Web Design and Digital Culture Blog

Stay curious!

It has only been about a month or so since I made the choice to limit my intake of meat and dairy .
Previously , I have never really been a big meat eater so dropping most of the meat was not the hard part. Cheese! Oh boy do I love the taste of cheese! I would have to say my love for cheese would be more of an addiction. Letting cheese go for the most part was one of the hardest foods I needed to give up. Knowing that I can always just have a bite and I wont be a big deal, it will always be there so I have no rush to consume it. You know what wont be here forever? My body and my health. Of course I want to eat cheese everyday but do I want to eat that more then having a health lean body? Not saying that cheese has a imitate danger to me, I know you can eat it and still be healthy. However, After I have done my research, I have come to the conclusion that I can still be just as healthy without cheese as I can with it. This also applies to a lot of other animal products. The one thing that stood out different for me when I chose not to eat those products , was how positive my mentality got. Other then the positive health effects of going to a plant based diet, this lifestyle is can also be guilt free. When I ate meat, I was never guilt free and I was sluggish . The move to a plant based diet was just a expected personal evolution of who I am. Living with this diet allows me to practice what I believe in already.

You might not agree with the choice that I made , you might feel completely opposed. This was the right choice for me. Currently it’s a process as I have not taken it strictly yet, I feel like if I did then I would fall off the wagon faster. I am still flexible and don’t make others cater to my new lifestyle process. I cant speak to how you should eat as we all have different beliefs for what’s healthy. All I can do is promote a healthy diet and express how positive my process to a planet based diet has been. I know I wont regret trying this new process, like I previously did after eating hamburger. All I use to do was eat what I wanted, not what I needed. I didn’t need to eat beef hamburger but I did because I was brought up to think that it was ok. Yes, beef does have some nutritional benefits, however after the research I have done I concluded that the overall negative effects supersede the health benefits of it. You might not agree and feel like you still need to eat it , that’s OK because that’s what you think is right for you. I don’t know what’s right for you and I am not going to sit here to tell you that you have to make the change . I will though try to get you to look into why you eat meat or dairy, really look into all the aspects of it. That might be a big favor to ask of you because I know we are all busy and don’t have time to really think about it. Its easier to just eat it and not overthink. If you have any curiosity about the effects of the traditional American diet on the body, mentality and our environment I encourage you to look into that! Don’t just sit back and keep doing that your doing because it would be “work” . You will not regret it and might even learn more about the subject then you previously did. Stay curious and ask questions about it all!! We can only grew if we our open to other views and paths available to us. You never know how much impact being curious will have if you don’t try .

Games can give us the edge we need.


– Using Japan to cheat.


Education is one of the most important weapons we have available to us and it needs a complete over hall. With the right education system we could solve so many of todays problems. The more we know, the bigger advantage we have as a country. Once we are an educated society, we can build off of our education to make a better economy for future generations.

Take Japan for example; they have the biggest advantage in today’s economy because they put education as the highest priority. Their technology is so advanced that all the other counties buy it from them. This advantage is due to the emphasis on math and science in their culture. Students are brought up with the idea that if you want to be successful, you must master math and science.  They are right, they do have the advantage that they wanted and we all want what they have. This leads them to produce the best technology; in particular, their automotive leave nothing to be desired. They developed the latest game consoles such as Sony Play Station and Nintendo. Along with game consoles, they have also developed the latest digital cameras Canon, Sony and Panasonic.  The connection between their high technology and culture is what makes them brilliant.  The students are pushed by their parents to be the best in both math and science; I believe this has some connection on them being the smartest society when it comes to technology.

-Where we go from here.

“ Compared with games, reality is trivial. Games make us part of something bigger and give epic meaning to our actions.”

– Jane Mcgonigal  Reality is broken.

Think about this for a second, how do games have any connection to the Japanese culture?  To answer that I will refer back to the way their culture works.  They have strong beliefs in math and science, which would keep the students at the edge of their learning abilities.  Always striving for the best leaves the students always challenged.  This headstrong belief almost makes me think of their culture more like a game rather then reality. This shouldn’t surprise you, with all their efforts focused on improving rather then indulging, this makes the country ahead of all of its other classmates. They are always prepared for anything, whether that is an earthquake or a war.

