Simulation presentation

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CMS 298 Presentation on chapter 8

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Simulation presentation

  1. 1. Picture This. • Scenario 1: Walking in the mall, you notice the people around you. They are milling around, many of them with bags in their hands. There’s people sitting at the benches and chairs conveniently located in the center where dads and husbands can sit while their loved ones go into makeup stores and retail shops… Think: What do you notice about the people around you in the mall? Specifically, what state are the people sitting on the benches in? (Are they focused? Are they engaged with something/someone?)
  2. 2. If your thoughts were along the line of my thoughts, then most of those dads and husbands and other people sitting on the benches have their heads down looking at the phone in their hands. And many of the people walking by you are barely dodging others as they gaze into their phone screens, and peer away for a few seconds to ensure they don’t plow into anybody. What is so entrancing about those little screens, anyway? This is where simulation comes into play.
  3. 3. Chapter 8: Simulational Selves, Simulational Culture in Groundhog Day Julia Richardson CMS 298 December 2013 *Note: The text in italics are things for you to think about and discuss. Thanks!
  4. 4. Simulation is defined as, “An experience that is self-contained, referring mainly to itself.” (p. 247) We live in a culture where simulation is extremely popular and definitely encouraged. Think: With the idea of what you already know simulation to be, what are some simulation experiences that you partake in?
  5. 5. More on simulation… • Simulation is an act of imitation. • It is something that is made to behave like something else. • It involves making many assumptions. • It involves anticipation 
  6. 6. Simulation is… • You must enter into a world. – We partake in it only when we enter into it. – Voluntary. • May contain identifiable signs. – Signs that are references to the “real world”. – Example: A player can identify a sword in a video game and the player understands that the sword is for cutting things within the video game world. • Anything that happens in a simulation stays within the simulation.
  7. 7. Simulation is… • When we turn the simulation off, it goes away. • Can be repeated over and over. – Ability to make copies. – Often there is a ‘reset’ button. – Can start at the beginning repeatedly. – Experience can be re-experienced.
  8. 8. Simulation is… • Simulation world has little connection to outside world. When you partake in a simulation, little else matters. When we are one, we leave the world with few consequences.
  9. 9. Simulation in cultures. • Industrialized cultures often have simulation as a major characteristic. • United States, Japan, Western Europe – All are industrialized cultures with capitalist economies, and simulation is largely incorporated into everyday life.
  10. 10. Examples. • Spectator sports – The Super Bowl • Theme parks, Amusement parks, Water parks, etc. • Shopping malls • Books • Movies • Think: Considering the aforementioned factors of simulation, do you agree/disagree that all of the above examples are simulational experiences? Why or why not?
  11. 11. Groundhog Day (Director: Harold Ramis; 1993)
  12. 12. Groundhog Day • Weatherman, Phil Connors, is a selfish, sarcastic man who lives life in irony. He treats the people around him poorly, and he only does things that benefit himself.
  13. 13. • Phil and his news crew travel to Punxsutawney, PA to report on the annual occurrence, Groundhog Day. Phil is also the name of the groundhog that will determine how many more weeks of winter there will be.
  14. 14. • After a nasty snow storm on Groundhog Day, Phil wakes up to discover that it is Groundhog Day… again. • He will continue to wakeup to Groundhog day over and over – He is trapped in a simulational wonderland where there are no consequences and nothing matters.
  15. 15. • In the beginning days of simulation, Phil acts out. He does anything and everything he can think of… He manipulates women for sexual gratification, he is chased by the cops, he buys a Rolls Royce… All of which have no consequences because the next day is like a ‘reset’ button. He judges life by the value of fun.
  16. 16. • Pre-simulation and during the simulation, Phil uses women. Throughout the film, the denigration of women is linked with a simulational environment. Seducing Rita, a member of the news team, is Phil’s main goal. • Think: Do you think all simulations tend to denigrate women? Are there are any simulations that you can think that don’t denigrate women?
  17. 17. • In his “real”, non-simulational life, Phil exploits women because he believes that his treatment of them has no real consequence or meaning. This treatment carries over when he enters the simulational life. Think: Why do many simulations have a link to denigration of women?
  18. 18. • Phil Connors is equated to the groundhog, Phil. Phil is the “same” groundhog that appears each year. Both Phils are caught in a closed loop of simulation.
  19. 19. • Phil begins to use the repetitive nature of simulation to his advantage. He goes out of his way to learn, and then he uses that knowledge the next day. He does this with good things (such as languages and playing the piano), but he also uses it to pursue and manipulate women.
  20. 20. • After many days of Phil waking up to the same day, he finally spends a good, satisfying day with Rita (and he doesn’t try to pursue her). Phil’s outlook begins to change.
  21. 21. • He begins to treat others respectfully, and he spends his days trying to help others. However, he is still trapped in simulation. His choices still don’t have any real effect. However, he now is living entirely selflessly.
  22. 22. • His simulation ends when he tells Rita that he loves her and he is happy. She responds affirmatively. The next day, she wakes up in his bed so he immediately knows something is different. He is free of his simulation!
  23. 23. What now? • Phil has left his selfish ways behind. He is now focused on other people and their needs. And he has a new appreciation for each day. His newfound care for others breaks him of the simulation. From this… …To this!
  24. 24. What can this film tell us? • Groundhog Day shows self-absorption to be simulation. The film depicts simulation as negative. Pre-simulation, Phil’s everyday activities are a commentary on our everyday activities. The film warns us of how our daily experiences can be simulational, and it warns us of simulational dangers. • Think: What are some of the simulational dangers that this film addresses?
  25. 25. Groundhog Day vs. Today • In a simulation-centered culture such as ours, this film teaches us to be aware of the simulations around us. • When we are consumed in simulation, it’s easy to be self-oriented and only care about what entertains us.
  26. 26. What is the real danger of simulation? • This film asserts a loss of human interaction and connectedness when we get caught up in simulation and a patriarchal society. • The film encourages a recognition of simulation and it encourages a renewed care for those around us.
  27. 27. • Think: How has Groundhog Day and the topics of this chapter made you think of simulation (and the possible effects of simulation) differently? • This chapter is very applicable to the United States because our culture is FULL of simulation. Personally, I never realized that self-centeredness could be a simulation. After reading this chapter, I have been trying to be more consciously aware of the simulations that I engage in. Partaking in simulation is a choice, and I have been trying to choose to be in simulation less and to be connected to my actual surroundings more.
  28. 28. Even our simulations have simulation! Thanks for participating in this simulational experience!

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