations or productions such as simple commercials and animations. It is simpler and easier to use than Premier Pro since in After Effects you are usually making the footage yourself where as in Premiere Pro you are primarily editing already acquired existing footage.

Audition is meant for all sorts of audio editing or creations. You can lengthen or shrink, cut or add, simplify or complicate any sounds you want. Programs like this are how movies create incredible roars for non-existent creatures by layering over and prioritizing aspects of similar real life creatures. You can also use Audition to turn certain sounds into something completely different than the original.

InDesign isn’t particularly meant for anything specific. You can use it to quickly put together a general layout for a website or brochure, or use it to make every page in a book look similar with the same formatting quickly.

The variety of applications we use is amazing and each of them are so incredibly complex with endless ways to utilize them.

Person wearing two different shoes

Hybrid Designers – why you CAN have it all

The usual order of a web design process goes like that: designers take care of the looks of a website and developers put those plans into reality. But then there are those professionals who can’t just do one thing for the rest of their lives. Deciding between the two sides comes hard to some people. And if you’re into both of these fields, then what even are you?

“You’re a hybrid designer, Harry…”

OK, maybe that’s not exactly how it goes in the movie, but you get the point. One article by Ashley Gainer sums it up nicely: “Very few designers will actually design a site and then code it from scratch. And those designers who do aren’t really designers at all. They’re hybrids.” Because designing and coding often seem like two different worlds, it’s not easy to find people who have both of these approaches packed into one brain. That’s also why they earned the special name “unicorns.” “Many believe they exist, some know someone who hired one, few claim they saw one in the past, always in strange circumstances” – says Katherine Martinez, a UX designer and developer.

Not an actual unicorn / Photo by mark glancy from Pexels

Why are hybrids so special?

Let’s dig deeper. There must be something great about them besides the fact that they’re hard to find, and there is. Hybrids see the web design process from a very different perspective. They can, at the same time, think about the looks and the mechanics of what they’re creating, which allows them to reach that sweet spot, that perfect balance between what’s possible and what they want to be possible. This is the kind of thinking that has the potential to save a company lots of time and money, which is why hybrids are so in-demand.

Reasons to become a hybrid

Well, as mentioned, one reason to become such a curious creature is for those big companies to fight over you. “One-stop shops and hot commodities” (again said by Martinez) – that is what the startup world sees when they think of hybrids. Job prospects are pretty sweet in this case. But money shouldn’t be your biggest influence here. Besides a decent income, being a hybrid designer seems to be the perfect option for people who would die of boredom doing just one thing all the time. Also, it’s kind of cool to be able to create the whole deal from top to bottom on your own. There’s something really satisfying in being knows as the “digital Swiss army knife professional” (Martinez yet again).

A possible view into your future / Photo by OVAN from Pexels

But after all…

However exciting being a hybrid designer seems, it’s not the only right, universal option to choose. We don’t all have to be well-versed in every possible direction – that would be insane! Focusing on what feels right for you should be the goal. You can be a die-hard HTML fanatic who’s having a hard time choosing colour palettes. You can be a design master, severely disturbed by any type of computer code. And maybe it’s better that way. Otherwise, instead of unicorns, we would just have a ton of people hating their jobs, and that would make keeping up the “nice Canadian” stereotype really, really hard.

A VR Experience

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a frigid January when I found my friend Eddie knocking on my door at my home in Roblin about 3 years ago.  Welcoming my friend in the door I noticed he had this huge mysterious box. He was ecstatic and speaking so fast I was having trouble catching anything he had to say. 

Setting the box on the kitchen table he finally slowed himself down and began setting on the table the components of the box of mystery:  

  • A hardcore laptop
  • A big high-tech headset
  • Some stick hand controllers
  • Lots of wires
  • Package padding
Fig 1 Photo credit BestBuy

It’s Finally Happening & I’m Excited

I was growing in excitement as he laid things out.  I had heard so much about VR (virtual reality) but hadn’t actually any real first hand experience.  This was going to be my first time and thankfully I had the rest of the evening free to do whatever I desired.

