Blog Posts

Over the course of the quarter, you will contribute to a class blog (located on this WordPress site) through original posts and responses to your peers. These posts are intended to influence and extend the conversations we have during our shared meetings. You are required to post at least 4 entries over the course of the quarter. Each entry should respond to that week’s digital narratives or theoretical reading, expand substantively on an ongoing topic of class discussion (without simply reproducing or documenting an exchange), or call our attention to articles or media about related phenomena. The 4 minimum entries can be posted anytime over the course of the quarter but you may post no more than one post a week for credit (so plan ahead!). Each post must also comment on a topic from the week in which it is posted (so you can’t, for instance, return to a topic from Week 2 on Week 9 unless it is in some way related to a current discussion). While the content of these entries can be wide-ranging and less formal than your essays, you should observe formal citation standards and be mindful of your prose. You are also required to read posts by your classmates and respond briefly to at least one entry per week.

3 thoughts on “Blog Posts

  1. The Importance of Teamwork and Creativity in ARGs

    One of the things that I found interesting from this week’s readings is the importance of teamwork throughout the entire life cycle of ARGs, from their inception and their creation to the span in which they are enjoyed by their players. Even though we have previously examined the importance of collaboration and teamwork between players of successful ARGs, such as the players in I Love Bees who had to work together to solve multilingual puzzles, we had not looked in detail at the collaboration that must take place between the designers of a successful ARG. A prominent theme in the reading from Game Design Workshop seemed to be the necessity for collaboration between designers of ARGS, each of whom specializes in something different. The discussion of all of the different professionals needed to put together a compelling ARG, including professional storytellers, computer scientists, and managers, deepened my understanding of all of the different areas of expertise that must be incorporated to create an ARG that is engaging on every level, including its story and characters, its user interface, and its production and execution (Game Design Workshop, 6).

    Another thing that I found interesting in the readings was the focus on the different sources of creativity that game designers turn to when they are brainstorming for new ideas. The story of how the game designer from Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, looked to his childhood for inspiration, reminded me of our discussion in class about how children are so much better and more able to play than adults are, and how we seem to lose a certain flexibility of our imagination as we move through the years towards maturity (Game Design Workshop, 6). In this context, it makes sense that designers would look back to their childhood in order to garner ideas for a new game. I was also intrigued by Miyamoto paralleling his search for inspiration to exploring new territory without a map (Game Design Workshop, 6). This seems extremely similar the way in which some games, especially those of children, are played without any particular objective or destination, and the openness with which successful game designers must approach player feedback or actions which might cause unforeseen changes in their game, such as the case we saw in I Love Bees where one player, to the surprise of the creators, collaborated with a villain character, causing the creators to have to rewrite much of the game’s narrative.

    The need for a childlike openness and sense of creativity seems especially relevant given the potential for the use of ARGs in education, and the point made in lecture about how the levels of college students’ arousal and engagement are lowest when the students watch TV and when they attend lecture. Using ARGs to increase creativity and engagement in the classroom seems especially plausible as we continue to discuss new ideas and work with our final project groups in this class. The setup for the creation of successful ARGs, including creating final project groups made up of members who come from different backgrounds and majors, is evident in this class. So far, it seems from firsthand experience that using ARGs in the classroom may indeed result in increased student involvement and engagement with class material, producing an enhanced learning experience.

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