-Model to follow.

Learning from the Japanese, I believe that our next move is to implement games into our society as whole.  This is easier said the done, however, we could start with the education system. I believe the educational is working for the digital age here in the USA. There is already a school trying to implement games into the education system. For example, there is a school in New York called Quest to Learn – where the whole school is taught in the form of a game.  Students are automatically submerged in the game from the beginning.

“From start to finish: every course, every activity every assignment. Every moment of instruction and assessment would be designed by borrowing key mechanic and participation strategies from the most engaging multi-player games.  “ – Jane Mcgonigal , Reality is broken.

The first senior class will graduate 2016 and this first of its kind school will produce some of the more creative problem solvers, strong collaborators and innovative thinkers ready to take on the enormous task of getting the United States of America back on the right track. This model is showing much promise with educating the new generation because of its structure. Students are now being challenged in school the way they have been for years in games.  Closing the gap between games and the classroom is now possible and would present many new studies about how we should be running our society.

Why everyone should play more games.


-Doing more harm then good.

We are brought up in a world that is taught the philosophy that if we work hard enough, we will succeed in this world. Getting the dream job, fame and fortunes is what we are brainwashed to want. These unrealistic desires are suppose to bring never – ending happiness. The one thing that we all search for, it drives our every decision and gives us a sense of meaning. Then why is it that the USA has some of the highest depression rates? Is this self-taught philosophy really working the way that we had envisioned?

-Just set them up to knock them down.

The problem that we have here is that the real life experiences are not giving us what we need to be happy. Hard work no longer the way to being rich and happy. The gap between the rich and poor is getting wider as we speak and shows no signs of shrinking. The truth is that the rich are usually born rich and the poor are born poor. Very rarely we ever get the experience of working our way up to being rich. However, we are still striving for this unrealistic reward.  We as humans have this false hope breed into us from day one and it only has resulted in depression. According to Jane Mcgonigal, Reality is broken,  When we are depressed, we suffer from two things: a pessimistic sense of inadequacy and a despondent lack of activity.

-Games have all the answers.

“Compared to games, reality is depressing. Games focus our energy, with relentless optimism, on something we’re good at and enjoy. “


Games give us work that we want to do and that we enjoy doing. In reality, we don’t usually end up dong the work we want to do because we have important obligations to others such as family, to support them. This usually means getting a job just to pay the bills, a job that we don’t enjoy or for that matter even want. Millions of people of figured out that games give them the hope that reality lacks. They turn to games to escape the real world in hopes of a better, more satisfying one. This world, built by games, is the perfect reality. It provides us with the obstacles that we choose to be challenged by and we get the feed back from our hard work telling us that it’s paying off. If only the real world would be this responsive to our hard wok and give us a choice on what we want to do verses pushing us into a corner and giving us one option.

-Just what the doctor ordered.

The temporary cure to this depression brought on by the unrealistic goals of our predecessors is to play more games. In a perfect reality I would tell you to just play your life as if it were a game, however, that’s now how our society is set up, making it impossible. In the mean time, go back to your Call of Duty or World of War Craft and be happy. Its not your fault this world has let you down, your only doing what makes you happy.

Finding Happiness is Impossible


Lets face it, happiness is what we all want and we would do anything for it , right? Well it turns out that we have been mislead all of our lives. We were taught that  to be happy, we were suppose to find happiness. Search all you want, look in all the hiding places and ask around, you wont find it. What if we could find ‘happiness’ ? Then what? What would it look like, feel like or even be like? Everyone has their own answers this these questions and it turns out no one is right. Happiness is not something that is waiting for us to find it, its has been within us all this time.

