EL 250 Portfolio 2

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So here we are, at the end of week 2 and we've learned and applied so much! Although we're starting to move into the more research-oriented portion of the class, I'm still happy to say that the coursework is very engaging and I'm actually enjoying what we're studying. Below is a showcase of all the work (worthy of mentioning) that I accomplished in the second week of our course. Pay special attention to my discussion, interaction and xenoblogging sections, because they give examples of my most successful blogging experiences this week.

  • Peter's 9:05 gameplay is a short reaction to Peter's first experience with Interactive Fiction. In this blog, I mention that Peter's minor experience with Nancy Drew games probably prepared him for Interactive Fiction.
  • Reaction to Peter's Adventure Gameplay offered enthusiasm concerning Dr. Jerz's D map of the world within Adventure. I also mentioned that he had a huge advantage to playing this difficult game because Dr. Jerz was sitting with him to help him out whenever he needed it.
  • Farewell Koster, Who's Next? was a final entry for our Theory of Fun text. In this entry, I expressed amazement over Koster's Tetris analogy, referred back to the Shanahan review, argued that video games are art and entertainment together and ended my entry arguing yet again that we shouldn't blame violent video games for our youth's voilence.
  • He She It was my response to an article in The Player's Realm. I expressed enthusiasm over Keller mentioning female gamers inadvertantly, but then expressed dismay over the fact that 17/20 players polled were male. I concluded this blog with a comment that what attracts me to most games is their ability to put me into their stories. I love getting lost in a good book, movie, video game, etc.
  • Long Live Paper!! was my response to Montfort's Continuous Paper, in which I connected the text back to my own personal experience. While playing some video games, I used to take notes to help myself progress through a story.
  • Coding for Dummies was a response to Dr. Jerz's article about Colossal Cave. I expressed a lot of interest in the coding that went into this game, because it was a lot more technical than what I experienced with Inform 7.
  • Pac-Man goes Complicated? was my reaction to reading the Pac-Man Dossier. Aside from being amazed that Pac-Man was actually such a complex game, I found the section concerning the ghost and Pac-Man passing through each other to be interesting, mostly because it's amazing that gamers not only found the glitch, but also figured out why it occurs in the game.
  • Lara Croft, the icon for both genders included a video from G4's Xplay that illustrated just how sexist some male gamers could be by exploiting Lara Croft in her early games. This blog was a response to another blog by one of Dr. Jerz's former students, Leslie Rodriguez. I explained that Lara Croft was initially created as a sex object for male gamers, but still appeals to female gamers because of her hard-core nature.
  • Loss for words--Reaction to September 12 gave my initial reactions to an online game where the player's objective is to shoot all of the terrorists and avoid killing innocent civilians. I had several links in this entry, including one to Keith's blog, as well as to a few sites that gave statistics on how many casualties have resulted in the Iraqi war.
  • Heartbroken--Reaction to Darfur is Dying was an opportunity for me to address the importance of awareness concerning this tough subject. I mentioned that the game was probably more effective than reading a book (They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky) could ever be, because interaction holds interest much easier than reading a book.
  • Gaming for Columbine showed my change of feelings over Super Columbine Massacre RPG. Initially, I was horrified that this game was even created. I then mentioned Bowling for Columbine, and discussd some of the safety issues that were apparent at my high school. I concluded the entry with a comment concerning the creator's statement. I was very impressed with his reasoning behind creating such an awful game.
  • Thank you Laurel! was my response to the first half of Utopian Entrepenuer. I agreed with Laurel in that saying "no" isn't the right answer with our youth, and then disagreed with her saying that if something is popular, it's probably bad for you. I closed my blog with a friendly comment concerning Mario Brothers, Tetris, and Myst being games women typically played, because my mom played all three of those games while I was growing up, and Tetris continues to be a favorite of hers.
  • Pokémon & Gender :-/ was my Classic Choice Case Study on guess what? Pokémon and Gender. I talked briefly about the fact that despite many young female gamers, the Pokémon franchise did not release a game that allowed the player to be female until 6 American game releases later. I also linked to an article that suggested that some of the pokémon in the game were stereotypical female characters.
  • Project Proposal gavemy primary idea for my research project--video game violence and its effects on people. I listed a few links to EbscoHost articles that I found to be useful and mentioned which games I'd like to focus my study on.
  • War & Peace gave my response to another article in A Player's Realm, about video games being used for propaganda. I expressed my discomfort that the government thinks it's okay to use a video game as propaganda.
  • Review of a Review gave my opinion on what Dr. Jerz had to say about Fatworld. I mentioned that I briefly tried playing the game, but the majority of my entry focused on Dr. Jerz's method for writing the article. I compared his article to one that we read earlier in the course and explained why I thought Dr. Jerz's piece was more effective.
  • IF Experience was part 1 of 2 blogs in which I experimented with a few different IF games. I've done this exercise before, as I mentioned in my blog, so I tried two games I've never played before, and then went back to Fine Tuned.
  • Finely-Tuned Extended Play was part 2 of 2. I chose to write about Dr. Jerz's IF game and raved about why this game is so much game, agreeing for the most part with the review of the game that I found online.
  • Thanks for the Good Advice! finished off my analysis of Laurel's Utopian Entrepeneur. In this entry, I commented on the value of personal storytelling, the value of being well informed and the value of business innovation working together with technological invention.
  • Personal Blogs--Public Diaries was my response to a blog posted by a famous blogger. I expressed my own issues with blogging and explained why I agreed with Mortensen. I also expressed aprehension towards personal blogs because I think people who write personal blogs are a little bit self-centered.
  • What if God was one of Us? was my Case Study on Black & White. I linked to a previous blog that showed a video of the intro to the game and also provided a link to a review of the game, arguing that it is worth studying simply because it forces it's players to weigh the pros and cons of every action they make.
  • "Just for Kicks and Giggles" was an entry that I wrote just for fun. I talked about introducing one of my friends from high school to Dr. Jerz's Fine Tuned and my friend's initial reactions. 
  • Games & Learning--Endless Possibilities. was a chance for me to mention how important I think it is to utilize games for learning, because kids learn by doing.
  • Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill was another blog entry dedicated to video game violence. Starting to see a trend? I quoted a few passages from the selected reading, and then explained why there are more factors than simply video game violence to consider.
  • Taylor Discussion Intro is the beginning of my guided discussion through the reading in A Player's Realm that deals with the battle between PC and Console Gaming. I pose several thought-provoking discussion questions and link to an article online that gives the advantages and disadvantages to each type of gaming.
  • Educational Entertainment was my response to an article about how modern video games can be used in today's society. I reflect back to my childhood educational games like the Magic School Bus and question what the future for educational games may hold.



  • Peter's 9:05 gameplay--After Jeremy's initial comment, Dr. Jerz and I held a brief conversation concerning Nancy Drew games. I mentioned that I hope his kids continue to enjoy them as much as I did (and still do).
  • Farewell Koster, Who's Next?--Dr. Jerz and I continued to discuss who we should blame youth violence on and provided suggestions for why kids turn out "bad."
  • He She It--Keith, Beth Ann and I discussed the fact that female gamers are finally being acknowledged, especially in Keller's article.
  • Lara Croft, the icon for both genders--I shared a brief discussion with Susan and Dr. Jerz about Lara Croft's role in Tomb Raider. 
  • Heartbroken--Reaction to Darfur is Dying--This entry spawned 3 comments from 3 different people concerning Darfur is Dying. Susan and Matt commented on the overload of information within the village (I later agreed with them), and Dr. Jerz responded to my book/video game comparison.
  • Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill--Beth Ann and I agreed in our discussion that video games are blamed too much and that it is important to consider the environment in which a child grows up in.


  • Coding for Dummies--The Comment Gracious: I linked two both Susan and Beth Anne's entries. Both commented that they were amazed that Adventure was based on a real cave--I already knew this, so I used this as a contrast for the base of my entry.
  • Loss for words--Reaction to September 12--The Comment Gracious: I linked to Keith's entry on September 12, because he pointed out something that I overlooked in the game involving the civilians and terrorists being one in the same within the game.
  • Keith's Columbine tragedy--The Comment Grande: I link to the Artist's statement concerning the RPG game we were looking at, telling my peers that I'm not trying to change their opinions of the game, but I wanted to give them another view.
  • Shellie's Montfort--The Comment Primo: My initial comment about how childhoods have changed since the creation of video games was responded to by Susan on Shellie's entry about how technology has progressed.
  • Keith's WiiFit--The Comment Informative: I mention that Sony's EyeToy webcam application had some exercises as well. Dr. Jerz follows up with an example of a similar application on display at a museum.



Nick said:


After reading through a couple of your posts about video game violence, I thought that you might find the site videogames.procon.org helpful. You will see arguments on both sides of the issue "Do violent video games contribute to youth violence?" as well as pdf's of many academic studies about the issue. I hope you find it interesting and useful!



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