Synaesthesia Discovery

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Synaesthesia Marches into the Soccer World Cup

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imageThe early exit of Australian socceroos at FIFA World Cup 2014 has not dampened the nation’s enthusiasm in soccer. Soccer is on the rise to become more and more popular in Australia.

Both Skye and Thomas participate in soccer training and soccer games at school. Before the end of last term, Skye’s team represented his school to compete at a regional tournament.

Skye’s interest in soccer was developed through his love of an iPad game called Head Soccer. The game involves players from many countries. His synaesthesia very quickly made him see country flags in synaesthetic colour. Not only that, those flags try very hard to communicate with him. Within no time, Skye was able to recognise all country flags in Head Soccer. After some research on Internet, his knowledge in country flags expanded further. He now can recognise close to 100 different country flags.

Skye wrote a few examples of his synaesthetic responses associated with geographical flags.

Algerian flag: I do not see a colour, but I see a shining object made from glitter and glass.

Australian flag: I see a huge mixture of colours, most of them talk to me like “I am beautiful”, a few others say to me, “I am unique”.

Canadian flag: I see red, yellow and green. The colours are on autumn trees. The colours don’t speak.

Chile flag: The colour I see is the same as many other country flags. It’s a unique rainbow colour.

Côte D’ivoire flag: I see the same rainbow sort of colour. Only very few colours involve voices.

The first time Skye kicked a soccer ball many years ago, he noticed a splash of lime green. From that day, kicking a soccer ball often gives rise to his colour perception. Interestingly, different ways of striking a soccer ball trigger different colours. A splash of lime green is what Skye sees if he kicks a ball with the side of his foot whereas a splash of red is associated with a kick using the outside of his foot. The third colour, i.e., orange, is evoked when his toe kicks a ball. Even though Skye is mainly a projector synaesthete, this particular colour perception is more associated than projected. Occasionally, he sees colour on a ball, but most of time, a synaesthetic colour immediately and involuntarily comes to his mind at the time he strikes a ball.

There are more complexity involved in his soccer synaesthesia. The colour perception described above occurs when Skye is playing a real match. However, if he is in a training session, he sees a light orange colour hanging around him.

In a real match, Skye feels himself as a computer. At the sight of a ball coming towards him or going further away from him, he moves left and right feeling as if he was a computer applying a pre-programmed action. This is a true reflection of human evolution! The young generation of synaesthetes unconsciously integrates more and more modern technology with their synaesthesia.

Skye and Thomas are on school holidays. They are having very lazy days playing their games, and making up their TV shows based on their new favorites “Total Drama Action” and “Total Drama Island”. After each self made episode, they sing the theme song “I Wanna be Famous”. I asked them how come they had changed their minds as I thought they didn’t want to be famous. Thomas said, “mum, I definitely don’t want to be famous. How annoying to have so many people follow me and look at me.”

But Skye sighed. He said he didn’t think he had a choice. He figured that the only way he could fund his own country Gahooulia was to become a child actor ASAP. He worked out the first step was to become a voice actor. I have to say I am very impressed by his voice acting skills. He often voices for five to ten characters in one self made episode which is extremely effective.

One day, he rang up the 1800 number advertised on the “Total Drama Action” show hoping to discuss any voice acting opportunity with the producer. But he got a recorded message to say something like “Optus advises that your call will be monitored for the training and quality control purposes”. He had a shock and quickly hang up.

To celebrate my blog Synaesthesia Discovery’s one year anniversary, and to thank my children, family, friends (especially my friend Sophie who does not allow me to give up writing) and readers, I will finish this blog with the lyrics of “Total Drama Island” theme song “I Wanna be Famous”, as per request from two real characters of my blog Skye and Thomas:

Dear Mom and Dad I’m doing fine,
You guys are on my mind
You ask me what I wanted to be
And now I think the answer is plain to see
I wanna be famous

I wanna live close to the Sun
Pack your bags ’cause I’ve already won
Everything to prove nothing in my way
I’ll get there one day
‘Cause I wanna be famous

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na
I wanna be
I wanna be
I wanna be famous
I wanna be
I wanna be
I wanna be famous

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