Com 546 Project Proposal (II)

Posted: January 19, 2010 in Com 546

Com 546 focuses on the emergence of various digital media technologies and the effects these technologies have, and will have on our society. For my final project I have decided to explore the emergence of digital animation in society. I plan to research the history, present status, and future projections of this type of digital media.

I will initiate my research by looking at the early stages of animation, from flip books to crudely filmed drawings. I will only touch briefly on the animation technology itself, as I am more interested in the way the technology has impacted society. For example, in my early history I may touch on animation as a form of youth entertainment, as well as how it was used to create early forms of propaganda between governments during periods of war and conflict.

The core of my research will focus on the emergence and current status of digital animation as a means of entertainment and advertising, as well as gaming. I plan to explore how early animated films (especially Disney films) have shaped the ways youth think about sexuality, race, and social interaction. As far as the advertising realm I think it will be important to discuss how animation has allowed for brands to explore new worlds and illustrate hypothetical scenarios while utilizing the technology as a persuasive addition to their message. I also want to touch on gaming and how virtual worlds like the SIMS and other applications have allowed people to create avatars and live in two worlds; the real world, and the online world.

Finally I want to touch on the potential for digital animation in society, as a means to not only promote in a marketing sense, but also heal, and transport us into different worlds, as is illustrated in films like The Matrix and Avatar. I will feature the recent project at the UW for burn victims that allows them to play a snow game in a virtual world while getting painful skin procedures, and how this distraction drastically reduces the amount of pain they suffer from. I plan to utilize that project as a base to build upon for the potential of digital animation as a form of aid and education.

My research will conclude with an overall summary of digital animation and its effect on society and how we structure our culture(s). I also plan to ask a few questions to see what my peers think about the potential for future digital animation applications, and how they feel about the positive and negative implications of living in a digital world.

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