Checking out other futures

(BCM325 peer comments)

Comment 1:

I first looked at Candace’s pitch which is on her blog Here.

Candace is planning the running of social media accounts for Pottery Box across Tik Tok, Facebook and instagram.

Main comment points:

  • Good links to research into the future growth of Tik Tok
  • Delivery was jarring and didn’t seem particularly interested in the project personal due to the use of a synthesised voice over
  • Pitch video exceeded the Time constraints
  • No real indication of a timeframe of future thinking
  • I suggest looking into the lecture content for week 3 on trajectories and planning to further integrate BCM325 content into this DA

My learning:

  • good graphical representation of plans and it is probably something I could implement to help improve the clarity of my presentations
  • I don’t have the greatest in depth understanding of planning in terms of short term for BCM325 as my DA is focused further out so I couldn’t give the greatest subject specific content responses
  • Like my own pitch the ending is abrupt and is even longer than the allowed time which means I think its a common thread we both need to improve of timing and ending well

Comment 2:

Next we go to Chelsea who’s pitch is Here.

Chelsea is creating a 5 year plan for Chae an online content creation business. with a main focus of podcast development over that time and continuing with other content.

Main comment points:

  • a good integration of an existing project into a future thinking
  • are you are trying to tackle 2 projects, 1 creating a plan for Chae and 2 forecasting/talking about the future of Chae through your podcast
  • Good academic and relevant research into podcasts popularity, podcast function and business growth
  • good use of hyperlinks throughout your contextual statement

My Learning:

  • I think this DA idea is similar to mine at first two different ideas where one is more thought out then the other but it has not yet been decided on which DA to stick with but I am glad I chose one and talked this through with Angus (My BCM325 tutor)
  • My academic research is showing to be more and more lacking as I read more of these pitches
  • I could more effective showcase some of my research with hyperlinks in my contextual statement and a bibliography

Comment 3:

Last we are looking at Jack’s pitch which you can find Here.

Jack is looking at the future of music and its accessibility both production and consumption and showcasing this through YouTube video essays.

Main comment points:

  • well structure flow with clear progression through pitch video
  • not really much researching backing links to BCM325 but it does address the future in a general way
  • can easily add academic research looking at past patterns to help identify future music trends and industry articles like this
  • good to hear it has utility for you and those you are producing it for these are the best projects for uni from my experience

My learning:

  • after viewing this pitch I realise my comments on the previous two pitches were lacking comment about audience as neither pitch addressed audience well and that is something I forgot was needed after doing my own pitch
  • Pitch is very reminiscent of my in person pitches for previous BCM subjects and I think their might have been a bit too much focus on aesthetic of the video over subject research which is something I think I also can do a-lot
  • This pitch showed me a lot of the things I am also doing poorly and how easy they are spotted in someone else’s work and how I need to try and be more self aware of these things going. forward.

Posted on there subject blog : https://futurecultures.blog/2021/03/26/checking-out-other-futures/

Factories of the future

Methodology:

I intend on creating 4 video essays posted to YouTube on my previously used channel. Each video will address a different element/peice of the production processes from factory games eg: convey belts, assemblers, rockets. This will allow me to talk/start discussion on these ideas and use this content to hopeful create engagement in factory game communities on reddit.

Timeline:

I plan to make a total of 4 of these videos during the semester with 2 being release before the beta approximately 2 weeks apart and 2 after hopefully receiving feedback from audience and BCM peers before the DA is due. 

Future cultures Blog post: https://futurecultures.blog/2021/03/19/factories-of-the-future/

Hi Score girl – Japanese video game culture anime viewed by a ‘pc gamer’ & Judoka

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8963328/mediaviewer/rm2132437760

Hi Score Girl a tv series on mini 15-20 minute episode I was not expecting to like but ended up watching the full first season of. Really this autoethnographic experience became more about Japanese video games culture then Japanese culture in general. This anime follow Haruo Yaguchi as he goes through school trying to play as many video games as possible with as few negative consequences as possible. Haruo is very good at street fighter and quite often is obvious to other things:

This is Haruo talking to Hidaka after she had been clearly changing her plans multiple times to be hanging out with Haruo
https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1298427523043168256

The fact that the show had been dubbed into English but the subtitles had been done directly from the Japanese and were not a word for word reflection of the the dubbed words made for some interesting discrepancies.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1298412963045367809

This is definitely something worth noticing as part of the experience, but something that shouldn’t detract from the study of culture through this show as most of the cultural indicators are non verbal especially when you don’t understand the original language. Also worth noting in this regard the main female becoming love interest Akira Ono is entirely non verbal for all of the show I have watched.

