This is my second semester at CU Denver in the ILT program. I was motivated to join the Games and Learning course for two main reasons. First, it is an elective in my program track, and the course description sounded very interesting for me academically, professionally, and personally. I’ve played video games since I was  4 or 5 years old – when my parents brought home a brand new Commodore 64 computer system in the early to mid 1980s. My dad and brother played the first Flight Simulator game on it, while I was given “Stickybear” learning games which were produced by Weekly Reader. My mom happened to work with a guy who was obsessive about the Commodore 64, and was able to give my family hundreds of copies of various games, utility tools, etc. I quickly played through the Stickybear games and graduated on to more mature titles, such as my all time favorite, Maniac Mansion. My brother and I played the Commodore 64 religiously and pretty much wore it out.

Around 1990, our local video rental store began renting out the original Nintendo console and games. My mom rented the console for us two or so times and that was it – we were all hooked on it. My parents bought a console and several games, such as the Mario Bros. series, RBI baseball, and of course my favorite, Maniac Mansion. Renting new titles was a big deal to me. I recall renting Paper Boy and playing it for hours upon hours after school. I also remember finally beating Maniac Mansion after a marathon game playing session of about 12 hours straight. I also recall my mom becoming obsessed playing Mario Bros. 3 with my brother and I, and the time I called her at work to tell her I beat a level that none of us had been able to beat for weeks.

As an adult, I haven’t had the fanatical obsession with gaming that I did as a kid. Games have changed. There are so many more shooter games now than when I was a kid, which aren’t my favorite genre, and for me it’s hard to want to commit to buying a console because I fear there won’t be enough of the types of games I like playing to make it worth my time or money. I do enjoy games such as The Sims and SimCity, as well as Flight Simulator. I want to learn more about the types of computer-based games available now, as they seem more my style compared to today’s console-based games.

In INTE5320, I want to dig deeper into game play. I want to know about motivation in gaming, and how people learn through gaming. I want to dig deeper beyond the superficiality of games and get into the details. I am looking forward to becoming immersed in this topic and ways I can use gaming in my professional life.