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Dark Souls and Social Interaction - Behind the Scenes Part 1

This project has actually been a long time coming.


  1. Part 1 | Conception, Research, Writing
  2. Part 2 | Voice Over and Planning
  3. Part 3 | Video Editing (coming soon)

The idea for a Dark Souls video was originally born from a collaborative effort with youtuber Ally Mushka. Unfortunately the "collaboration" part was dropped as we were both pretty busy with things going on for the next while, but I held onto the idea.

I'd say it's conception was sometime end of March, a bit after finishing my Dreaming project.

Research

Once my courses were finished with and I started on summer work, I began seriously thinking about what would be cool to talk about with Dark Souls. I forget exactly when, it was probably talking with Ally where the "social" focus arose. Once that was set, the next big step was research.

I'm a bit lucky in that with my position, I have access to articles online through my School that I'd otherwise be locked out of. So my approach for researching things like this (same with the Dreaming video) is to just head to Google Scholar and start searching keywords. The idea was "Communication without language", so I just started with that and started looking at the surface levels of articles, their references, keyword variations, etc. It's a bit hard to figure out what to look for when approaching a new concept, but I find that reading the introductions of articles is really helpful in this case. Essentially they're miniature literature reviews of the concepts important to its paper, and even if the article itself isn't useful for what you're looking for, it's introduction can teach out a bit of what you might want to look for.

Eventually I found the concept of Mentalization, and from there could find studies that looked at trying to separate that from language.

Once I start finding useful articles, I begin keeping a document of research notes with article citations, jotnotes on those articles, etc... just trying to extract whatever information might be useful.

Organization and Writing

Next, I organize all that information into a logical progression or story. This eventually leads into the basis that the video will build off from. At this stage I can also see what information is most useful to keep and what can be pruned away. One thing I realized after making my Dreaming video is that I covered way too much content for a short period of time. I think one lesson I wanted to pull away from that video is that my stuff should be shorter and easier to digest. That requires being limited to talking about only a single concept and supporting that.

So I decided on the question "is Mentalization intrinsically linked to language?". My main argument then was based on the study of Aphasics and the Tacit Communication game (explained here), which I thought would work well in the context of talking about Dark Souls. I always find it important to point out the "other side" of an argument, so that became my second study. And finally, I can't make a video without the chance to talk more about the brain, so the third study was a cool fMRI one that acted as a good lead-up to the main study.

As practice, I thought it'd be fun to try writing a purely "science" post with just the science concepts I wanted to cover. This was also a great oppourtunity to organize all my thoughts with how I'd end up presenting them. It also acted as a good framework to build the video out of. I think in the future I'll always make a science blog post with the concepts I'll eventually make a full video out of when I'm doing research.

Final Draft

Finally, I just had to rewrite that post in the context of the video, figuring out an introduction for the video, splitting it up into various "sections", etc.

The next steps from here are to practice and record voice-overs, and to kind of "story-board". Basically figure out the what the major "Scenes" of the video will be and how they will be arranged, plan out the editing I'll want to be doing. etc.

Kyle

Kyle

I do tactile research—It's a touchy subject. Psych/Neuro grad student and creator of LittleGadget, a channel about Science and Videogames.

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