Fig 2 Picture credit Playstation VR

Hooking everything up and powering up the experience was the easy part.  The hard part was clearing out enough space so nothing could get broken or anyone hurt.  Then it began… a sensation comes about as the immersive experience takes hold. I felt like I was almost in another world and it was pretty neat to say the least.  

But How Are The Controls?

The controls were very responsive and I had little trouble quickly adapting to the way of things.  Transitioning from traditional hand-eye control using controllers and a screen, I saw the appeal that VR would have to anyone but knew instantly that it would not replace the old ways at all.  VR games can really wear on the user’s stamina and alot more energy is exerted in order to play. Although there are a lot of advantages and benefits to this playstyle, I believe most people will burn out quickly and resort back to their old systems in the long run.  

A Relaxing Simulation Experience

The VR experience does not just encapsulate gaming though.  I used it as a simulation and just laid back and listened to the music while staring into the sea in my headset, it truly was a relaxing and amazing experience.  Next I tried floating in space. It became apparent to me that this technology goes beyond gaming and could be used educationally or as an outlet to destress or reflect.

Fig 3 Photo credit PCGamer

The Conclusive Results Are In…

Truly this new technology can help us carve a new path in how to educate ourselves better in a lot of fields.  At the same time it serves a purpose as a form of entertainment and gaming. Lastly, after my own experience, I see how this technology can be applied to treating people who are stressed out and/or depressed.  An escape, a way to educate, and a gaming platform, I look forward to the evolution of VR.

Experiencing Virtual Reality for the first time

Virtual reality is a very exciting piece of technology that is improving and getting better since it’s introduction.

Image from Pexels

Virtual Reality or for short, “VR”, is a headset that sits on your head or depending on which piece VR you own, you might hold it to your face. Trying VR for the first time can be scary because it’s a piece of technology you have never tried. But rest assured it’s perfectly safe for those who don’t suffer from motion sickness. Once you get past these hurdles it can be an amazing and exciting experience.


Once you start to get the hang of VR and start to understand it, it can become one of your favorite things to do on your free time. There are plenty of games that you can buy for the VR, From puzzle games, adventure games, and of course horror games; though I recommend to people who can handle horror games and movies because getting jump scared and throwing your controller at the TV isn’t the best thing to happen.

What is Virtual Reality?

For those who might be confused or simply don’t know what Virtual Reality is, VR is a technology that creates a simulated environment or world. It tracks your head movements and displays it within the simulated world, Creating the feeling that you are present within it. It’s really exciting stuff especially when you see for yourself and if you’re are thinking of buying a VR for yourself, there is the Oculus Rift and PSVR. The PSVR requires that you own a PS4, but other then that once you have it you are ready to set up you own VR.


My first time experiencing VR

My first time trying VR was when I purchased my own VR set which was the PlayStation VR. The game I played was “Deracine”, which was one of the best VR game experiences. The story was well written and game-play was fun. Once I got into the game I was captivated by the buildings and characters. It was so interesting to see the characters talk and move, and at times felt funny because they felt so real when they weren’t.

The second game I tried was a horror game called “The Persistence”. It involves you drifting through space on a space station that is getting swallowed by a black hole, and you have to escape but the ship is surrounded by crazy zombies. It was a very fun and scary game, especially in VR. if you think you can tackle this VR game I recommend it.

design on the computer

Affinity V.S. Adobe

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign… These are our Industry Standard programs for design illustration, and layouts… but why? There are so many alternatives out there for cheaper, and that have better features. There are several companies that are constantly developing and improving their programs. So the question is: will Adobe be able to keep up and keep their users invested even with the high monthly or yearly fee? Or will they get ran over by competitors in the next ten years?

Adobe programs are taught in design and art schools for good reason. A very large portion of the creative media industry makes use of these programs everyday. There is a major discount for students and teachers which influences the continued use of it in schools. Adobe is professional, and has many good related services for licensing fonts, choosing the right color palette, and stock images. They’re all at the fingertips of anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription. But there are many downsides to Adobe.

Issues with Adobe:

If you’re using older versions of Photoshop, Adobe can sue according to an email many users with older versions received. I highly doubt they will sue every person, but nevertheless the intent is there. Let people use their ancient CD’s man.