This show generally consists of Haruos internal monologue and sounds and conversations he participates in. Each episode generally covers a school break period or a large portion of a school year. The shows explain time progressions with significant gaming events and sometimes US political announcements changes. The shows demonstrates a wide variety of games that the characters dabble in but the core story line is following the fighting game scene and character progression and prowess in each of these games.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8963328/mediaviewer/rm3826871040

While I have played thousands of hours of games on my computer and not all that much on consoles due to controllers being not so great to use with 7 fingers and arcades not really being the thing to do with my friends growing up I don’t have all that much street fighter experience.

My own personal experience of Japanese culture is very disciplined meticulously routined training and education (eg Monday training session identical training program every Monday) with little room for error while coaches/teachers are watch and the kid of mucking around and jokes you can expect from any teenager when their is no authoritative figures around. This show takes a look at entirely different element of Japanese culture I have not explored really only knowing people and having experience Japanese judo culture. There are definitely crossovers to what I had expected in the school scene but it was interesting seeing new elements of Japanese culture.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1298424402745241600

The fact that schools had people roaming around to ensure students weren’t participating in ‘unsavoury activities’ which included playing video games was interesting and added almost another level to what I had seen before. However in spite of this we see Haruo continually willing to push boundaries to play the games he wants to is much as possible just like I did as a kid. What’s probably less different then I thought as a kid who was always reasonably academically smart my grades didn’t suffer for my lack of care so my parents didn’t mind me playing games as long as I continued to stay up to date.

The largest cultural difference I observe looking back on it is how free the kids are to do their own thing , with the general exception of Akira all the other characters in the holidays and breaks at ~11 years old where wandering around and organising their own gatherings and activities wherever they wanted to go. I am unsure however if this is just to facilitate the nostalgia element of the show. The show is clearly aimed at people who nostalgic to the games showcased throughout the show, even without looking at the show its rating is a good indicator its not meant for people the same age as these fast ageing and phasing characters as they experience games culture and ignore 90% of the rest of these kids lives. Like Haruos best friend clearly being Kotaro but we have no background as to how that happened really just that the go to the same school and hang out together at the gaming arcades.

https://hiscoregirl.fandom.com/wiki/Miyao_Kōtarō?file=Miyao_Koutarou_01.png

In this show the only time Haruo gives up games is when he studies his brains out trying to get into the same high school as Akira, ultimately falling short but still making it into his backup school with Kotaro. This allows the show to explain the cultural phenomena of being disconnected and how quickly the Japanese fighting game culture moved from one game to the next as now Haruo’s skills were greatly deteriorated and he is basically relearning everything he has forgotten showcasing what I would mostly have expected as core to the Japanese culture of working hard to achieve your goals and if you stop working you will fall behind. As lots of people through judo Japanese and not understand there’s always someone else working hard and if you don’t strive to work harder you will fall behind as Haruo does here both in school and games after his split focus.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8963328/mediaviewer/rm1612344064

The only other thing I have to add from this experience is how it was cool to see Akira having just as much of an impact as anyone else in the show and normally more than everyone else on Haruo without ever speaking a word. It makes me wonder if it is common for someone people to not speak much and this has been exaggerated here to emphasis the fact they can still say heaps without saying a word.

Overall it was interesting to see a new less disciplined traditionally disciplined side to a Japanese culture but also still see those elements as characters commit themselves to things whether it is bettering themselves at schoolwork of gaming they find every way to optimise themselves and become their own biggest critics which I think really resonates my past experience of high performing Japanese athletes. However maybe that’s me putting my ideas onto these characters but I think it really is just a new application of many of the typically Japanese routines I have seen and experienced in the past through Judo.

Cake – A Pakistani family drama movie

This week we watched the movie Cake which is a 2018 Pakistani movie. This movie had lots of family drama but also felt like not much happened in its just over 2 hour runtime. The movie follow a very wealth family and their happening starting with the hospitalisation of their father and his at Home care and ultimately ends with the deaths of their mother, uncovering family secrets and to me what seems to be everyone having more unresolved issues than at the start.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7715988/mediaviewer/rm1367625472

This is really the first movie I’m not 100% sure what’s going on in for most of the time. I think it has to do with the massive increase in dialogue over the last two week and potentially the importance of the music seemingly through this movie. Music that I cannot understand unless it is the only thing happening meaning it is subtitled. There was also an interesting mix of English almost randomly throughout this movie.

My first cultural observance of not was Romeo was wearing a cross which I speculated was the reason for him being unable to have a relationship with Zareen. I think this was due to my own christian faith an upbringing it was easily noticeable any attributed due to hearing stories of this being reasons for Vietnamese people being kick out of families

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1295870905982173185

However it just appears that Romeo was seen as less than Zareen because she came from money and he was a poor guy and one who even went to prison for her sister which she didn’t know about. so this basically tells me my initial reaction about the cultural represented in this movie were not on point.

Next my expectations were again subverted as the Title of the movie ‘Cake’ seemed to be far less significant than I have come to expect from western movies.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1295877726880989184

This may be because I missed some deeper cultural meaning of cake being some kind of representation for the mix of all the people coming together to eventually make something good but I can’t seem to find any cultural link there and the end of the movie wasn’t exactly a happy resolved ending.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1295883345868464129

I really think I missed a lot of the cultural and subtle hints about what was happening in this movie throughout due to most of the songs not being subtitled. When the songs were subtitled the words were always very relevant to what was happening on screen in a lyrical sense and I think I missed out on some of the cues a Vietnamese person may have not even noticed they were picking up on throughout the movie.

Honestly I don’t think I took much apart for that. I don’t understand what is going on at all in Pakistani culture from this movie. It had an element of rich people can avoid anything even the law if their money pays. Rich people still have family problems. Death is unexpected. Hiding something from someone for their own good never really works well. Lying to family causes issues. But these all just seem to be me trying to make sense of what I have seen through my own cultural sense and not seeing what is culturally unique and different coming through in this movie.

Furie – Australian Judoka views Vietnamese Martial Arts Movie

Week two of auto ethnographic studies. This week we watched a type of movie I would probably describe as something I could stumble upon and watch on Netflix. This movie is about a mother who has what seems to be a mob related past who’s daughter is kidnapped and she takes down everyone in her way to rescue her daughter.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9412268/mediaviewer/rm4231108609

Hai Phuong is the main character we follow through this story. She is the mother of Mai who is abducted after a brief introduction to all the characters when she angrily wonders away from her mother after an argument in the crowded markets. the rest of the movie Hai is hot on Mai’s trail and even comes across her brother who shuns he for leaving the family 10 years ago, despite this she finds Mai just to be beaten up by the head gangsta. She then cons her way out of hospital and gets some police assistance at the very end of the movie to finish of the gangstas saving Mai and all the other children they were trying to traffic out of Vietnam.

Interestingly the movie in Vietnam appears to be named after the main character as below:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9412268/mediaviewer/rm2480107264

this means even before watching this movie it has been adapted to potential attract a larger audience outside of Vietnam. Considering the entire movie was subtitled and not dubbed I do assume this is the only change to the movie from Vietnam to reach a global audience.

Initially I expected to be most intrigued by the way this movie did its fighting scenes both choreography and camerawork wise. This was interesting and well done however basically was just well choreographed fighting (Excluding the clearly not breaking arms breaking -I dislocated my left elbow at the start of the year I can confidently identify what would actually damage an arm and what is normal range of motion based on direction of hand/arm) with smooth good continuous camera shots not what some movies do with a million cuts to distract from bad choreography. But really that’s not a cultural things anyone can do that well and some western movies do it just swell if not better.

What really interested me is these busy places basically touching were crime was happening. Criminal behaviour wasn’t happening down a few back alleys in the corner but in offices right above crowded streets and trains paced with people. This was a very different representation of the reality of criminal behaviour then is represented in Hollywood movies.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1293343731819585536

This combined with the start of the movie where it is made very obvious that a group of bystanders had of seen were Mai was taken from a boat across the road infant of them to a minivan you see her in driving past Hai.

https://twitter.com/JZahra98/status/1293340216074223616

Why was this odd for me?

What I bring to understanding this movie:

  • Western kidnapping movies eg: Taken
  • growing up in Wollongong without fear of being kidnapped really being a thing
  • Judo training understanding what would actually throw\injure someone, what wouldn’t and generally just feeling quite safe wherever I go

In movies and culture that I was brought up in crime is really just when you travel risk and w only have minor or community acceptable crime (drugs) happening here which is nothing to really bother the average citizen. This is shown through taken:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0936501/mediaviewer/rm3195046400

In Taken the risk is overseas away from the safety of the US the great safe country producing the movie. To even add another step of obstruction the villains aren’t even local to the country the daughter is traveling to.

The fact that a movie produced in Vietnam was acknowledging the potential for crime of human trafficking can be happening just out of site is interesting and challenges why we ourself don’t look into the real state of crimes locally. It appears in Vietnam movies are a way people can express their opinions or maybe just the reality of crime lucky so close to the surface of Vietnamese culture. While this is shown it was interesting that the brother despite the obvious changes Hai has made to her life is unwilling to help or acknowledge the effect crime has had on Hai despite her trying to distance herself from crime for Mai. Her brother is still more concerned with family, duty and why she wasn’t there for him when he wanted her but is unwilling to be there for her.

in summary the movie seemed to be showing me the cultural norm for crime to be ever present, people to be more scared of criminals then helping and then a more what a would see as Chinese in the past values of family and you bringing dishonour/being cast out of the family if you ever stray from the past to not be let back in.

Indonesian movie meets Australian young adult

This week I watch Love for Sale and live-tweeted the experience with my fellow peers of BCM320. Love for Sale is an Indonesia Romantic Comedy that follows Richard’s life for a couple of months. Richard is a middle-aged, single, family business owner that is trying to get a date for the upcoming wedding he is attending. First I thought fair enough he is getting a bit old and wants to show some life progress off and present a big image of himself. While this may be true then he received this voice mail:

Netflix screenshot Love for Sale ~ 31 minutes

A message telling him the wedding was soon and he better show up to the date and my brain was just shocked straight away and fired of this tweet

Immediately this was my first real culture shock from the film as I have been to a few other Asian countries where Indonesia was looking to match my expectations from those experiences.

This was completely different from my frame of viewing the world and seemed outrageous to me. I am looking at this from the position of last year being a groomsman at my brother’s wedding where only 1 of the 4 groomsmen was even in a relationship. While I have a small slice of experience with Indonesian weddings with my cousin had married someone from Indonesia and not even a hint of this idea was brought up, this made me think maybe this was just an outlier case. but there was not an Indonesian wedding due to the health of his wife’s mother and it would be particularly odd to enforce these values on an Australian wedding. Most of the people there were not Indonesian and in a situation like that, you are unlikely to say to someone’s face you should be disgraced by not having a date especially to a 21-year-old vs a 41-year-old.

Thinking about the shame/honor culture to the family name and yourself it makes a lot more sense especially that a middle-age man could be a disgrace if he had not met the societal expectations for him at that age. And I don’t think in either culture the image below represents the ideal successful man.

IMDB Love for Sale (2018)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8065796/mediaviewer/rm2302494976

Richard is portrayed as lonely, only having one friend and being a strict boss with no real redeeming cultures which is far from the archetypal successful man.

where was I coming from being shocked about having his dignity on the line to get a date?

In the cultural frame, I bring to watching this movie especially when I myself have no plan of dating any time soon. To continue furthering my options in the judo competition realm and traveling where’d that takes me. So for my perspective, if someone tried to tell that to me I would not be having any of it. But from a different cultural perspective of someone raised in Indonesia, it would make a lot more sense for that type of statement to be made.

so basically it is very clear here I was having an emotive response based on what would happen if someone said that to me. However, this seems much more regular and appropriate for this Indonesian culture.

Beta Throw Down 0.1

A progress update on my Judo inspired card game.

Initial idea here. But basically I do judo and i like judo, I also like exploding kittens and think i can modify the core mechanics to create a easy to understand judo card game.

In essence what I am doing is acknowledging I like Exploding kittens and adding and changing how it plays to suit a new idea. I chose this game specifically because it seemed the most suited to show some of the themes of judo in a card game. In this judo themed game I wanted to express the finality of the Ippon in judo – this is the winning score no matter whether it happens 1 second nito the bout or 4 minutes into the bout. This led me to changing the game ending mechanic slightly from exploding kittens. The Ippon card in my game is much closer to the imploding kitten from the imploding kittens expansion pack to exploding kittens. 

