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(2022) Ayshan, HanThesisVideo game trailers are an effective promotional form of intermediation that enables audiences to navigate and engage with old and new media. Although video game trailers function as advertisements designed to sell a game, they are also stories that provoke social media commentary and debate. Trailers aim to draw the viewer in, convey sound and imagery, and evoke an involuntary reaction of excitement and awe. In this thesis, I will be using the games Fallout 4, Watch Dogs 2, and Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. In the case studies, I investigate how viewers make sense of the promotional and storytelling aspects of video game trailers. I examine how video game trailers have the potential to arouse emotions and interest before viewers even play the game. Trailers provide an insight into the basic gameplay, not only into the gameplay but also into the story and the characters (protagonists and antagonists). They show audiences the video game theme genre and provide the viewer with a visual and auditory tool to entice possession. This project explores these themes, showing how video game trailers have an inherited cinematic quality but also how trailers actually spend little time presenting actual gameplay. There is a clear connection with movie trailers, teasing the events that will take place in the game and asking the player what will happen next. In this study, I used the methods of narrative analysis and textual analysis to analyse comments from YouTube, Facebook, and a survey of video gamers. The textual analysis of the trailers raises questions of representation and authenticity. In this research, I identified an incongruity between the representation of the core features of a game and the promotion of those features in the trailer. The narrative analysis of the trailers focused on storytelling and emplotment in the trailers. A key theme that has emerged from the analysis is that superheroes engage in vigilantism, a justifiable form of self-administered violence. Gamers may feel at ease with the violence used to correct perceived injustices. There is potential for gamers to consider the moral grey area of vigilante violence and romanticised vigilantism. With their enhanced ability to simulate complex interactive narratives for actual and simulated authenticity, video games offer a sophisticated engagement with players that contributes significantly to their widespread and universal support. The role of culturally created characters in the experience of playing a video game helps stimulate philosophical research. I explore whether normative audience expectations can speed up the development of cultural expectations about the relationship between the player and the narrative of the game and its audience. In this context, I examine case study video game trailers and ask what it means to revise our understanding of the relationship between power, law, and morality while playing the game. I examine and critique how the narrative, and thus the mechanics of a specific game, shapes our understanding of connection, power, law, or morality; I contend that prestige reflects normative privilege and law.
(2021) Mijangos Araujo, LuisThesisGenetic differentiation is a vital aspect of population genetics and is a direct consequence of evolutionary forces acting on genetic diversity. By interpreting patterns of genetic differentiation, we can detect, infer and estimate the extent to which natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow affect genetic diversity. In this thesis, estimation of genetic differentiation is used as a tool to answer the following questions, three mainly theoretical, and the other an applied study on platypus conservation. 1. Can a form of linked selection termed associative overdominance (AOD) explain lower levels of genetic differentiation between populations (FST), and higher heterozygosity, than expected under neutrality in experimental populations (Drosophila melanogaster) and in a feral population (Bos taurus)? 2. Under which circumstances does AOD affect FST and heterozygosity? 3. Can AOD be detected in natural populations? 4. Do dams restrict gene flow among platypus groups? AOD is triggered by the occurrence of recessive deleterious mutations that are physically linked and form haplotypes when recombination events are scarce, as in small populations. When haplotypes within an individual contain recessive deleterious mutations at different positions, a heterozygote for two different haplotypes is fitter than either one of the homozygotes. As a result, heterozygosity is higher, and FST lower than expected under neutrality. Here, using feral, experimental and computer- simulated populations, it is demonstrated how AOD might be prevalent in small populations, and a framework for predicting and detecting AOD is provided. The extent to which dams disrupt gene flow among platypus populations is investigated by using four rivers regulated by dams and three unregulated rivers. It was found that: genetic differentiation is significantly correlated with the number of generations since the dams were built; populations and individuals separated by dams are genetically more different than otherwise; and areas of high genetic differentiation coincide with the location of dams. It is suggested that dams jeopardise the long-term viability of platypus populations.
