Ex-DICE intern (programming, 3 months). I study how awesomeness works for hours every day, because I want to understand how to make awesome art. Most of my knowledge comes from personal research, reinforced by plenty of reading of online material. I'm currently studying Computer Graphics Programming. My goal in life is to share and improve myself and others.
Posts by Julien Delavennat
  1. Games are Art: an elephant in the room ( Counting comments... )
  2. Players don't want their games to smell of money ( Counting comments... )
  3. The Novelty vs Familiarity Paradox ( Counting comments... )
  4. A functional definition of Beauty ( Counting comments... )
  5. Open-mindedness 101 ( Counting comments... )
  6. Don't be "that guy"... but how ? ( Counting comments... )
  7. My design method: how do we actually design ? ( Counting comments... )
  8. My design method: Interweaving ( Counting comments... )
Advocacy /

Hi everyone n_n

I initially wanted to post about education. But I have too much stuff to say on that topic for a short article. Another time maybe.

I'm on a pretty tight schedule at the moment, so this is yet another small off-topic article. Well, nothing is ever off-topic for designers.

Anyway, today I want to talk about Open-mindedness, because it is a basis for understanding beauty, and what we can present our audience with.

TL;DR:

  • Open-mindedness is a quality that makes you want to like the things that you don't like.
  • Hating things is easy. Liking them is much harder, but much more rewarding. You have some life experience so you're probably already aware of this n__n
  • It helps you evolve and expand your comfort zone, and enables you to enjoy everything you're not familiar with.
  • Whatever the trolls say, the masses aren't retarded. If you find that something other people like is bad , it's not necessarily a problem with the quality, it's probably more a question of open-mindedness and understanding what people enjoy and why it's relevant to their needs.

Recently I realized most of the people I know have the same way of imposing their tastes as I had when I was 13. That is, if something wasn't aesthetically nice for me, I would know why, and say how it could be improved to please me more. That's what everybody does, right ? You like certain things, and if something isn't within that range, you say you don't really like it, don't you ? Well, that's one issue I want to address: Taste isn't innate, it changes with time.

If you don't like something, that doesn't mean this thing can't please you, it only means you're not liking it. See the difference ? What happened to me is, a long time ago, I would listen to Soilwork's first two albums (melodic death metal), hear the screaming vocals, and think "Why would anyone listen to that ?", "Why would anyone even make that ?".

I spent plenty of time listening to music on Youtube, and on every single song, one of the top comments would be "THIS IS AMAZING. IS THE BEST. THIS IS THE BEST SONG EVER.". ... Why ? I didn't find the songs were that amazing, so why did these people find them so great ? One line of thinking that can be found a lot in trolling is: "I don't like this. It's terrible.  And everybody who likes this is obviously a moron".

Long ago I thought the same: "The masses are retarded". So one thing I could have thought would have been "These people find those songs amazing because they don't have any taste. I have taste." But the sheer amount of videos with these kind of comments made me think. "There's got to be something to like in there, and I'm just not getting it."

Paradigm shift indeed. Things stopped being ugly. Suddenly, it was me that just wasn't able to like things. I wanted to understand what people found so amazing with all the things I found average. And finding out I did. Now I listen to Soilwork's ChainHeart Machine album and think "This is some pretty awesome quality music". Soilwork is even one of my favorite bands now (Sworn to a Great Divide is one of the best albums ever, trust me :D).

Taste evolves. The troll line of thinking of "I don't like this therefore it's terrible" is like the line of thinking saying that "skill is innate". Heh, everybody here knows it isn't. It's not because you think something isn't worth your time that it can't be. It can be. If you try. The paradigm shift I was talking about earlier is the following: "It's not the song that's bad. It's me, because I can't appreciate it."

Being able to like things is a quality. It's called open-mindedness. Non-open-minded people are often convinced they are right, and think others don't have anything to teach them. That's why they troll the things they don't like. They don't want to recognize it's them that are not making an effort. Open-mindedness is wanting to like things.

Like the people who know that skill is acquired, open-minded people know that you have to want to learn. You have to want to like the things you don't. That is, expanding your comfort zone.

 

Next time I'll try talking a bit about why the comfort zone is important to understand to be able to make art, and how it is linked to artistic risk.

And to anything subject to judgment really. Like video games.

Anyway, have a nice day/night and see you next time n_n