Key ideas:

  • Anyone can win
  • Hard to win by being passive
  • Cant counter a winning throw (no defuse)

The Ippon card is not counterable and if you are forced to pickup the card you are out. In a two player game this is the end of the game. If there are more than two players the eliminated player takes the ippon card and places it back into the deck and shuffles the deck as the remaining players continue playing. The ippon card is placed face up in the deck and the front of the card is a bright colour – currently green highlighter. This is to servie the purpose of showing the threat is coming and how sometimes you can see someone is trying to throw you and you need to do something or it is inevitable. 

Cards overview:

All cards are currently just printed from a table in Pages. Not all cards have japanese names yet but they will once their exact purpose is finalised – some cards within the same group with have different names to add some variety like exploding kittens has lots of different basic kitten cards.

Playtesting changes:

Due to current restrictions I was beta testing with mum. This i believe helped me clarify what a turn is. As mum had never played exploding kitten before the entire concept of how the games mechanics work had to be explained well helping me understand how to do that well. We noticed that with two players and no other threat other than the ippon card that was visible there was never a reason to not pick up until you could see the ippon card and then one large back and forth of active card uses the game was over. 

This lead to the introduction of Wazaris – a half win point. These cards are face down in the deck and look like any other card. When you draw a wazari card it is like your opponent has scored a wazari against you and you place it face up infornt of you on the table. The first wazari is harmless but if you draw a second which could happen at any point you are out as two wazaris make an ippon. This adds pressure to be active in the game before the Ippon card is visible especially once you have already picked up one wazari card. There is however one card in the deck that can remove the wazari against you to free you up to more brazenly pickup cards. This also adds a high value card that makes it worth using 4x kumi kata cards to take it from the discard pile but this is also a risk as you cant use those cards to save yourself from an ippon later.

Some of the notes from playtesting were on this paper.

The intial key mechanics are written on green text cards to help track the rules and card numbers without having to have the card in your deck. – this information would be on a rule summary/cards sheet like exploding kittens has.

Changes made in between play throughs were penciled onto these cards to keep track of them for evaluation after each play through.

‘Big RIP’

What is a Big RIP story though?

This blog post is the recording of my contribution to the BCM300 group project. Here are The other epic memer lads posts Josh and Ben.

For this project my main focus areas are that of the game experience/theme, narrative and story world for our game.

As a group we decided the game would focus mainly on ingame interactions to create the story and have emergent Big RIP moments. These moments are the main catalyst of experience of the theme and narrative that is emergent each time the game is played. Like this video essay explains it doesn’t matter how good your story/idea is if you can engage the players in an interesting game. So that made these Big RIP moments very core to the story of our game. A Big RIP moment is basically any point in time throughout the game where saying BIG RIP would be appropriate/humorous. These include but are not limited to:

  • Your gravestone (card tower) falling down/being knocked over
  • Someone stealing your gravestone
  • Being penalised for being to far in front of your opponents
  • Having the biggest gravestone at the time of death but having the smallest once final karma cards play out
  • Trying to sabotage someone but you end up sabotaging yourself  
  • Fumbling a large lead or giving someone a greater lead but unsuccessfully sabotaging them 

This concept of player added content to the game comes from the idea of co-creation which is “in what manner, and to what extent, is it possible to entice players to add their own content”. (Eladhari, 2018) We really wanted each player to be able to bring their own background and meaning to the game.

To successfully pull this type of game off we really needed to know how and what interwoven game mechanics where to produce this story.

After some reading both me and Josh realised the truth in the fact that “Interwoven mechanics are mechanics that if removed change how the game is played significantly” – Scott Rogers on board game design lab

While the exact experience will be different from game to game the overall story and ways the game have to be consistent throughout every playthrough. We wanted the experience to be focused on making as many of these Big RIP moments each game as possible. This in physicality is shown on Josh’s blog where you can see all the game elements prototyped. 

The biggest piece of narrative material for this game is the round counter which is a representation of the inevitable move towards death which is a 10 round counter. This counter serves the functional purpose of counting the rounds so you don’t have to mentaly try and keep track of the round number. It also drives the inevitability that ‘death’ or in our case the end of the active rounds of the games is inevitable and coming. The only thing you can do after the counter is complete is watch as the karma cards play out and your empire crumbles or lasts the test of time after your death which you no longer have any control over.

