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Media Arts Thesis: Sudden, Heartbreaking Relevance

If this were a normal week, this blog post would be about my first round of prototype testing done in class today.

I would talk about how I figured out that my game cannot be played by 1 person by themselves in their current state, or how I could structure my questions, or how presentation is everything in my educational systems.

Of course, this is not a normal week. This is the week in which Donald Trump and Mike Pence were elected to the highest offices of the United States.

Of course, as a gay man I'm shaken that this happened, worried not only for my own rights but those of my friends and family...however, this isn't about them, this blog is still about my thesis.

Unfortunately, the election is relevant to my thesis.

See, Mike Pence is notoriously puritanical and anti-LGBT, to the point in which he caused an HIV outbreak in the state of Indiana in 2015 due to his refusal to back a needle sharing program. What's more, he has, in the past, indicated his desire to channel money from federal HIV research into conversion therapy practices that are proven not to work and to traumatize the participants of the practice, often to the point of suicide. In short, Pence, who is proving to be highly influential to Trump's future administration, has built a career off of oppressing the LGBT community and letting those with HIV/AIDS to suffer.

This makes my project more important than ever. I can't just sit back and let so much of the struggle for LGBT rights in the wake of the AIDS crisis be washed away, and if this project can help teach people about our struggle, it might be able to help them better empathize with us and understand why certain things affect us negatively.

Due to the events of one day in this week, the stakes of what I'm doing have increased vastly (no, bigly is still not a word). It's a lot of pressure, and I hope I can live up to it.

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