Rational Synthesis of Lead-Free Epitaxial BiFe0.5Cr0.5O3 Perovskite Thin Film: A Structure-Property Relationship Study for Emerging Optoelectronic Application(2021) Seyfouri, MoeinThesisMultiferroic BiFe0.5Cr0.5O3 (BFCO) in which ferroelectric and magnetic orders coexist has gained research interest owing to its potential applications, e.g., spintronic and resistive random-access memory. Moreover, multiferroics possess a narrower bandgap compared to typical ferroelectrics, extending their application to photovoltaic devices. In contrast to the conventional semiconductors, the polarization-induced electric field facilitates the photoexcited charge separation, leading to an above-bandgap photovoltage in ferroelectrics. Nevertheless, a long-standing issue is the relatively low absorption of visible light. Thus, it is essential but challenging to tune their bandgap without compromising ferroelectricity. This thesis explores structural phase transition in the epitaxial BFCO films grown on SrRuO3 buffered (001) SrTiO3 substrate via Laser Molecular Beam Epitaxy (LMBE). Reciprocal space mapping result shows strain relaxation mechanism is not solely by the formation of misfit dislocation but also by changing the crystal symmetry, transitioning from tetragonal-like to a monoclinically distorted phase as the thickness increases. The crystallographic evolution is also coupled with bandgap modulation, confirming that BFCO structure and its physical properties are strongly intertwined. Using spectroscopic ellipsometry, the slight redshift of the bandgap distinguishes the absorption process of the T-like BFCO layer from that of monoclinically distorted structure, further confirmed by spectral photocurrent measurement via conductive-atomic force microscopy. The preparation of pure phase BFCO film with a robust polarization is of paramount importance for practical application. Yet, similar to the parental bismuth ferrite, BFCO suffers from poor electrical leakage performance. We report a three-order of magnitude suppression in the leakage current for the BFCO film through judicious adjustment of the growth rate. Scanning probe microscopy (PFM, AFM and c-AFM) results reveal that both microstructure and ferroelectric properties can be tuned by lowering the growth rate, ensuing realization of the room-temperature ferroelectric polarization comparable to the ab-initio predicted value. This thesis provides a facile strategy to tailor the structure-property of epitaxial BFCO film and its functional response for emerging optoelectronic devices.
The effect of broadband noise on dynamic decision-making and the moderators that influence this effect(2023) Zhou, HangThesisNoise and workload are both stressors. Stressors are known to affect cognitive performance. While the effect of workload on cognition is widely known, the effect of noise is less understood. Broadband noise at moderate levels (<85 dBA) is typical in many workplaces. Dynamic decision-making (DDM), a complex cognitive task, is required in many workplace settings where moderate broadband noise is present. Understanding how stressors such as noise affect DDM is essential, especially in safety critical professions such as aviation and emergency response. Therefore, the aim of the present research was to understand the effect of moderate broadband noise on DDM and the moderators that can influence the extent of that effect. Study 1, the first of the three studies, was a systematic review for the effect of moderate broadband noise on cognition such as reaction time, attention, short-term memory, long-term memory and high(er)-order cognitive tasks such as DDM. The findings showed that no previous studies investigated the effect of moderate broadband noise on DDM. Study 2, the first of two empirical studies examined the link between noise at 75 dBA, sex, workload, and session on DDM (performance and learning). Study 3 introduced the moderator of financial incentive and additional instructions. The results indicated females’ performance in DDM was affected by noise at low workload, but not high workload. Males were overall unaffected by noise regardless of the workload level. In terms of learning, noise initially impaired females’ performance, however this was overcome in Day 2. The added instruction had the same positive effect on learning performance, as it neutralised the noise effect. Monetary incentives did not moderate the noise stressor. These results highlight the detrimental effect of the stressor noise on DDM, and how its effect on sex can be offset by clear training instructions. The effect of noise can be beneficial to performance in the presence of another stressor, such as high workload, which is supported by theories such as Arousal Theory and Maximal Adaptability Theory. From applied perspective, this finding implies that noise can be a tool to facilitate performance in high workload.