Research at AIIT

Dialog with an Uncertain Future / Excerp (Irregular updates)

The 6th Installment“For Sport and Play I Think that We are Born”

by Tsuyoshi Aziro from the Master Program of Innovation for Design and Engineering

The cherry blossoms were marvelous again this year.
They bloom in all their glory as if there were no ups and downs in our lives. Awed by the flowers, for a brief time under the cherry blossoms I dream of being something else, floating in a dream world separate from this world.

For sport and play
I think that we are born;
For jesting and laughter
I doubt not we are born.
For when I hear
The voice of children at their play,
My limbs, even my
Stiff limbs, are stirred.
(Excerpt from The Ryōjin Hishō, translated by Arthur D. Waley)

But we need a bit of courage to follow this in the workplace…or in broad daylight... Play activities are intimidating, indeed.

Hello, everyone. My name is Tsuyoshi Aziro. I specialize in the educational use of games. In this 6th installment of The Column series, I would like to introduce my study that focuses on creation, the keyword of the program. I hope you enjoy it.

When we simply called my study “Game x Education”, it sounded too vague to engage in constructive discussion. In order to call it a study, we need to break Game and Education down into smaller elements. For example, what constitutes a Game? Is it something to do with moving 3D graphic images? Rolling a die? A competition? It looks like a variety of elements are hidden in a Game. The same can be said for Education. What constitutes Education?

Given this situation, we identify specific elements of Education and set them as objectives. Then, we break Game down into smaller elements as the means of achieving the objectives, and look for the elements that are likely to contribute to the objectives through the repetition of trial and error. You can see how it sounds more like a study this way.

Specifically, I have the following two objectives in mind.
 Objective 1: To provide a setting where more alternatives are proposed
 Objective 2: To offer a shorter class with fewer dropouts

I’ll first explain Objective 1: To provide a setting where more alternatives are proposed. Think about when you played as a child (and even as an adult). Do you recall a time when you changed the local rules or the original rules? Kick-the-can, for example. Or when you’ve played a video game, hasn’t there been a time when you thought, “I would play this game that way…” or “I would make the ending more like…”? We call such play “the creation of new values based on existing elements” a bit more elegantly, exploring how to apply it to “the creation of new technology that energizes the industry” as required by today’s society. Now, what element of Game could contribute to this objective…?

Next, I’ll explain Objective 2: To offer a shorter class with fewer dropouts. Have you ever been surprised by the complexity of the rules of a game? Or have you been shocked to see small children master such complex rules with no difficulty? It would seem that Game has a hidden element that enables it to accurately convey a complex information system in a short time. I’m thinking about whether I can extract this element and apply it to the planning of a class where skill or knowledge is acquired. Now, what element of Game could contribute to this objective…?

Such as… boldly create a new technology and fill the town with smiling faces…
 Such as… brilliantly eliminate the education gap...
 By dreaming such things, I’m undergoing a gradual process of trial and error.

The dream Prof. Aziro has in the Innovation for Design and Engineering is…
I break down what is in words and apparently concerns me (Game, for example) into smaller elements. Then things that were previously invisible emerge one after the other. This is what I would call science! Don’t you think so? (For your information, 科 in 科学, which represents science in Japanese, has the meaning of subdividing according to a dictionary.) If we think that way, science seems to imply a behavior that reveals what cannot be seen as it is, a behavior that goes back and forth between darkness and broad daylight, or a behavior that goes back and forth between reality and a different world. (The point here is to go back and forth. Going to either end would pose a slight problem…) I believe it would be fantastic if I could alternate between indulging in dreams and returning to reality to enjoy creation with everyone here in Higashi-Ooi.

Lastly, let me introduce my hobby.

This is a miniature car. A Lamborghini. This is my secret item whose mere existence would take me into a dream world. But it is so delicate that it will deteriorate rapidly without meticulous care. A dream, too, is so delicate that it becomes damaged, rusty and decayed without meticulous care at all times. It would be a shame if we put it away in a garage or showcase. We would prefer to carefully maintain, protect and cherish it for life.

P.S. Miniature cars
I can’t help but collect miniature cars for the sake of collecting. But my wallet would soon refuse to continue the collection, or I would baulk at another purchase. So I’ve come to focus on the seasons, just like in the Edo period. I feel that I will be able to cherish it for a long, long time if I can change the design of a single miniature according to the season.

Back to index page

  • The 7th Installment

    “The Parable of the Sower”

    by Yuka Kato,
    Professor, Master Program of Information Systems Architecture
  • The 6th Installment

    “For Sport and Play I Think that We are Born”

    by Tsuyoshi Aziro from the Master Program of Innovation for Design and Engineering
  • The 5th Installment

    Looking Back on My Software Development Experience

    Chuzo Akiguchi,
    Professor, Master Program of Information Systems Architecture