-Our new goal

We know what makes us happy; its that feeling that we get when something good happens, when something goes our way or when our hard work pays off and we get that satisfaction that we did it. That feeling, that is happiness in its temporary state. To feel happy more often then not, we need to focus on what we really want in life and go for it. Material things only sabotage our way on the road to eternal happiness. That feeling that you get when you got an A on a project that you worked your ass off for, is the exact feeling that you need to drive your intentions in life in the right direction. The A is an extrinsic reward for doing all that hard work, but the real goal, why you wanted that A in the first place was for that feeling you received, called a intrinsic reward. That self full filling reward is just want you need more of, you have played to one of your strengths and it feels good that you put it to use. Our new goal in life should be focused on these new intrinsic rewards and not be distracted by extrinsic ones.

-Personal Opinion

My happiness has gone through many ups and downs through out my 24 years. At times I was lost; I didn’t know what to feel because of the conflict between intrinsic rewards and extrinsic ones. For example, the pride I would get when I got an A verses skipping class for my friends and or for a better social status. I realized that the feeling that I got from the extrinsic ones such as getting the A, made me feel successful and the feeling I got when I skipped class made me feel powerful.  I find this somewhat confusing, and unsure of where to really draw the line on what is or is not intrinsic rewards. Now that I can stand back and look at my high school life, I wish that I made more of an effort to get good grades because I would have that satisfaction that did my best. I don’t have that satisfaction however,instead have great memories of skipping gym and getting detention. That feeling that I got when i skipped was the adrenaline rush from not doing what I was “suppose” to. All in all, high school was fun,exciting and nothing like college; do i regret not working harder for those grades?  Hell no, I have satisfaction of living a little in replace of having a boring high school life.

Reversing the cycle

After a long web search, I come across this ted talk video that is related to the Jane Mcgonigal’s book ‘Reality is broken’. In her book, chapter two, she talks about intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards . This video below is more evidence that intrinsic rewards are what we need to be focusing on in our lives. Shawn gives plenty evidence of this such as studies that he was a part of and reviews of students at Harvard. I found this video a really nice companion to Jane’s chapter two and I have written a summery of what it is about below.


The shocking truth

This movie is about how your external world does not have that be of impact on your  eternal happiness. Only 10 % of your happiness has to do that the external, the other 90 percent of your long term happiness is how your brain processes the world. If we can change the formula for happiness, then we can effect reality . 25 percent of job success if predicted by IQ, the other 75 percent is predicted by your optimum levels, social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge  not a threat.  He talked about a boarding school that has a week of “wellness awareness” and every day was something depressing, such as depression on Mondays, bullying on Tuesdays, eating disorders on Wednesday, Thursday is drugs and Friday is risky sex or happiness. Shawn talks about how that’s not a wellness week, that’s a sickness week. The absences of disease is not health. We need to reverse the formula .

The part that’s broken

He refers to the model of” if i work harder then ill be successful and then ill be happier”. This is what drives everything we do as humans and is broken and backwards for 2 reasons. First, every time your brain has success , you have just changed the goal post for what success looks like. Example, you got good grades, now you have to get better grades. You got a good job, now you have to get a better job. You hit your sales target, now we are going to change your sales target. If happiness is on the other side of success, your brain never gets there and we have pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon in our society. If you can change their brain in the present, then you have this happiness advantage which is your brain at positive, it performs better then at negative, neutral or stressed. Your brain at positive is 31 percent for productive and you have /are better secure jobs, better at keeping jobs, superior productivity, more resilient, less burnout,less turnover, greater sales . “lyubomirsky,2005”

The solution

Dopamine, which is released when your happy, not only makes you happy but it turns on all the learning centers of the brain. Allowing you to adapt to a world in a different way. Doing 2 mins a day for 21 days in a row, we can rewire your brain to work more optimistically and realistically: having 3 gratitude, journaling,exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness. After this , you have trained your brain to scan the world for the positive, not the negative. With this , you can change your formula for success and with the ripple effect, you can create a real revolution.

