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El 250 Portfolio #1( Final Reflection)

My experience thus far in EL 250: MWG Video Gaming has been a really extraordinary one. Coming into this course I had many expectations about what we were going to be doing, and each of them has been met (thanks in part to my very enthusiastic classmates). In the first JWEB assignment (Orientation & Reflection) I wrote a personal reflection about why I wanted to take this course and told about my own experiences with video games.

“Early on I was very interested in taking this course mainly because of its unique nature. Video gaming is a large part of our development from a young age, in its many forms. I hope to gain a better understanding of gaming history from this course and the appeal of games.”

I am learning much more about gaming than I ever could have imagined and its turning out to be pretty cool. I wanted to gain a better understanding of the culture surrounding video games and the influence they have had on our society as a whole. I now know through various online discussions and blog entries that video games and gaming culture have had an immense influence on the movie industry. I used many of the skills I learned in AR 185: The Art of Film when doing assignments for this section of the course. I wrote a close analysis for each movie as if it were a text and I was doing a close reading.

I am particularly proud of my conclusions about simulations which involved the movies The Matrix and The Truman Show. I also started a discussion with Kayla on her blog about simulations. I’d have to say that I am also proud of my blog entries on Spy Kids 3D and Wargames which deeply analyzed the highly competitive nature of gaming and the role of technology in our lives. One of the movie entries that I especially liked was on Groundog Day and the use of replayability in that movie. I brought up some interesting points about Buddhism in the sense that each time we replay or restart a game it is a metaphor for reincarnation.

I have been able to capitalize on my experience as both a blogger and a journalist in this course and that is something I am really proud of. I have been able to apply my journalism skills to a game review I wrote on Nate Adams Motocross (FMX) as well as my contributions to class discussions on New Games Journalism. I have also enjoyed watching the short movies in class in order to get a better understanding of Interactive Fiction in regard to replayability and the idea of machinima -- movies made by using environments created for videogames. Machinima was seen in the film a Red v.s Blue and I blogged about the idea that these characters had a higher level of thinking in the film than traditional video game characters. The short movie My Trip to Liberty City was probably my favorite to watch because it was rather satirical and put a funny spin on a serious game (Grand Theft Auto 3). After watching this film I found that my assumptions about viedo games were begining to change a little bit and some were even disproven.

The intimate nature of this course (the fact that it is composed of only six students) has also allowed me to have very signifigant interaction with my classmates. We have not resorted to leaving terse comments on eachothers blogs simply for the sake of xenoblogging, but have actually taken the time to give reflective responses to peer work. I no longer feel like commenting is a last minute thing to do right before the blog portolio is due. Regarding the text A Rape In Cyberspace, I left a comment on Stephan Puff's blog about the nature of Mr. Bungle's attack. Was he really a psycho?We tried to answer this question in various ways. The class discussion on the issue was very insightful as well.

We have only gotten into the first book for the class so far and that is Raph Koster's A Theory for Fun and Game Design. I really love this book. It's changed the way I think about games and the way I interpret things in games such as time limits, and other challenges. I reflected on the assigned readings for: Foreword-Chapter 4 and Chapters 5-8. I am excited to finish this text and then finish Laurel's book which I have already begun.

Game play has proven to be an important element of this course and I have had the opportunity to play several different games and do some research on them. After playing Nate Adams Motocross (FMX) for my game review I played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for my Beyond The Review assignment. Early on in the course I played some of Strong Bad's video games in order to understand the simple nature of older games (Rhino Feeder, Secret Collect). Most recently I have taken to playing Space Invaders after doing some brief research on the game. I've posted the links to several Space Invaders sites on my blog too.

Overall I am pleased with my progress and contributions to the course. I know that the next week is probably going to go by even faster and I will have done so much by then. I think that there are real benefits to being involved in an online course like this because you can't just get left or lost by the wayside and skid through the cours hoping for a good grade at the end. The type of class that it is forces you (in a nice way) to be active and if you work hard it shows. I have included a link below to the full list of my contributions to the course including comments and other blog entires (this covers the ones I did not include above).

All My Contributions - A detailed list of what I have done in EL250.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 6, 2006 10:34 AM.

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