I have enjoyed the first three cycles of Games & Learning. I have been enjoying our assigned readings, particularly the ones during Cycle 2. I have also enjoyed the time spent on the game I have chosen to play this semester, The Sims 4, and digging into the affinity space I am researching, The Sims Resource. I am enjoying reading my classmates play journal entries to learn all about the games they are playing this semester. I’ve discovered several games that I would like to try from reading their blog entries.
I have learned to use a new tool, hypothes.is, which I have realized has really helped me understand the assigned readings on a deeper level. However, I am finding hypothes.is to be extremely tedious to use because it constantly locks my computer browser up and is slow, and has frustrated me to the point where I have been unable to use it on either Firefox or Google Chrome browsers. I am still trying to figure out a way that I can use this tool to its full potential but so far it has been very frustrating for me in the fact that I feel fully engaged when participating in annotating articles but the program itself is preventing me from using it.
My preconceptions about games, play, and learning have greatly changed since beginning this class. I am impressed with the sheer amount of research conducted on all facets of game play. It has been refreshing to find out that not all research has been concentrated on the topic of violence and video games. I have been surprised at the ease of which I am able to find interesting articles about various topics surrounding games that have captured my interest so far this semester. I particularly have enjoyed articles which have an ethnographic component to them, because I enjoy reading about how individuals use games and how they interact with them. I found the Stevens et. al. (2008) article to be especially interesting. I have been browsing Google Scholar regularly to source articles as my interest in various topics grows about gaming.
In this course, I have noted how interactive my peers are on Twitter. I think having our own Twitter hashtag has been especially valuable, and I appreciate my peers commenting on my tweets or liking them. I feel that it’s been easy to be able to keep up with my classmate’s blog entries this way as well. I appreciate any opportunity to interact with my classmates, as we are all participating via distance education and it gives us a chance to learn more about one another and share knowledge. As I have reflected on this aspect of this course, I have realized that I want to become more active on Twitter with my classmates, as well as finding more resources on it to further my educational interests.