Personal Review

I have to say, this was very interesting and gave my view on games a complete over hall Jane Mcgonigal did a great job with her book,”reality is broken” and I have recommended the book to many people since reading it. Jane explains how games are the answer to most of our problems that we are having today and that our view on them needs to change. With studies and examples of community games, she has ample evidence to back up all her claims. She also uses her own experiences to explain concept ARG’s. I also liked how she talks about the games as if they are normal events in life such as chore wars. She not only explained the rules of this but talked about how it could benefit and change us are thoughts on chores all together.

Quest to learn

One game that she talked about in great detail is Quest to learn and this was actually being implemented in our schools already. Her insight on this was very interesting and I liked how she did research to find out that there are schools that are giving humanity hope. Most of our schools are not working as well as they should and with Quest to learn in New York , I believe this is a stepping stone for many other school models. However, It is the old beliefs that the older generations were brought up with ,  that is keeping it from being implemented into more school. This is also not helping the future generations by giving them the false belief that the school system is working. This is what is not going to aid changes that need to be made if we want to be a strong country again. I don’t understand how the parents can sit at the dinner table and still preach to their children that all they need to do is work harder. They are working harder and its not getting them any where. This is more then evident with the physics here at UMD. The curriculum for that is a disaster and needs help majorly, and I don’t mean just a curve on the grades so that it appears that the class is passing. Yes some people learn in the current school system we have but not everyone. I don’t understand why there needs to be one uniform way of learning when we are not all the same.

Happiness Hacking

Games such as Cruel2bekind is a great game that I believe needs to be played more often. This game breaks people out of their comfort zone and forces them to be nice. However, there is a twist, once they are stuck with the compliment, they to have to play the game. Now they have to go find someone that is not playing and give them a compliment. This is the cruel part of the game, because its forcing you to do something that you are not comfortable with, but this is for the greater good. This game reminds me of Improv everywhere, where you group up with many people and do a odd scene that normally would be looked at as being out of place and strange. This is a great this for many people who normally would not do anything of this sort because its not the norm. This is where the individual act of something not being the norm changes. The more people you have involved with this , the more the people who are not playing start to question of this is the new norm. I believe this “game”  has so much potential and could be used to change the way we think and act in large scale.

Brand Archetypes

Brand Archetype #1: The Sage

Quote: “The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.” ~ Lao Tzu

Motto: The truth will set you free.
Driving desire: to find truth
Goal: to use intelligence and analysis to understand the world
Biggest fear: being duped, misled—or ignorance.
Strategy: seeking out information and knowledge; self-reflection and understanding thought processes
Weakness: can study details forever and never act
Talent: wisdom, intelligence

Also known as: expert, scholar, detective, advisor, thinker, philosopher, academic, researcher, thinker, planner, professional, mentor, teacher, contemplative, guru

Sage archetypes in the wild:

  • provide expertise or information to customers
  • encourage customers to think
  • based on new scientific findings or esoteric knowledge
  • supported by research-based facts
  • differentiate from others whose quality or performance is suspect

Archetype examples: BBC, CNN, Gallup, PBS

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Brand Archetype #2: The Innocent

Quote: “Innocence is always unsuspicious.” ~ Joseph Joubert

Motto: We are young and free.
Driving desire: to get to paradise
Goal: to be happy
Greatest fear: to be punished for doing something bad or wrong
Strategy: to do things right
Weakness: boring for all their naive innocence
Talent: faith and optimism

Also known as: utopian, traditionalist, naive, mystic, saint, romantic, dreamer

Innocent archetypes in the wild:

  • offer a simple solution to a problem
  • associate with goodness, morality, simplicity, nostalgia or childhood
  • low or moderate pricing
  • companies with straightforward values
  • differentiate from brands with poor reputations

Archetype examples: Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream

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Brand Archetype #3: The Explorer

Quote: “Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.” ~ Frank Borman

Motto: Don’t fence me in.
Driving desire: the freedom to find out who you are through exploring the world
Goal: to experience a better, more authentic, more fulfilling life
Biggest fear: getting trapped, conformity, and inner emptiness
Strategy: journey, seeking out and experiencing new things, escape from boredom
Weakness: aimless wandering, becoming a misfit
Talent: autonomy, ambition, being true to one’s soul

