[This article originally appeared on Critical Gaming Project as part of the “Critical Exemplars” features series.]
Whenever I’m defining what games are with new students, usually, someone mentions that games must be fun. I love it when this happens because it’s the perfect entryway into getting students to start thinking critically and reflectively about games and gaming. The discussion requires clarification on what “fun” means and whether games really have to be it. I usually argue that if we treat games as an expressive medium like film, we can apply the same standards of criticism on them. Not all films must be fun (think Schindler’s List), so why should all games be fun? In the last year or so, my go-to example to challenge this existing definition of games is Depression Quest (DQ) (before that it was usually Hush).
Depression Quest is an amazing game.
Continue reading Depression Quest is the most important game I’ve ever played
So, I got back to Seattle (on the 12th) after my brother and Nancy’s wedding celebration in Berkeley (on the 10th), capping the end of a month-long trip to the Bay Area for me and a short weekend trip for Robin.
I have an ass-ton of stuff to post here but I haven’t due to lack of time. I’ll try to keep this short, and I might have to add links and photos later.
1. Last week I was busy learning Illustrator and then using it to make some pretty title graphics for a French translation to the Dangerous Decibels Virtual Exhibit.
2. This past weekend, Robin’s high-school friend Liz and her boyfriend Rob were visiting. They went to a wedding on Saturday while Robin and I did some house chores and caught up on some movie watching.
3. Last night Michele Knobel emailed me comments to The Witcher review I’m working on. Unsurprisingly, I need to beef up the academic literature part. 🙂 She was kind enough to send me ideas with regards to moral development models and such from Kohlberg and Gilligan as well as some other ideas for how to talk about moral education and stuff in my review. Due at end of this week if I want to make the issue deadline. Otherwise it’ll wait til the December issue.
4. I’m also writing a review for Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword for the DS, also for Michele’s e-Learning journal. She sent me a review copy of the game, after all… I suppose I have a moral obligation to write something. :p Seriously though, I think it’ll be a short but good overview of how badly I suck at action games and the various causes of failures in games (poor game ui design, poor player cognitive ability, poor player physical ability, and lack of motivation) and what this means for educators/teachers who are thinking about incorporating games in the classroom. What if not everyone can/will play them?? Due date ditto above.
5. I need to add a bit more in my paper on ethical dilemmas while being a guild leader in WoW that I’m using for the In the Game Workshop in October. Due Sep 1.
6. I have only an outline for another paper that I’m writing about expertise development in World of Warcraft for the new journal Transformative Works and Cultures. I figure a solid week should be enough time to write what I need to. It might suck at first but I think I just need a rough draft at this point. Due Sep 1, also.