Monday, 10 March 2014

A Question of Ethics

One of our goals with 'Northern Iron' is to inject humour into the world. From the get go, we discussed doing this with humorous billboard signs. I wanted to create something disturbing, relating to men's health products:

I ultimately requested that this sketch not be included in the presentation. I decided that with prostate cancer being a sensitive issue, and men being encouraged to have regular checkups, the last thing needed is a cartoon add making fun of the procedure. To make up for this, I created an alternative option of four colourful thumbnails:

I wanted to create something with a sense of propaganda. I thought in this world where Mechs exist as war machines, perhaps the media would try and paint these weapons as wholesome good-willed protectors.  For his reason I have Tank Mechs undertaking domestic tasks, such as bringing in a tray of freshly baked muffins to the seated family, playing cricket with a young boy and helping a housewife tend to garden plant. I also included a smoking add, an enthusiastic soldier proudly flaunting the packet. I chose vibrant colours to create an over-the top, happy nostalgic mood. The idea is that these adds quite clearly try and glorify war and the machines that are used to kill the enemy, by presenting them almost as household essentials. Seeing them undertake normal domestic task almost tries to normalise these tools of war.

The key point raised here, is that in creating this new IP, we have to consider ethics. In a broader sense, war is a sensitive subject, and we are planning on creating a satire piece. Also, we are focusing on a specific region of the country, meaning we will have to be careful not to rely on obvious stereotypes. We are already considering this, discussing different ethnicities and strong challenging gender roles. If we we do include stereotypes, it will be done so in a dry tasteful manner, criticising more the people who believe the cliches, rather than the characters themselves.

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