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Well, here we are in the final stretch of one of the longest short classes I have ever taken, meaning that even though it lasted only 15 days in January, it still entailed the work of an entire semester. EL 250: MWG Video gaming, has been an experience that I do not regret taking part in. It is also one that I won’t soon forget because of it’s unique structure and great classmates. This was by far one of the most intimate classes I have been a part of. EL250 was right up my ally because it was all online, and depended a lot on the blogs. Normally blogging is the part of Jerz classes that I like the most [and one of the reasons I keep taking Jerz classes], and this time was no different. I blogged my little heart out from Dec. 30 until Jan 20 and I loved every second of it. This essay is a reflection of what I have learned and experienced over the past few weeks.

My understanding of key course concepts changed from day one of the class until now. Prior to begining the course we were asked about some of these concepts on JWEB and asked to give our own definitions for them. One of our first tasks included defining the words fun and video game. The easy thing to do would have been to look them up on Webster and call it a day, but I attempted to come up with my own thoughts. My original definition for video game was “a piece of technology composed video simulations that requires interaction from an outside source (user/player) in order to yield a result; they are generally used for entertainment.” I thought fun was, “a feeling of satisfaction associated with pleasure from playing a game. People have fun playing games and playing games is fun.”

Since coming up with those first definitions I have learned a lot about both concepts. We need to look at video games, as just games in general in order to define them properly. Jesper Juul, Brenda Laurel and Raph Koster all attempted to define fun and games through out the course and I have taken some of their definitions, changed some of my own and mixed both.

FUN: What did the experts say?
*Koster's definition of fun was: Fun is all about making the brain feel good- the release of endorphins into our system. Fun is as source of enjoyment cause by pleasure.

*Laurel-Didn’t really touch on fun, but we can infer that she views the best games as realist games and that they would be most fun.

*Juul-Fun in games all depends on personal preference. What one person may view as fun [cleaning house in The Sims] another person may not like. Fun is something left up to the player. Simplicity as well as complexity in games can be fun. Gameplay is closely linked with the fun factor of games.

GAME/VIDEO GAME: What did the experts say?
*Koster: Patterns. That is what games are in the end, teachers. Teaching tools for outdated skills.

*Laurel: Games help us learn more about ourselves. They are teaching tools for socialization/social interaction.

*Juul: Games are based in mathematical equations and used to teach us things as well as provide entertainment.

REFLECTION: My thoughts on these concepts/definitions now.
I think my definition of fun has changed slightly and morphed a bit. I don't think I have much to change on it, because it had many similarities that Koster's definition had. I would like to combine some of his words with my own to make a better definition. *New definition: Fun is all about making the brain feel good- the release of endorphins into our system. The brain feels good because of pleasure which can be associated with games. In regard to games, I now see them as much more than a means of entertainment. They are incredibly multi-functional pieces of technology that can be used to teach as well as entertain. Games can be seen as fun whether they are incredibly challenging or as easy as pie. I took a lot away from this course in regard to the way I view gaming/the gaming culture and how I see myself fitting into the whole equation. A special thanks to Jerz & my blogmates for making this an enjoyable J-Term.

Comments (1)

Little heart? I think you're too modest! You invested a tremendous amount of time and energy into your blog, as well as the other assignments that aren't visible to the general public, and you reaped the benefits. Good work!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 20, 2006 10:16 AM.

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