I was the creative director and a designer, writer, and developer for this game that combined turn-based combat and narrative gameplay to explore the role of hope in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
“We just hope the world gets more positive, and be happy. That’s our goal.”RM speaking about BTS’ new single “Dynamite,” USA Today
Recently, I presented a piece of writing on BTS and positive psychology at an online ARMY conference. In describing different approaches that a positive psychology perspective could offer for understanding and amplifying BTS’ positive influence, I purposefully excluded positive emotions as a major topic. That was a mistake. I was trying to avoid the (understandable, incorrect) perception that positive psychology is only interested in “surface-level happiness”—that it’s only about feeling good. But by doing so, I played into a pattern that I actually want to reject: the undervaluation of joy.
“Dynamite” is an explosively happy song, and the music video is bursting with exuberant dance-around-your-bedroom and rainbow-firework energy. It’s a timely reminder that “just feeling good” is actually much more important and impactful than the pleasantness of the fleeting emotions themselves. “Dynamite” is a testament to the fact that we ought to take happiness, and the things that bring us happiness, seriously.Continue reading “Luv, Happiness, & Dynamite”
I presented a virtual booth (short paper) on the topic of “BTS and positive psychology: New pathways for exploring BTS’ effect on well-being” at Rhizome Connect, a virtual social and scholarly event for BTS fans. The conference took place August 7 – 16, 2020 and was presented by the Rhizomatic Revolution Review, a peer-reviewed publication about BTS.
A paper on the design and feasibility evaluations of Healing Spaces was published as part of the proceedings of the PETRA ’20 Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments. I contributed to the paper as second author, particularly in section 4.1 describing the RITE study, which I led during the project’s development.
Named Best Novelty Paper at PETRA 2020 Best Paper Awards
The paper is available here.Continue reading “Publication – Healing Spaces: Feasibility of a multisensory experience for older adults with advanced dementia and their caregivers”
BTS has built their own lexicon of significant words and ideas through repeated use and re-contextualization across all aspects of their creative work. One of these ideas that I find particularly interesting is the Magic Shop. The Magic Shop does not mean only one thing and does not originate from only one source. But all of these meanings and references are rooted in psychology. So naturally, I wanted to explore and learn more.
I’ve come to understand that there are three main meanings of BTS’ Magic Shop: as psychodrama, as manifestation, and as Magic Healing Therapy. The first two have to do with references to outside sources, and the third is distinctly Bangtan.
I also found that the Magic Shop connects, in one way or another, to nearly every aspect of BTS’ creative work and social efforts. This is a testament to the very mission-driven nature of what they do, and I think the Magic Shop is actually an embodiment of that mission. So instead of only one post trying to cover everything about the Magic Shop, I am dedicating one post to each of its three meanings so I can dig deeper on them all.
This is part 1: The Magic Shop is psychodrama.
Welcome! Although I have previously written about games and psychology, I consider this my first blog post in a new series about the connections between my favorite topics: interactive media, positive psychology, and the pop artists BTS.
In May, I went to both nights of BTS’ Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour at the Rose Bowl. At the second show, in his speech before the final song, Kim Namjoon declared that “tonight, we are one.” It was absolutely true. In that moment, I felt that he was speaking directly to me, in a far-off section among tens of thousands of other fans in the stadium, while also knowing he was speaking directly to all of us.
One week later, I attended commencement with my family and classmates and officially earned my master’s degree. And yet, none of the speakers made me feel as understood and recognized and valued as I’d felt at the concert. I was struck by the contrast. As a celebration, there is no comparison, but the difference goes beyond which was more fun to attend. Why did I derive so much more meaning among a highly diverse crowd of strangers than from a ceremony that is supposed to speak directly to my experiences from the past two years?
Equipped with lingering online access to university library resources, I started to research the psychology of mattering. I quickly found that to understand anything about mattering is to understand something about meaning.
I was the research lead for a project by The Being Academy in 2019. I provided the designer with a perspective on positive psychology research and behavioral health interventions, and was also involved in playtest survey design.
“A smart platform that allows caregivers to transform spaces through light, color, sounds, and visuals, turning any environment into a place where older adults living with dementia can focus, engage, and relax.”
I was a designer and usability researcher on this hybrid digital and physical media experience, a USC MFA thesis project by Gabriela Gomes.
I was second author on ‘Butterfly Lovers: Design rationale of a cooperative virtual reality game for promoting compassion in multigenerational families.’ This article is about a collaborative VR game which was in development at USC’s Creative Media & Behavioral Health Center. I provided content for the literature review, presenting relevant psychological scholarship about games, virtual reality, well-being, resilience, and compassion.
An exploration of research on avatars, possible selves, and how game design can positively impact players. (2016)
Continue reading “The Best Possible (Virtual) Self”