Fred's Top 10

I mention this because I’d be remiss to leave any sort of experience without determining a list of takeaways for said experience. For those morning drives to school, the takeaways were the sports highlights we could talk with our friends about. For me, today, on my last day of my second semester of grad school, the takeaways are about my favorite moments and insights from sixteen weeks of building an interactive museum exhibit, developing experiences with new technologies, learning more about leadership, and finding the best donuts in Pittsburgh.

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2019 TEA Summit: It's not Lonely at the Top

This monologue, and this phrase specifically, has always struck a chord with me. More often than not, we limit our thinkings of quality and greatness to the traditional giants and successes of whatever field we are in or discussing. Because of bias, preference or who knows what else, we usually need some other kind of experience to break that line of thinking and open up the realm of greatness and quality to anyone from anywhere.

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Feel, I mean, See the Love

You’re probably wondering what sort of weird virtual worlds we will build this semester, but I’ll stop you right there because we’re not doing that. Well, we might, maybe. We are currently undecided. But I’ll get to that. 

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Round 5: Thanks, Randy

Throughout these three weeks, I was really worried we were not going to get the game (or experience) we wanted. Boy, was I wrong. I truly believe that the only reason we were able to get to the final product we did was because we were wrong so many times. Maybe that Thomas Edison guy was on to something when he talked how important it was to find ways to not build a lightbulb. We went through a lot of doors that taught us the wrong way to make a “chicken crossing a road to find love” experience, but we could only get to the right door if we went through some of the wrong ones first.

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Round 4: Swallowing the Sword

1. Nostalgia is a hard feeling to create in another person, 2. Nostalgia is a really hard feeling to create in another person in 2-3 minutes, 3. Nostalgia is a really really hard feeling to create in another person in 2-3 minutes when you’re not Steven Spielberg, 4. Nostalgia is a really really really hard feeling to create in another person in 2-3 minutes when you’re not Steven Spielberg and you only have two weeks.

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Round 3: Keep it Simple, Stupid

Anyway, fun is good and we try to make good things so we try to make fun things. While it all seems like play-time at the ETC, if you show up between 11pm and midnight on a Monday night before something is due, you will not find very many people who would willingly admit they are having fun. Those are the points, while, yes, you are making a video game or, yes, are building an entire world that has never been thought of before, where you question your sanity and your definition of fun.

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Round 2: You're Not Wrong

At the end of the day, good design is not deemed good design by a rigid set of standards. Good design is deemed good design by the people that interact with the designs. And, a lot of the time, good design is good design because the people that interact with it do not even notice it at all. Well-designed things make sense without having to tell people that they make sense.

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Round 1: Respect All, Fear None

Two words strike absolute terror into the hearts of students everywhere: group projects.

Audible sighs arise from classrooms and lecture halls around the world when teachers and professors utter those fatal words. It does not matter if you are a first grader or a graduate student, working with other people seems to be a daunting task. Why?

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Really Achieving My Childhood Dream

So, that’s where I’m at now, sitting in my new apartment in Pittsburgh just a week before my first class in the ETC on my way to earning a Master’s Degree in Entertainment Technology. People keep asking me if I am excited for school to start again and I keep saying yes because I am just excited to see what school starting means. From internet research and second-hand information, this is not your run-of-the-mill two years of graduate school and that’s exactly what I was hoping for because I do not want your run-of-the-mill job or life. I want to develop my skills as an engineer and a designer and create really cool and meaningful stuff for people. I want to work with other talented and excited people who share in my desire to design and build really cool and meaningful stuff for people. I want to take advantage of everything the ETC and these two years have to offer. I want to really achieve my childhood dream.

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