Subscriptions partially make sense. They prevent piracy, makes getting updates for programs much easier, and lowers the price overall compared to their old box set says Adi Agashe. But what will they do when a competitor offers a one time purchase for every update? Affinity is around the corner, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Here’s why Affinity is charging in like a ox:

Within five years, Affinity has been catching up to Adobe’s tail, and excelling in some ways. The price point is a huge deal. All of Affinity’s programs are a one time cost of $69.99 for each. They only have 3 programs out at the moment; Affinity Photo, Designer, and the newest one, Publisher. These three are all comparable with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

Affinity Designer Interface

Most of the IMA students are aware of the great capabilities of the Adobe programs, but there are many great things in Affinity’s software as well.

A few features Affinity has over Adobe from the help of Photography-Raw, and Affinity Revolution:

  • Affinity has the feature that saves your undo history even after the app is closed, so you can go back to a version if need be
  • Live brush preview; so when you hover your brush over something, you can see the changes it will make
  • Live previews for blend modes and gradients
  • More customizable interface
  • Cheaper

Affinity is constantly improving, but Adobe is still a powerhouse. Both are great in their own ways. I think Adobe needed this competition to hopefully push them further, but I hope to see Affinity take the crown some day.

What are your thoughts on emerging programs in our creative field?

Strategies on self-regulated learning at Assiniboine Community College

College can be overwhelming for some students and can be challenging to adapt to. Here is some helpful tips supporting your needs at college to make it a safer environment for you!

Just keep things simple, be yourself and College should be just fine.

10 things on how to start off College right!

  1. Being on time for class/school. – Be reliable and responsible for your classes.
  2. Improve on your work – take good and bad feedback, you can always learn from your mistakes.
  3. Know where your classes are – know the location and room number of your classes.
  4. Don’t plagiarize – cite or reference your work and make sure your work isn’t someone else’s.
  5. Don’t procrastinate – leaving assignments last minute
  6. Stay organized – make sure your file structure is organized
  7. Show interest – be grateful for your education, some people don’t have the opportunity.
  8. Make sure you got the right tools and supplies – binders, usb drives, external hard drives, laptop or PC, notebooks, pens and pencils etc.
  9. Make friends – with fellow students in class or other programs also Instructors.
  10. Be yourself – just don’t impersonate anyone, everyone is unique on their own way. I would suggest being yourself is a better way to present yourself.

How to become more professional while attending College!

  • Be on time or ahead for classes and meetings.
  • Act as a reliable student with time and management – Know your times and days for classes. (Use google calendar)
  • Be respectful for everyone in college: Students, Instructors, Employees, Visitors etc.
  • Pay attention in class – put your cell phone on silent (keep phone on silent or turn it off), make eye contact – show your listening and understanding the information the Instructor is providing you with.
  • Ask for help, It can draw a lot of unwanted attention towards a student while asking for help but just don’t suffer in silence (sos).
  • Come to class prepared – Be on time, have your laptop/computer on you and be ready to take notes – if they are helpful for you.

How Assiniboine Community College can help you improve your learning skills

Assiniboine Community College has a lot of supports such as the learning curve centre. The learning curve supports you with:

Academic Needs: The learning curve supports you with college work! heres how.

  1. Learning strategies – Good note taking, organizing your work, setting goals and also helping with test preparation for test anxiety. They are also helpful with memory techniques and assisting you on finding out your learning style to help you shape yourself into a great student.
  2. Writing Assignments – Researching and Planning, Developing thesis statements and also with editing and proofreading. Learning curve also helps with many math courses and any program studies.
  3. Computer Skills – They help get familiar with a computer and Microsoft applications.
A women looking stuck on an assignment, She should of juts made an appointment at the Learning curve.

The Interactive Media Arts Program

The Interactive Media Arts program is a course at Assiniboine Community College. It covers a wide array of material so taking this course gives you a large list of selections for potential career paths to pursue.

There are classes for audio editing, writing skills, coding, art history, video editing, and creating digital images all using the latest software available from Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

In audio, you don’t just learn about editing it. You’ll learn how to professionally record audio and about the many tricks using Adobe Audition, while learning the history and techniques of sounds used in movies, video games, and other entertainment industries. Such as Foley sounds. Foley sounds are when you recreate a sound using easier to manage means. For example, bacon while it’s sizzling sounds incredibly similar to pouring rain.

