You’re Gonna Have a Bad Time

Undertale

Warning: This post contains spoilers.

The simulation of morality is nothing new. Much of moral philosophy for instance, relies on thought experiments such as the Heinz Dilemma, the Trolley Problem, and the Ticking Bomb Scenario in order to better explain, discuss, and grapple with various moral and ethical conflicts. We may even think of moral simulation as being as old as religion itself, which often uses parables and the promise of moral judgment upon death to exemplify and promote righteous behavior. In simulations such as these, we can better understand how we have come to understand what constitutes as right or wrong, as well as judge the morality of our own actions and beliefs. More recently, moral simulation has spread beyond the realms of philosophy and religion, addressing the secular mainstream and even finding itself as a type of commodity in the form of video games.

Morality and systems used to simulate and measure it have become important features of many popular role playing game series, including FalloutMass Effect, and Fable.…

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Queerness and Narrative: Todd Haynes’s Carol

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This is one part in a series of short essays on Todd Haynes’s Carol (2015). This part is on narrative structure and the film’s relationship to an older film, David Lean’s Brief Encounter (1945).

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Seeing and Desire: Todd Haynes’s Carol

CAROL

This is one part in a series of short essays on Todd Haynes’s Carol (2015). This part is on aesthetics and including a close reading of Todd Haynes’s film in a tradition alongside Douglas Sirk and Vincente Minnelli.

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Studio Lighting

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For me, taking and editing photos is a therapeutic experience. After a long day of class, creation and conversation, I take comfort in the thought that at the click of a button I can capture a canvas worth manipulating later. Best of all, the canvas is never blank; it comes ready-made with shapes and forms and structures to work around and within. Especially when editing photos taken at night, when the drama between light and dark is heightened by limited illumination from street and window lights, I enjoy using the composition that already exists as a guideline for where to fade completely to black and where to allow color and light to remain.

With this photo set, I actually aimed to alleviate the tension between seen and unseen elements, either by emphasizing clean lines or showcasing gradual transitions between light and dark. I hope that when a viewer observes these photos, he or she does not feel compelled to strain to see details that are hidden by darkness, but can instead view each image holistically, a testament to editing that successfully naturalized (at times, unnatural-looking) transition zones.…

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Comfort in Shadow

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In public settings, dim, artificially-lit places are usually associated with illicit activity, secrecy, and the frightening unknown. Shadows become real-life homes for imagined fears; dark spaces where terrors become validated just by remaining undiscoverable. However, through photographing within dimly-lit enclosed domestic spaces, I’ve noticed that while these similar lighting conditions retain the ability to obscure and warp visual elements, they often take on unexpectedly positive visual representations, evocative of solitude, introspection, and comfort.

In this photo series, through a muted color scheme, emphasis on negative space, and attention to where elements fall within linear structures, I hope to convey the therapeutic effect of shadowy areas inside naturally-lit indoor spaces. To show that when faced willingly from within a zone of security, the dark is more transcendent than it is terrifying.

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