Week 5: Inclusive Design

This weeks lecture revolved around the concepts of inclusive design and how a creative project can reach a wider audience. Another part of inclusive design is the inclusion of a wide variety of demographic within a project team (SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry & Institute, 2015).

Something I have taken from this weeks topic is the reasoning that a diverse creative team results in a project that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. I have always thought this and while i feel it is not needed for every creative project it is often something which provides extra character and depth.

As discussed in the lecture, inclusive design refers to the plethora of demographics of audience members. This may be age, race, cultural background, gender or many other factors. Inclusive design should take into account that each member of an audience will interpret a creation differently. It is also important to portray people in a way which is not discriminatory or in a way which can be perceived as cliche.

It is this portrayal of people within fictional worlds (video games, movies etc.) which causes much controversy. This links back to diversity in a creative project, and demonstrates why having a group of individuals with varying perspectives and experiences is critical for many creative endeavours.

Within this weeks tutorial we explored the topic of inclusive design through a few friendly debates. The purpose of these debates was to demonstrate the bias  nature of belonging to particular groups or categories in society.

The first of these debates posed the question;  which is the superior gender? At the time i felt this to be a surprising topic for debate. I found this exercise to be uncomfortable for personal reasons but the debate was friendly and overall quite hilarious. One thing that I will admit about this debate was the very effective result. The answers given on both sides show the expected subjective answers that are determined by gender.

Several other exercises were undertaken, one which spilt people into discipline, and the very last was one where groups were mixed. I have found that I do not enjoy these divisions and feel comfortable in a diverse group of peers. All in all the activities were successful and I have come to the conclusion that while inclusive design is something which is now often an aim in the creative industry, it is a complicated subject which is hard to measure.

Something I have contemplated after these activities is whether the film, animation and video game creations I enjoy most are truly inclusive design. One of my favourite games, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is something which I have been enjoying lately with the release of the game in HD format.

Originally released in 2006 (IGN, 2006), Twilight Princess contains a game world which has held up well in many respects. It is interesting to note how many problems with inclusion can be bypassed by the non-human fantasy cultures of the Zelda universe. This is because there is a definite lack of mis-representation of people within our society.  Even so, after reflection I have come to the conclusion that the inclusion of  a wide range of respectfully represented characters is just one way of creating inclusive design. Another way can simply be the absence of the stereotypical or constricting perspectives of the past, letting an audience fill the gaps with imagination.

 

SI_WiiU_TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincessHD.jpg
figure 1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess WiiU Release. (Nintendo, 2016).

 

 

 

References

SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry, & Institute, S. C. (2015, April 20). Week 5: Inclusive design — self-directed practitioners. Retrieved July 4, 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-12-inclusive-design-9df8f239653b#.jwr1sqsy1
IGN, M. C. (2006, June 7). The legend of Zelda: Twilight princess (GameCube). Retrieved July 4, 2016, from http://au.ign.com/games/the-legend-of-zelda-twilight-princess/gcn-572738
figure 1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess WiiU Release. Nintendo. (2016). Between light and darkness, can you save Hyrule? Retrieved July 4, 2016, from https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Wii-U/The-Legend-of-Zelda-Twilight-Princess-HD-1082222.html

 

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