In writing skills, you learn the proper way to write business emails, emails, and how to conduct yourself during an interview in this industry. As well as how to properly fill in an accident form. The business world is sophisticated and complicated but in writing skills we learn how to decipher all that and how to use it ourselves.

In coding, you learn how to create websites. Everything from just the simple text to the search and form boxes that users will fill out. There are many ways to reach each solution and never just one right path to follow.

In art history, you learn how art became what it is and how vast and varied each form of art can be. And how it tied in with current political drama or important events in each time period. As well as many important artists, their works, and how they impacted artists around them and the art community as a whole.

In video editing we also learned about photography and industry level filming techniques as well as how to put together footage using Premiere Pro. Lighting techniques, how to set up and use a camera, what each setting in a camera means and how to tweak it to reach your desired effect.

In digital design you will create all sorts of projects using all sorts of Adobe programs. Pamphlets in Photoshop, logos and icons in Illustrator, animations in After Effects, and company cards in Indesign. By far, the most creative and artistic class.

The variety of classes is amazing and each class itself gives so many creative outlets in its projects.


illustration design

Incredible Black & White Typography

Adobe Software Photoshop and illustrators are frequently employed by advertising companies, editorials and graphic design firms. Typical duties of an Adobe Photoshop & illustrator include ideas for brainstorming, sketches, creation of draft illustrations, discussion of ideas with co-workers and completion of illustrations.

If you are still learning the basics of design or want some quick and easy text ideas to improve your printed designs, these beginner tutorials will be very useful. In your lessons you will learn how to apply 3D textures and effects, create logos, use masks and other simple techniques to improve your text.

Creating art with words will never die, no matter how advanced our image-taking capabilities bring us. When paper with moving images such as a computer screen becomes common, designers will continue to use text to convey their message and create visual interest. Challenge yourself to design with impressive text and see where your creativity takes you.

The Movie Story page below features a nice layout with only one font, colors and two font sizes. Although only font faces are used, it’s harder to read, and the hierarchy is achieved using size and color.

Incredible Black & White Typography Poster

Research incredible typography posters.

Sketch out my ideas.

Think about the colour and layout. 

Review my files against the requirements.

There is no simple answer to this, but a good rule of thumb to use font selection is to stick to Impossible-500, Ebrima and Palace Script MT, all regular fonts or fonts by design. And the title of the title is used layer with mask, and I created the background within the white flow lines and color used Black and White. When it comes to font restrictions it is a good thing. Earn interest by choosing two contrasting fonts. For example, in my 11×17 paper, the Illustrator file uses a script or a dirty font for its headings and contrasts them with a sans-serif font for body text.

The contrast makes the text interesting and can help you communicate with ideas you want to emphasize. Variable size, typography, weight, color and style can give your designs a great impact and organize your ideas. Next, you can see how contrast helps you give your text an interesting, striking and even more meaningful appearance.

We couldn’t imagine anything better than to perceive what you can consider, so share instances of your best content impacts in the remarks beneath. Furthermore, on the off chance that you know other helpful Photoshop content instructional exercises or have made your very own instructional exercises, presently is your opportunity to impart them to the world.

logo design for self

IMA Beginning Experience

The Interactive Media Arts program is different than what I imagined in a lot of ways. There is a lot more writing, coding, and frustration than I had expected. If you come from a background of taking design or art classes in high school, a thought that might come up is should I be here? The first month was mostly for me was review for design principles, colour theory, and learning Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. It felt like a waste of time, and I was an angsty teen in high school. But I am glad all of our projects quickly kicked up, and honestly kicked my butt at the end of the semester. 

Coding requires a lot of effort. Luckily our teacher Malena had patience with us. It’s a lot of problem-solving. I see how it can easily irritate people when you try and fix something, and it just spirals, but it’s quite cool to create imagery from text to communicate with the computer. Figuring out a problem feels like a great achievement. It is quite a cool process that can be fun once you understand things.

Design is mostly what I came into the Interactive Media Arts program for. On top of the things I knew before I entered this program, I have gained so much more knowledge. From little bits in Adobe programs, to appreciating photography.  Taking photography for a design project and producing everything yourself makes it feel like much more of an extra accomplishment than grabbing royalty-free images. By taking the images yourself, you can capture the exact direction you want to go in. Not that there’s anything wrong with using free images, but it just adds to the project a lot more from what I’ve found; and it’s instantly more personal to the creator. One of the pieces I’ve created so far with photography, was a project creating a postcard with a picture taken of my cat for Halloween.

Halloween Postcard I photographed and edited for Derek Ford’s class, semester 1.

After Effects and Premiere Pro were two completely new programs to me. Once you grasp the concept of one, it’s easy to see how some elements are similar, and make understanding the other one easier. They’re both programs you learn in the IMA program that make it easier to create video content. Even though it is not what I came here for, I am glad to have learned Premiere Pro because it has already opened new direction I can go in with projects.

I have gained so much good experience so far and I find myself excited to learn when I show up. All of the teachers know how to make this program as enjoyable as can be and work hard to achieve that while still producing results in their students. That is why I decided to stick with it.

The Interactive Media Arts Experience

The Interactive Media Arts is a fun and exciting program for students attending the Assiniboine Community. It’s the perfect program for people who are looking to create and design.

check it out here!

https://assiniboine.net/programs/interactive-media-arts

Things You Might Need

The classes involve a lot of creating and designing, like A LOT. Some of the main projects have you sketch out your ideas on a sketchbook, which is always good to have because going straight into designing on your laptop or computer isn’t always the best idea, I would know because I always did that, then I would have a little bit of a struggle trying to perfect my ideas on my laptop because I had already went diving straight into digital. So take my advice and “BRING A SKETCHBOOK!”. It’s probably recommended that you bring your own personal laptop for some software programs to download so that you can work on assignments and projects. Some of the Applications that you might need are Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Audition, and Premiere Pro, basically all of Adobe’s applications. It’s crazy how much Adobe Software we use in this program. This Program is very tech related so you can expect a lot of electronic devices and equipment. you’ll be spending most of the time using the Mac computers to hone your digital craft.

Adobe Applications that are used in this program

https://www.adobe.com/ca/creativecloud/catalog/desktop.html?promoid=PTYTQ77P&mv=other


My Time With The Instructors and Classmates

The Instructors are very educational people. The Instructors really know their stuff when it comes to teaching and guiding the students especially someone like me who is always confused when we learn something new. If you’re ever having trouble don’t be afraid to ask your classmates, after all we are all in the same group taking this program.

Working with your classmates in this program was very helpful for getting feedback and comparing your assignment and projects, being able to see your classmates work is very interesting to see their design process and how they went from a sketch on on a book to a digital design on the Mac computers or windows computers depending on which you prefer to use. Being in the same class and program, you will likely become friends with the amount of time you spend in class.

With all the classmates you have, they are more than willing to help you if you have a problem on a assignment or project and if your like me who is terrible at coding, there are others who are leagues better. And if you aren’t sure about design layout or picture you are creating, by all means ask a classmate and be sure to ask which design they would prefer if you’re having a tough time deciding from two or multiple designs. Of course the Instructors are ALWAYS more than willing to critique and give feedback on your work and fix the small or big mistakes you might make along the way.


What’s So Great About the IMA Program?

The Interactive Media Arts program at Assiniboine Community College is a wonderful program for those looking to expand their horizons and make a name for themselves in the interactive media business. From audio editing and media writing to video editing and graphic design, the Interactive Media Arts program provides students with the vital skills that they’ll need if they want to become successful moving forward in an electronic media career.

Interactive Media Arts Logo – by Merissa Mayhew

The future of business is online, so the IMA program is the perfect way to secure an important set of skills in order to give yourself a prosperous future. Throughout the course you will learn essential skills such as writing professional emails, filling out incident reports, and creating an in depth resume to help you secure jobs in the future. You also learn job specific skills such as video editing and capturing, audio editing and capturing, website design standards and coding, and understanding as well as making art. The skills you are taught are industry standard skills and will prove to be very useful assets to anybody looking for a future job in interactive media.

