1. (I apologize if this response is a bit too personal.) In theory, I do see childhood as a Utopian time but not for the reasons I'd like to believe it. My own childhood was, to summarize in a single word, tumultuous. Growing up, I found I needed to find and make my own happiness where I could find it. Occasionally this meant re contextualizing things that most would find abjectly horrifying or disturbing. My family never had much money, but we never found ourselves in an emergency. At least, this is what I was told back then. I've come to learn in my adulthood that living in Harrison Township, we were repeatedly robbed and nearly went bankrupt several times. My parents seemed like they were perfect for each other; each giving each other the words of encouragement, respect, and space necessary to fulfill their own goals. Little did I know that my parents secretly weren't getting along and were hiding their fights from me. As I grew older, these sorts of things became further highlighted by my increased awareness of the world around me. Despite the resentments I held later on, I still look back on many aspects of my childhood with fond memories. The deception around me paved the way for me to grow up with a smile on my face in some manner of speaking. I feel as though childhood can be Utopian if treated with care. While subterfuge shouldn't be the primary means, that does not mean it isn't effective. There is also the power of nostalgia to take into account. When looking back on our childhoods, it's easy to see things through perfect, rose-tinted glasses. After all, who enjoys looking back on bad memories? In summary, Childhood is a Utopia because nostalgia will always make the best out of something in the past. Whether it is, in reality, a Utopia is based more on the agency of those around the child rather than the child themselves. 2. I don't really have a Utopian place that I'm able to access, so instead I'll write about a sort of "Perfect Place" for me. Taking a look at each of the four layers, I'd start with my perfect place being in a place where I have my degree and pursuing my career. A place of financial security and confidence in the position I've taken would be Utopian for me so that I would no long worry with uncertainty at tomorrow. For location I would love to see a place for me that is high in the mountains. A dream of mine is to leave the United States for Scotland some day. My perfect place would be somewhere outside of a large city like Edinburgh. A close balance between nature and modernity to bring together the positives and negatives of both. Having such a rich history and culture surrounding me would be ideal, as I take an immense amount of pride in my Scottish heritage. Some more aspects to make this place even more Utopian would be in neighbors and friends. I've never had an opportunity to live in an area where having friendly neighbors was customary, and this would be a nice change. That sense of community would be welcome in a far away land. 3. The research paper I'm writing for this class will include an analysis of a certain video game. The game is called "Мор Утопия" or "Diseased Utopia" in its original Russian. For English speaking audiences, the game was localized as "Pathologic." The story follows three separate protagonists try to survive as a deadly outbreak threatens to decimate a small town in the Russian steppe. The Utopian elements lies in the beautifully crafted town (which is never given a name) and its bizarre cultural practices. The town is ruled by an Oligarchy of three families, who have ruled here for two centuries in harmony. The characters often compare the town to a living being, naming the districts of the town after parts of the body like the "Atrium" at the center, the "Hindquarters" at the southern edge, etc. Not only are the townspeople getting sick, but one can see the town its self as a culture becoming more diseased as its structure falls apart throughout the story. The Utopian elements shine through best in the games opening hours before the outbreak is allowed to flourish. Time plays an important part in the story, as time passes in real time. The player is given 12 in game days to finish the story, or the entire town will succumb to the virulent plague. When left alone, the town flows with its culture of bartering mixed with mercantilism. Conflicts are incredibly rare, even with the presence of three street gangs in a town roughly half the size of Huber Heights. The three groups simply have nothing the others want, and thus do not fight. There is individualism here, as well as harmony. That is, of course, until the conflict of the story appears. Strangely enough, the status quo in many of aspects of this culture remain consistent throughout the play through. Even when the disease is at its worst point, the town's theater still performs, the children still find ways to play, and even the economy finds a way to thrive. Perhaps the town is experiencing its own distopian moment?