Josh then met with an experienced game developer who gave feedback that we could harness the elements of our game which highlight death as an inevitable thing and how we can use this theme and further develop our game before the presentation. He provided both feedback that all three of us will be using but ill let  Josh’s blog tell you about that in detail as he got the feedback for us.

For the presentation i will: 

Create and present for 5 minutes on the story, narrative and theme elements of the game and how we incorporated feedback and research into these decisions to reach our final product.

Also I most likely will be presenting the entire presentation from my computer so we hopefully minimise any technical problems during the presentation.

Academic journal source not linked:

Eladhari, M. P. (2018) The story pile – Representing story in the board game mind shadows. Springer Verlag (Lecture Notes in Computer Science). doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-04028-4_30.


Throw Down

My idea of a Judo inspired card game

So I have an idea of creating a tabletop card game based on Judo a sport I have participated in since 2005 (this is me). So please come on this journey with me as I try to explain the idea I have in my head.

I wanted to choose something simple enough that I could practically make a useable set of cards and potentially actually fully complete as a functional properly done game. This meant given my skill I had to choose a game mechanic I was relatively familiar with so I chose to go with an exploding kittens mechanic style game. If your unfamiliar here is an explanation.

Exploding Kittens Game : Target

So why do I think this is a good idea?

Firstly the style of game here is a party-style game to be played with a few friends, while also existing in the niche market of that you probably won’t buy a game based on judo unless you have done Judo or another similar combat sport (martial arts, boxing, etc.).

Why this style?

The choice of style is something most young adults are now familiar with, due to the success of games such as exploding kittens and unstable unicorns. This will make the game understandable and playable even if you don’t understand why some of the cards are called what they are. they will have explanations on each card which players can read to work out their gameplay functionality intuitively throughout their playthrough. which Gamification in Education (Taspinar et al, 2016) talks about as one of the ways players acquire knowledge from games.

Other benefits of this theme & style?

A game like this could also potentially be picked up by the International Judo Federation. They are always trying to increase the general knowledge of Judo and the spectator friendliness of the sport. They do this by rule and referring changes, which is stated in and shown through their constant adjustment of the rules not just for competitive or safety reasons.

What about game mechanics? 

I plan the replace what would have been an exploding kitten card to be a ‘Time to throwdown’ indicating that you are up next unless you have an ‘Opponent withdraws due to injury’ (defuse) card -or something to that effect I am still working on card games. You will be up next with the next person to draw a throwdown card without an opponent withdraws card.

The two players will then duel using the cards in their hand they have been collecting as the game progresses (or from the top of another deck) to see who wins the throwdown and who is knocked out of the game. These dueling cards will be different throws, submissions, Hold-downs and their counters/escapes.

What about a feedback loop?

Within two weeks I plan on having a functional copy of this game printed with cards just being the card name and a description of what they do. This will be done in a  spreadsheet then printed and cut out. 

To achieve this I plan on creating gripping/movement cards that affect the turn order of play and fighting cards based on attacking techniques to be used in your duels to eliminate other players and keep yourself in the game. 

once this rough copy is done I will initially play this game with my family at home to see if my parents can understand the rules without ever having played exploding kittens as a starting point to determine the level of intuitiveness the game has after that is completed I play to play with friends either digitally if required or physically if possible. This will help with determining the viability of this game as a party game for friends of those with combat sports backgrounds.

Academic References:

Moon, C. and Bartholomew, S. R. (2018) ‘teaching manufacturing through board game creation’, Children’s Technology & Engineering, 22(3), pp. 18–21. Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ehh&AN=128284293&site=eds-live (Accessed: 17 April 2020).

Taspinar, B., Schmidt, W. and Schuhbauer, H. (2016) ‘Gamification in Education: A Board Game Approach to Knowledge Acquisition’, Procedia Computer Science, 99, pp. 101–116. doi: 10.1016/j.procs.2016.09.104.

Minchin, P. (ed.) (2018) ‘In praise of tabletop games : Part 1’, Access, 32(1). Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsaed&AN=rmitplus221150&site=eds-live (Accessed: 17 April 2020).

Zoos, fun and games or Health nightmare?

Petting Zoos, something we have all probably experienced and participated as children. Are they as harmless and fun as they seemed like as a child? or are they causing sickness to spread more freely between people and animals alike? 

