|unjapanologist (unjapanologist) wrote,|
@ 2012-03-09 12:44 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||interpretations, watch this video|
"Kara" is intended to show off the motion capture technology that will be used for some future games on the PS3. Reading the full article only after I'd watched the video, it struck me how my reaction to it was different from that of Cory Doctorow, whose introduction to the vid on Boing Boing was the only text I read before moving on to the video. He writes that "the unsettling poignancy of this clip arises from the gender and form of the robot". In the comments to that article (which are somewhat iffy in places), lots of people pipe up with where they think the poignancy came from, citing everything from the robot's appearance to her human-like reactions to the music. There's more interpretations in the comments on YouTube (which are iffier).
I found this moving as well, but I'm fairly sure that the "gender and form of the robot" had very little to do with my reaction. For me, this video was all about the story of Kara and the assembly worker, their interactions, and their relationship. Kara is certainly impressively human-like, the acting is good, the music helps, and so on, but all that just works to support what is essentially - for me - a character piece. Some Boing Boing commenters felt the story would have been stronger if the whole thing had been deliberate, a test to see if the robot was self-aware enough. While that might have been interesting, it's not my preferred interpretation, because it would interfere with my reading of this as two characters interacting. If it was all a set-up and the assembly worker's reactions were routine and fake, something he does twenty times a day with every robot he tests, that would mean these two characters didn't really connect. I want there to be shippiness everywhere, darn it.