Also known as: seeker, iconoclast, wanderer, individualist, pilgrim

Explorer archetypes in the wild:

  • helps people feel free, nonconformist or pioneering
  • rugged and sturdy or for use in the great outdoors or in dangerous settings
  • can be purchased from a catalog or on the Internet
  • help people express their individuality
  • can be purchased for consumption on the go
  • differentiate from a successful regular guy/gal brand or conformist brand
  • culture that creates new and exciting products or experiences

Archetype examples: Indiana Jones, Jeep, Marlboro

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Brand Archetype #4: The Ruler

Quote: “He who is to be a good ruler must have first been ruled.” ~ Aristotle

Motto: Power isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Driving desire: control
Goal: create a prosperous, successful family or community
Strategy: exercise power
Greatest fear: chaos, being overthrown
Weakness: being authoritarian, unable to delegate, out of touch with reality
Talent: responsibility, leadership

Also known as: boss, leader, aristocrat, king, queen, politician, role model, manager or administrator

Ruler archetypes in the wild:

  • high-status product or service used by powerful people to enhance their power
  • make people more organized
  • offer a lifetime guarantee
  • empower people to maintain or enhances their grip on power
  • has a regulatory or protective function
  • moderate to high pricing
  • differentiate from populist brands or clear leaders in the field
  • market leaders offering a sense of security and stability in a chaotic world

Archetype examples: IBM, Microsoft

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Brand Archetype #5: The Creator

Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Motto: If you can imagine it, it can be done.
Driving desire: to create things of enduring value
Goal: to realize a vision
Greatest fear: mediocre vision or execution
Strategy: develop artistic control and skill
Task: to create culture, express own vision
Weakness: perfectionism, bad solutions
Talent: creativity and imagination

Also known as: artist, inventor, innovator, muse, musician, writer or dreamer

Creator archetypes in the wild:

  • promote self-expression, give customers choices and options, help foster innovation or is artistic in design
  • creative fields like marketing, public relations, the arts, or technological innovation
  • differentiate from “do-it-all” brands that leave little room for the imagination
  • “do-it-yourself and save money” approach
  • customer has the time to be creative
  • organization with a creative culture

Archetype examples: Lego, Sony, Crayola

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Brand Archetype #6: The Caregiver

Quote: “When you’re a caregiver, you need to realize that you’ve got to take care of yourself, because—not only are you going to have to rise to the occasion to help someone else—but you have to model for the next generation.” ~ Naomi Judd

Motto: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Driving desire: to protect and care for others
Goal: to help others
Greatest fear: selfishness and ingratitude
Strategy: doing things for others
Weakness: martyrdom, being exploited
Talent: compassion, generosity

Also known as: saint, altruist, parent, helper, supporter

Caregiver archetypes in the wild:

  • give customers a competitive advantage
  • support families (products from fast-food to minivans) or is associated with nurturing (e.g. cookies, teaching materials)
  • serve the public sector, e.g. health care, education, aid programs and other caregiving fields
  • help people stay connected with and care about others
  • help people care for themselves
  • likely a non-profit or charitable cause

Archetype examples: Mother Teresa, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo

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Brand Archetype #7: The Magician

Quote: “Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large. Then make the dream real.” ~ Donald Wills Douglas

Motto: I make things happen.
Driving desire: understanding the fundamental laws of the universe
Goal: to make dreams come true
Greatest fear: unintended negative consequences
Strategy: develop a vision and live by it
Weakness: becoming manipulative
Talent: finding win-win solutions, making the complex appear simple

Also known as: visionary, catalyst, inventor, charismatic leader, shaman, healer, medicine man

Magician archetypes in the wild:

  • promise to transform customers
  • product or service is transformative
  • may have a new-age quality
  • consciousness-expanding
  • user-friendly or contemporary
  • spiritual connotations
  • medium to high pricing

Archetype examples: Disney, Dreamscape Multimedia, Oil of Olay

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Brand Archetype #8: The Hero

