Phase one began with a lot of brainstorming and idea generation both individually and as a year group. We used methods from ‘How to Have Great Ideas’ to really begin thinking about what we enjoy and what we would like to look at and study for the following year. At the end of the year, we need a finished game based around one of our research topics, so it was important to expand on ideas to discover something that we found interesting enough to work on for the coming months.
I started by doing a few independent brainstorms as to what I was ‘interested’ in, but I found the workshop with Adam was more productive as we asked ourselves more questions:
- What makes me laugh?
- What makes me cry?
- What makes me angry?
- What makes me excited?
- What makes me intellectually stimulated?
- What makes you interested?
I tried to answer these questions as broadly as I could so that I would have a large collection of possible research avenues and topics of interest specifically for myself. I found this workshop helpful as well because I found some topics and areas of interest on other students’ mind maps that I hadn’t thought of myself and was able to add them to my list. We also went around the room after hanging our mind maps and crossed out what we thought would be a ‘bad start’ (for example, if we felt a topic was too niche and couldn’t be explored in a deep enough context.) This also allowed everyone to see what topics could be brought forward when entering the research phase.
Into the research phase, I used a method called the ‘lotus blossom’ which we’d been taught by Andy in the first year. I find this way of brainstorming helpful as it allows me to get a few degrees away from the topic I have chosen while remaining in the same general area. This also allowed me to see overlaps with topics that perhaps at face value, did not seem related. It helps to show me what I could deep-dive research into, as with some of the topics I found interesting, I struggled to brainstorm further than one or two ‘stems’. This indicated to me that while the topic might be of some interest, it would not be smart to choose it as a research topic and my research would only reach so far.
Towards the end of this brainstorming session, I had a rough idea of the four topics I wanted to investigate deeper. Those topics were: Behaviour, Space, Dark Tourism, and Cults. All of these had small overlaps in that I was interested in the psychology and interactivity of each one. We had to research these topics and find elements that we personally found interesting. Below are the notes from the class shared etherpad on my presentation.
Notes from the presentation: