I definitely had difficulty with this module simply because I am much more accustomed to a traditional class structure. I find comfort in rubrics, standards, routine, and structure. It was definitely difficult or me to wrap my head around having so much freedom to explore. I floundered around a bit in the beginning just because I didn’t know what to focus on!
In terms of the subject matter, the fact that there is so much material about games doesn’t help. There’s game theory, gamification, history, psychology and sociology, programming, design- literally everything. It probably would have been better for me to begin with a more rigid module.
However, in the end I did learn to appreciate it. My group did everything individually, which was a bit frustrating to try to present, but it was nice to be able to learn about what interested us. I’m very anal, so during the presentation I tried to rush through my points in order to make up for presentations that went long earlier. I think things would have gone better if our group was able to meet in person beforehand to run through the presentation, but that’s a minor issue.
I had originally wanted to look into gaming in real life- mobile apps like Ingress or Zombies, Run!, games on exercise machines, meaningful play- things like that. I even downloaded several of these apps and began using them. However, I ended up falling into a rabbit hole once I learned about the ’83 crash. It was just so interesting to me how the current gaming climate can be traced back to this incident. I read blogs, watched videos, found several documents, and made connections to the present day.
Then, I decided that wasn’t quite enough. For my science education class, we’re encouraged to learn Scratch because there are a ton of educational robots that can be programmed using it. So, I thought to give it a go. I’ve already written a blog post about my experiences with that, but in short I made a fairly simple Space Pong game. I actually presented this game to my education class and explained how everything worked, so I’m setting myself up to earn a Scratch Mastery badge.
In the end, I realized that though I do best with deadlines and requirements, there is value to the more open-ended class structure. That and Scratch are probably the most important thing that I learned, since I already have a fairly rich background in games.