Quote: ”A hero has faced it all; he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.” ~ Andrew Bernstein

Motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Driving desire: to prove one’s worth through courageous acts
Goal: expert mastery in a way that improves the world
Greatest fear: weakness, vulnerability, being a “chicken”
Strategy: to be as strong and competent as possible
Weakness: arrogance, always needing another battle to fight
Talent: competence and courage

Also known as: warrior, crusader, rescuer, superhero, savior, soldier, dragon slayer, the winner and the team player

Hero archetypes in the wild:

  • inventions or innovations that will have a major impact on the world
  • help people be all they can be
  • solve a major social problem or encourage others to do so
  • have clear opponent you want to beat
  • underdog or challenger brands
  • products and services that are strong and help people do tough jobs exceptionally well
  • differentiate from competitors with problems following through or keeping their promises (“brand enemy” positioning)
  • customers see themselves as good, moral citizens

Archetype examples: Nike, Superman

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Brand Archetype #9: The Outlaw

Quote: “Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won’t adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is sign on as its accomplice.” ~ Tom Robbins

Motto: Rules are made to be broken.
Driving desire: revenge or revolution
Goal: to overturn what isn’t working
Greatest fear: to be powerless or ineffectual
Strategy: disrupt, destroy, or shock
Weakness: crossing over to the dark side, crime
Talent: outrageousness, radical freedom

Also known as: rebel, revolutionary, wild man, the misfit, or iconoclast

Outlaw archetypes in the wild:

  • appeal to customers or employees who feel disenfranchised from society
  • help retain values that are threatened by emerging ones
  • pave the way for revolutionary new attitudes
  • low to moderate pricing
  • break with industry conventions

Archetype examples: Harley-Davidson, Apple

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Brand Archetype #10: The Lover

Quote: “A true lover always feels in debt to the one he loves.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman

Motto: You’re the only one.
Driving desire: intimacy and experience
Goal: being in a relationship with the people, work and surroundings they love
Greatest fear: being alone, a wallflower, unwanted, unloved
Strategy: to become more and more physically and emotionally attractive
Weakness: outward-directed desire to please others at risk of losing own identity
Talent: passion, gratitude, appreciation, and commitment

Also known as: partner, friend, intimate, enthusiast, sensualist, spouse, team-builder

Lover archetypes in the wild:

  • help people belong, find friends or partners
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • freewheeling, fun-loving organizational structure
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident brands

Archetype examples: Victoria’s Secret, Lady Godiva

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Brand Archetype #11: The Jester

Quote: “Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body.” ~ Joseph Addison

Motto: You only live once.
Driving desire: to live in the moment with full enjoyment
Goal: to have a great time and lighten up the world
Greatest fear: being bored or boring others
Strategy: play, make jokes, be funny
Weakness: frivolity, wasting time
Talent: joy

Also known as: fool, trickster, joker, practical joker or comedian

Jester archetypes in the wild:

  • give people a sense of belonging
  • help people have a good time
  • low to moderate pricing
  • fun-loving companies
  • differentiate from self-important, overconfident established brands

Archetype examples: Motley Fool, Muppets

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Brand Archetype #12: The Regular Guy/Girl

Quote: “I understand the common man because I understand me in that regard, at least.” ~ Vince McMahon

Motto: All men and women are created equal.
Driving desire: connecting with others
Goal: to belong
Greatest fear: to be left out or to stand out from the crowd
Strategy: develop ordinary solid virtues, be down to earth, the common touch
Weakness: losing one’s own self in an effort to blend in or for the sake of superficial relationships
Talent: realism, empathy, lack of pretense

Also known as: good old boy, everyman, the person next door, the realist, the working stiff, the solid citizen, the good neighbor, the silent majority

Regular Guy or Girl archetypes in the wild:

  • giving people a sense of belonging
  • offers everyday functionality
  • low to moderate pricing
  • solid companies with a down-home organizational culture
  • differentiate from elitist or higher-priced brands

Archetype examples: Home Depot, Wendy’s

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