Game Development Reference
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the brain than the other, many tasks, to some degree, require both sides. For
example, many numerical computation and language activities require both
hemispheres. Furthermore, the side of the brain being utilized for specific
tasks can vary among people. Studies have revealed that 97% of right-handed
people use their left hemisphere for language and speech processing and
70% of left-handed people use their right hemisphere.
In short, simply classifying programmers as left brainers and artists
as right brainers is a misnomer. This also leads to the disturbing
misconception that programmers are poor at art skills and that artists
would have difficulty understanding programming. Programming is so
often generalized as a logical process and art as a creative process that
some find it inconceivable that programmers could be effective as artists
and vice versa.
When Betty Edwards suggests that people should use their right brain for
drawing it is in concept, not physiology. The location of the neurons the
reader is being asked to use to find their creative self is not relevant. What
is important is that Dr. Edwards is asking us to see drawing in a different
light—in a way we may not have considered before. Instead of drawing our
internalized symbol of an object that has been stored away in the brain, she
asks us to draw what we see. To forget what we think it looks like. In the end
this symbolizes a switch in thinking away from logic and patterns to images
and visual processing.
There is no doubt that some people are naturally better at programming
and others at art. However, by taking Edwards' anyone can draw attitude,
we can also say anyone can program . It just requires a little practice and
a change of attitude.
1.2 Programming on the Right Side
of the Brain
While it is true that pure logic is at the very heart of all computer programs,
it still requires an enormous amount of creativity to order the logic into a
program. The process is improved greatly when programmers can visualize
the results of their code before it even runs. You may liken this to a scene
from The Matrix where the characters look at screens of vertically flowing
green numbers and text but can visualize the structure and goings on in a
photorealistic, three-dimensional virtual reality. To become a good computer
programmer you need to know the language of the code and be able to
visualize how it is affecting the computer's memory and the results
of running the program.
Learning a computer language is one key to being able to program. However,
understanding how the language interacts with the computer to produce its
output is even more important. Good programmers will agree that it is easy
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