Throughout the course you will also learn how to use industry standard tools and programs to create your online media such as, but not limited to:

  • Adobe Photoshop – used for professionally editing visual digital media using various tools to achieve the desired outcome when making flyers, posters, advertisements, various other marketing materials, and essentially any other content that could use a touch up. Photoshop is useful for miniscule edits to make your media more appealing as well as large scale projects where you create your own masterpiece.
  • Adobe Illustrator – useful for creating your own assets and designs for anything ranging from icons and logos to full on works of art. If you are particularly fond of creating your own personalized art in a digital medium it is one of the best tools that you can have in your repertoire.
  • Adobe InDesign – InDesign is a perfect tool if you want to design a layout for an article or other form of print or online text, it does one job, but it does it very well.
  • Sublime Text – it is one of many tools used for website design and coding, allowing the user to input their code and test it out online, it doesn’t do anything special, but it is a very useful program nonetheless.
  • Adobe Premiere Pro – an extremely useful tool for video editing that provides you with everything that you need to create an amazing video masterpiece. Premiere Pro allows the user to cut, combine, add effects to your videos, and export your videos to a whole bunch of different formats.

The IMA program is a fun and informative way to gain knowledge on different media making techniques and strategies and I would highly recommend it to anybody looking to get into a job in anything related to interactive media.

Great things about Assiniboine Community College’s Interactive Media Arts program.

This is the official logo for the Interactive media arts program.

The Interactive media arts program is a great choice for graduating high school students that want to attend Assiniboine community college if your interests include:

  • Gaming – 3D, VR (Virtual Reality) or Game developer
  • Art – Logo and Icon design, digital art.
  • Coding – Website development, website coding in html and java script.
  • Video: editing-capturing
  • Music – audio editing
  • Website Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • here are some of the Adobe Creative Cloud apps you will be familiar within the Interactive media arts program.
  • Acrobat DC – for reliably viewing, printing, and commenting on PDF documents.
  • After Effects – for creating motion graphics and visual effects for film, TV, video, & the web. 
  • Audition – is used for Mixing, editing, and creating audio content.
  • Bridge –  asset management app
  • Dreamweaver – is for Designing , coding, and publishing websites.
  • Flash Builder – an eclipse platform that speeds development of rich Internet applications and cross-platform desktop applications
  • Flash – for using content created on the Adobe Flash platform, including viewing multimedia contents.
  • Illustrator – used for creating logos and icons
  • Incopy – It works with Adobe InDesign. When InDesign is used to publish printed material, including newspapers and magazines.
  • Lightroom -image organization and image manipulation.
  • Muse – is an offline website builder that allows to create fixed, fluid, or adaptive websites without having to write the code. 
  • InDesign – used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks.
  • Photoshop –  raster graphics editing and image editing
  • Premiere Pro – Video editing
  • Speed Grade – is a colour grading application that delivers layer-based colour correction, mostly for editors, filmmakers and after effect designers.
  • Stock – royalty-free stock images, photos, graphics, vectors, video footage, illustrations, templates.

The Interactive media arts program changes frequently to better reflect the Interactive media industry to help better prepare the students for Assiniboine Community College.

Here is some reasons why the IMA program is helpful for finding a career.

  • A chance to indulge your creativity and help your designs stand out to gain industry attention – assisting you on fulfilling your full potential.
  • Connecting you to the industry – helping you get familiar with how the industry works for future employment.
  • To help excel in multimedia career – gets you familiar with skills in the Interactive media industry.
  • To become a content creator – gives you the necessary skills to create your own online content and get revenue.
  • Learning how to make your art leave an impact in the industry – learning how to make meaningful and impactful art.
  • Opportunities for a job in the work field – the practicum that comes in the second year of the program helps you gain industry knowledge.
  • Preparing you for your future – helping you get the skills that help you get employed.
  • Finding out what you wanna excel at in the IMA program – helps you find your strong suit for the Interactive media arts program and increases your proficiency.

The Interactive media arts program is a great way to gain industry knowledge and for your future employment in the career you choose.