Contextual Practice Essay


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Contextual Practice Essay

  1. 1. 1 John Mills – Contextual Practice – Level 1 Semester 2 Fear, is what first enters ones mind when gazing into the menacing and threatening, blood-red eyes of a Terminator. The main purpose of a Terminator, is to bring an end to all – by any means necessary, just isolating that section of knowledge, and using it on its own is enough to insight fear and terror, which is the intended purpose. Cyborgs, Androids, Robots, etc. The entire genre is classed as artificial intelligence, with technology that currently surpasses our own, symbolically showing the way of the future. That can be looked upon as a good thing, as mechanical beings should be able to perform the tasks which we wouldn’t normally be able to achieve – however, as Terminator has proven, it can also have a very negative reaction, and bring forth destruction instead of harmony. A good example of watching the two worlds collide of human and cyborg interaction was the Hollywood movie “I, Robot”. The movie was based around the revolution of cyborgs, and how they are supposed to help mankind, to serve them as their masters – kind of like a pet. But equally, there was also a point in the movies when all the cyborgs turned and betrayed humans, harnessing the power of fear and inciting it into the hearts of people. Movies, Games, Programs, Books – they’ve always shown cybernetic humans/androids/mechanical beings in general to surpass man in every single way, to have better senses – superior 1 John Mills
  2. 2. strength, speed, stamina – and it’s because of this, that we can fear them, as well 2 as use them to our advantage. The design and structure of Terminator is very clever, they’ve given it a skeletal frame – but comprised out of metal and circuitry, simulating a human – the way it walks, and moves. But due to the sheer fact that keeping it as just raw metal, without any skin, textures, garments, etc. They’ve created this monstrosity that looks like it could do some serious harm. Another reason for this skeletal outer-frame, is for the sheer fact it also reminds people of danger, death – if you see a skull and cross-bone emblem, you instantly recognise that it’s a sign of danger, and just through visual representation, so not only have you got a metal beast, with inhuman capabilities – clenching a double-barrelled automatic, but it’s also representing the very raw elements of danger itself. But not all cyborgs and robots over the years have adopted this level of intimidation, some have been classed as superior machines, without a mind of its own, an empty shell to be controlled by human instinct, none better to portray this than the genetically engineered cyborgs from the 1997 Japanese anime series called “Neon Genesis: Evangelion”. The cyborgs and robots that featured in that series completely put a new shine and twist to how we make out artificial intelligence and man-made, smart machines to be. What we normally think, is a machine, with opposable limbs & joints – that simulates a human. But in Neon Genesis, they’ve created 30-40ft human operated, mechanical beasts – that runs on a battery – fed by an umbilical cord that leads underground into the main operations base. They’re called Eva’s – and the intention, is to help protect mankind. Once again, the Eva Units have this sinister, and oppressing look to them. 2 John Mills
  3. 3. 3 These are the 3 primary Eva Units used throughout the series, as you can see the cyborgs have kept the same shape and design as that of others, but completely alter in style and design. As you can see so far, the cyborgs that appear and have been used in a lot of films, movies, etc. All keep to a certain form of style, keeping them mechanically operated and with a humanoid figure, but there are a few exceptions. This is Kryten, from the BBC 2 series “Red Dwarf”, a typical android but with a comical twist to him. This is completely breaking away from the typical, gun-wielding – round of the mill cyborg/android I’ve covered so far, because there are many different ways of 3 John Mills
  4. 4. representing them. The best part about androids, is because they are supposed to be built by man, and can be programmed for any use, writers can do whatever they actually like when implementing a cyborg character into their work, making them very useful to use In desperate situations. For instance, the droids used in Star Wars have a different designs, shapes, skills, etc. And they constantly keep the flow going of multiple use of androids and cyborgs in their movies. This is the loveable R2D2 android from all of the Star Wars movies. The only thing this android is used for, is to repair crafts and ships when damaged. However, there’s also this fellow which is a super battle droid, capable of annihilating anything in its path. This is the great power of cyborgs, they can be used over and over again, either keeping them as an invincible warrior which no ordinary human can rival, or as a friend – a villain also seems to be the Hollywood target in main cases. Using a cyborg as a main villain can be very useful, for the sheer fact you can make them emotionless killing machines, without a consciousness and no remorse. That’s why the movie Terminator worked so well, and why Terminator – in itself, as a cyborg is a perfect killer. However, the only
  5. 5. 4 super villain I can think that can actually rival the Terminator, is the dark legend himself, Darth Vader (cyborgs are usually half man, half machine). He has gone down over the years with an infamous title and name all around the world, this is the epitome of the cyborg world and all out super villain. Darth Vader works well, because he also has a conscious, but for the sheer fact that he’s willing to do evil deeds, with full knowledge on what he’s doing – and not being primarily controlled by a circuit board. This dastardly character also helps emphasise the fear he’s emitting with a very husky, low breathing – as it filters through the breathing apparatus grafted to his face. Not to mention, the fact that when Vader speaks, his voice is very deep and bold, yet his words sound sophisticated, but threatening at the same time. “I Am Altering The Deal, Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further”, “He Will Join Us, Or Die My Master”. The Terminator featured in the picture, just by the pose and striking characteristics, and for the sheer fact that although the Terminator induces fear upon others, he doesn’t get afraid in return – which, when put together with this terrorising figure, wielding a gun sends out a very radical message that he knows he’s practically invincible. Emotions and expressions can tell a lot about what a character is feeling, but when all you can rely on is actions alone, and to the fact that the Terminators skeletal face never changes, thus baring now readable emotions. This makes the Terminator the perfect killer. Backgrounds can also show you quite a lot about any character depicted in an image, and in this case – we can clearly see he’s in some kind of futuristic battlefield with what appears to be very heavy laser fire coming from his right. 4 John Mills
  6. 6. 5 This is taken from the computer game Serious Sam. Already from looking at the image, you can instantly tell it’s something to do with shooting, because there’s a single man – standing in a field with a chain gun and monsters behind him. Before I even began to explain that it was very obvious to work out. The pose of Serious Sam also indicates that he’s very macho and manly. He’s standing, bare open in the middle of no where – with creatures coming to disembowel him from all directions, and he’s bearing his war face and just about ready to be trigger happy. The entire image of Serious Sam also shows a single man in peril, the odds completely uneven and literally, everyone is against him – so the only thing he can do is try and survive, to not show any fear, and do the best that he can. Although the plot of the story, and meaning of the image are somewhat different (one shows a man in peril, but braving the storm – the other an unstoppable mechanical killer, who’s causing the storm), they both show the same style of a sole, strong and brave warrior – showing no fear or remorse for what lies ahead. So a lot can be told from that picture just from the way the main character is positioned. That about sums up my thoughts and opinions about the chosen photo of Terminator, taken from one of the recent game release titles available. The entire image is giving off a bold depiction of a merciless, none human killer – without any consciousness whatsoever, just out to gun down anything not on its own level. He creates fear and brings destruction, but will never be fallen or crippled by emotion or remorse. 5 John Mills
  7. 7. Bibliography6 Danger Sign, Darth Vader Picture (left), Darth Vader Picture (right), I, Robot Picture, Kryten Picture, Neon Genesis Picture, 001.jpg R2 D2 Picture, Serious Sam Picture, TheSecondEncounter_01.jpg Super Battle Droid Picture, Quote “He Will Join Us, Or Die My Master”, Star Wars (1977) Quote “I Am Altering The Deal, Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further” Star Wars (1977) 6 John Mills