Petting Zoos are inherently high physical contact areas between animals and humans. Due to the current circumstances with everyone self-isolating to avoid as much physical contact through direct touch or mutually contacted items. This means the understanding of the spread of diseases through contact is at an all-time high. However, this brings us back to extra contact areas that increase the risk of disease spread between humans and potential diseases from animals that humans are ill-equipped to deal with. 

Does the current situation with COVID-19 a disease originating in animals that we are clearly ill-equipped to effectively combat without shutting most of the country down bring into question the risk level of high contact animal areas. Have the risks of petting zoos been understated or underestimated in an attempt to profit by zoos or have they thoroughly looked into the potential risks to individuals and society in general?

The situation with Orcas in captivity and close proximity to people in the past was a known high-risk activity that was deemed acceptable by Sea world management and yet has proved fatal on multiple occasions. Despite this, they continued to profit from having Orcas in captivity for years which was in their financial interest but definitely not in the interest of those that passed away due to orca aggression which was blamed on human error rather than the aggressive nature of a predatory animal.

In the same situation, the orcas were told to outlive those in the wild where they actually live up to 4 times as long in the sea as compared to their enclosures at sea world. This highlights the willingness of those profiting from zoos/animal parks to change facts to make them look more favorable to the public.

Back to Petting zoos though diseases normally only spread through food poison (undercooked food) have been shown to spread to people from petting zoos such as Escherichia coli O157 which was given to a young kid from going to a petting zoo. They even have a name for this; they are known as zoonotic infections/diseases. These are things that spread to people from animals which I had no idea was common enough to have its own category of diseases associated with spreading from animals to humans.

So then what is the question to be researched here, I think a broad interesting question would be, What is the impact of Zoos on Public Health. But that is quite an ambitious task to look into all of that information in the time I have researching for BCM312. So the first thing to look at is specifically Petting Zoos. This allows me to directly look at the spread of disease through this extra contact activity. Next to focus in on is the spread of disease from animals to humans and not looking at human to human spread with the animals as a common point of contact as this type of disease spread is not unique to petting zoos. So this leaves us with petting zoos and the animal to human disease spread to consider. So a fitting question seems to be; 

What is the impact Petting Zoos have on the number of Zoonotic diseases/infections?

This becomes a more achievable research object with seemingly enough academic research and secondary data available to be analyzed to discover more about the issue of Zoonotic diseases/infections & petting zoos. This is especially important as I do not have the skills or time to acquire primary data in this area for the purpose of this research project. Initial readings into this area suggest that 10-20 percent of some diseases may solely be spread through petting zoos and have even been the origin of some bowel and kidney infections and diseases.

References

A. E. Heuvelink, C. van Heerwaarden, J. T. M. Zwartkruisnahuis, R. van Oosterom, K. Edink, Y. T. H. P. van Duynhoven & E. de Boer 2002, ‘Escherichia coli O157 Infection Associated with a Petting Zoo’, Epidemiology and Infection, vol. 129, no. 2, p. 295, viewed 13 April 2020, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.3864957&site=eds-live>.

Schlager, S, Lepuschitz, S, Ruppitsch, W, Ableitner, O, Pietzka, A, Neubauer, S, Stöger, A, Lassnig, H, Mikula, C, Springer, B & Allerberger, F 2018, ‘Petting zoos as sources of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections’, International Journal of Medical Microbiology, vol. 308, no. 7, p. 927, viewed 13 April 2020, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edo&AN=131902884&site=eds-live>.

Evers, E. G. et al. (2014) ‘A Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment for Campylobacter in Petting Zoos’, Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 34(9), pp. 1618–1638. Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=s3h&AN=98898801&site=eds-live (Accessed: 13 April 2020).

Shnaiderman-Torban, A( 1 ), Steinman, A( 1 ), Meidan, G( 1 ), Paitan, Y( 2,3 ), Ahmad, WA( 4 ) & Navon-Venezia, S( 5 ) n.d., ‘Petting zoo animals as an emerging reservoir of extended-spectrum β-lactamase and AmpC-producing enterobacteriaceae’, Frontiers in Microbiology, vol. 10, no. OCT, viewed 13 April 2020, <https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edselc&AN=edselc.2-52.0-85074709252&site=eds-live>.