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The Game of Life Related Text Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited Western Sydney University.

Title: Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited Western Sydney University (2015).

Suggested Responses:
1. Was Deng Thiak successful at the game of life?
Yes, Deng was successful at life because he has gone
from being a pawn (being controlled by others) to
making his own decisions, achieving his own goals
2. What challenges did he face?
Deng has faced many challenges throughout his life so far:
- The advertisement implied that he was born into poverty
- Forcefully removed from his mother at the age of 6 did not
get the chance to continue forming family and community
- Forced to march all the way to Ethiopia which took 33 days
subjected to oppressive ideology in the development stages
of his life
- Forced to fight alongside the rebels in Sudan and use firearms from such a young age, exposing him the the
horrors of war, violence and death. Emotional scarring
- He was put in harms way in the conflict with the rebels and sustained a bullet injury the back at the young
age of 12 physiological stress at a young age can have extreme adverse consequences to body
- Deng had to persevere through the process of being smuggled out of Sudan, and encounter the stress and
anxiety related to possibly being discovered or caught along with the ramifications that could potentially
- Having to adjust to a new country with no family or friends or anyone else he knew
- All other aspects of adjusting to a new country e.g. employment, housing etc.
- The struggle and difficulty of teaching himself to read in Australia
- Succeeding in university
3. Has Den followed lifes rules?
No: He has strayed outside the circumstance that life 'gave' him, and was rescued which broke the natural
rules of The Game of Life
Yes: Deng took advantage of all of the opportunities that life gave him and kept working hard to improve his
situation, which is always an option in The Game of Life
4. Which rules / customs / practices would he have violated in order to succeed?
Deng violated laws of his country by being smuggled out of his involvement with the rebels in Sudan.
5. What role did Western Sydney University play in his success?
Western Sydney gave Deng the opportunity to work for his own success instead of other people making
decisions on his behalf. It gave him the opportunity to become more educated, more socially connected, and
through these things Deng gained access to further opportunities like employment, financial stability and his
own personal development.
6. How did his autonomy assist?
Deng's autonomy meant that he didn't have to rely on others to steer his life and to just accept what
happened to him. It helped him understand that he can shape his own future, and that refugees like him can
be assisted and supported instead of harmed implying that an individual's future isn't necessarily decided
by the forces around them, they can be changed and developed.
7. Think of the challenges you have faced in your life? How much would you risk in making your life
Consider areas of life such as financial issues, family, relationships, socio-economic status, goals and
dreams, beliefs and injustices. Direct students towards questioning whether they would go as far as Deng to
improve their life.
8. What role did chance play in Dengs life?
Chance seemed to play a large role in his life. He did not decide where he was born or in what circumstances
that would be in, his removal from his mother, his enlistment in rebel fighting and violent involvement in
Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited

The Game of Life Related Text Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited Western Sydney University.
Sudan's military conflicts, and the UN's discovery and support for him. The advertisement also implies no
logical reason as to why he attended this university in particular. Alternatively, it could be argued that all of
these events were pre-determined and therefore no chance was involved.
9. How serious is Dengs Game of Life in Sudan, compared to the game he plays at University?
Deng's 'Game of Life' in Sudan is serious in the sense that he is exposed to and involved in many harmful
and life-threatening situations. However, Deng's 'Game of Life' at university is about his decisions and the
impact that his effort will now have on the rest of his life, especially in his journey to becoming a refugee
lawyer and being able to support many others that have similar situations to his own.
10. Was fighting for the rebels a good thing for Deng?
No: Fighting for the rebels left Deng with irreversible scars to his physical, emotional and mental wellbeing
and would have been able to develop his life successfully if that situation never happened.
Yes: If Deng didn't fight for the rebels, he would have never been shot in the back and therefore never have
been smuggled out of Sudan and saved by the UN. All of Deng's life experiences have led him to the success
that he is experiencing today, so the bad aspects allowed the good aspects to happen and grow.
11. Compare the landscape of Sudan with the streets of Western Sydney. How are they different?
The landscape of Sudan is barren and dusty, with little flora and evidence of pollution from the billowing
smoke pillars rising near the sun. The buildings shown are also quite unstable and military vehicles and
confronting barricades are shown.
The streets of Western Sydney are portrayed as lush and far more developed, as Deng drives through a
residential area with many houses and lush, green grass lining the streets. More trees and houses are shown
as Deng rides a bike across the front lawns of Western Sydney, creating an accepting nature of the
12. Comment on the use of colour in Sudan compared to Sydney?
The use of colour in the Sudan shots is very bland and barren in order to convey the arid and difficult living
conditions of the area. Many different browns, greys and dulled colours like khaki are used to make the sets,
props and costumes seem old and worn, along with the environment desolate.
Conversely, the streets of Sydney are lined with grass and are very green which is much more attractive and
seemingly natural. The colour of the blanket around rescued Deng (symbolising comfort and safety) is
white, which represents purity and cleanliness compared to the dusty, barren scenes from Sudan.
13. Compare and contrast the film shots and how they affect the responder.
- Use of cross cutting shots shows the chaos, difficulty and speed of the series of events in Sudan
- Close up shot of tank to emphasise its power and intimidation to the audience empathising with Deng
- Use of focus many scenes set in Sudan have unfocused objects entering in front of the camera's sight,
positioning the audience as if we were there
- High shot in truck to show the perspective is Deng as if we are being smuggled in the truck with him
- Establishing shot and high shot of the UN 'getting him out' shows the new progression of Deng leaving
his past behind, and looking back as he goes
- Tracking shot showing the expanse of development and luxury that Australia has compared to Sudan
- Close up shot showing the look on Deng's face as he is wrapped in a new blanket (comfort and safety)
- Forward ground-angle shot shows the library from Deng's level (sitting on the floor) as he reads,
implying that his reading will help him stand up to the height of others through the power of education and
- Point of view shot to show us what Deng would have seen when he looked at his mother; her expression
and how that would make us feel
14. What is the impact of Deng being filmed from a long angle when he is in Western Sydney?
The long angle shot serves to show us the wide open spaces of Western Sydney. It is juxtaposed with the
tight camera shots in Sudan. The suggestion is that Western Sydney is a wide, welcoming place.
Additionally, the wide angle shot allows more colourful light to be shown in the shot.
15. How does the depth of shot differ from Sudan to Western Sydney?
Most of the shots set in Sudan are all very tight and are filled with other characters and props emphasising
the restricting life that Deng and his community had and implying that there is no escape. Many of the shots
in Sydney are very open and wide (e.g. tracking shot on the street, walking into the university, the exam
Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited

The Game of Life Related Text Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited Western Sydney University.
shot, when Deng is presenting his case in court) which imply the free and open environment of Sydney and
Western Sydney University. It shows that Deng is free to make his own decisions and has the option to
expand himself and go where he wants.
16. What is the significance of the shot of the sky at the end of the advertisement?
The shot of the sky shows how spacious the sky is and implies that Western Sydney University students'
futures are that spacious and open too. The stars act as visual metaphors for the amount of options and
opportunities that the audience could have if they enrol at this university. The image also evokes the
common expression, the sky's the limit which means almost anything is achievable.
17. Why has the composer chosen to begin the advertisement on a cold, frosty morning?
The cold, frosty morning is a flash-forward of what is to come for Deng the feeling and projected reality of
what studying at Western Sydney University is like. The cold, frosty morning is a visual metaphor for a
fresh, new beginning that Western Sydney University can provide, and the implications of the day ahead and
appropriate feelings of new beginnings that this scenario envokes.
18. Is Deng given an extra life in his game?
Similar to the way 'extra lives' are presented in video games, Deng is given a new life after his struggle in
Sudan as the UN intervenes with his life's sequence of events. This extra life was a second chance for him; a
new beginning that allowed him to build his own future and make new choices and decisions after
experiences in his life had gone wrong.
19. This ad suggests that everyone can start a new life. Can we all start a new life? What factors
influence new beginnings?
Responses may differ with this question. Students may answer that we can all start a new life if we want to
we just have to work hard at everything we do and take opportunities like Deng did, and the power of our
self-will will steer our lives in a new direction. Other students may answer that not all of us can start a new
life there are some people in positions like Deng as a child where there is no choice and no chance to
change, get help or improve your situation. Factors that influence new beginnings may be identified as
chance, socio-economic status, financial situation, social connections, geographic location, intellect, mental
health, support, access to resources and services (e.g. education and healthcare).
20. What is the significance of Deng looking to his mother in the closing shots?
Deng looking to his mother implies that he is able to connect to her now that he has achieved personal
autonomy and reached his potential and dreams; the significance of this shot is to personalise the story and
create empathy by putting the audience in his shoes and looking into his (your) mother's eyes after so long,
to see what her reaction is. After becoming a refugee lawyer, it may also signify the greater connection that
Deng now has with people with circumstances like his own (and therefore his mother) and his newlyachieved ability to support them, look them in the eyes and make a difference.
21. Why is his mother the only character to make a demand?
Deng's mother is the only person to make a demand because the audience's role in this advertisement is to
observe what is happening to Deng and create a feeling of disconnection within the text. The fact that the
demand is only achieved after Deng has completed his journey (within the advertisement) implies that by
'winning' in his Game of Life, Deng feels a sense of appreciation and connection to his mother after all this
time, now that he can defend those like her and himself.
22. Make a list of colour, movement and body language that shows the difference between life in Sudan
and Western Sydney:
Dark browns - arid
Greens - lush
Erratic movement from extras - chaotic
Steady movement from extras autonomous and
Deng's serious expressions
Deng showing emotion after exam, pleasure
when winning court case, smile when thinking
about mother
The darkness of night
The yellow of the rising sun a new day
Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited

The Game of Life Related Text Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited Western Sydney University.

Area of Study: Standard and Advanced Outcomes:

1. A student describes and explains the relationships between composer, responder, text and context
in particular texts.
4. A student describes and explains the ways in which language forms and features, and structures of
particular texts shape meaning and influence responses.
5. A student demonstrates an understanding of the ways various textual forms, technologies and their
media of production affect meaning.
Elective Module - The Game of Life - English Studies Outcomes:
P1.2 explores the ideas and values of the texts
P1.3 identifies how language and other techniques are used to convey meaning in extended and short
in extended and short texts in a range of forms
P2.3 demonstrates familiarity with the language conventions of a variety of textual forms, including
literary texts, informative texts and texts used in vocational contexts

Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited