Play Make Write Think

I Cannot Decide…

Drawing #1
And another random drawing

What I’ve learned in this class and what the class has taught are to me somehow different. The first drawing represent all the things that came to my mind as I reflected on the semester. Then, as I read the prompt again, another idea came to my mind. The thought process this class taught me is something else. One of the most important things is the possibility to write without the constraints that have almost became intuitive. What is better to represent a working process than an actual reaction in nature? Well, I did alter half the processes in the actual reaction… and my usual handwriting.

Podcast Reflection Again

I did the two podcasts within a comparatively short time, which means I am writing these two reflections one close behind another. I am a little short for words.

This time, the main producer, Kimberly, picked an RPG video game Undertale. I have never heard of this game before, but it really surprised me as the first time playing it, in a good way. Though my schedule did not allow me to make it for the Zoom meeting with Kimberly and Dr. Morgen, the information we posted on the google doc helped us to communicate our ideas a lot. Kimberly firstly came out with a list of bullet points she summarized from the Zoom meeting in turns and added we detail to each point in turns. We move faster and smoother than any piece we have made before.

I love how Kimberly suggests relating the contents of SuperBetter with the podcast. By combining the contents of Undertale and the strategies mentioned by Jane McGonigal, the episode, as one of the ending episodes of the Ready, Set, Play series, matches the ending of the book SuperBetter. This kind of “coincident” we planned on purpose is not only making out podcast more related to the lecture materials but also contributes to the whole series as a whole. This is a genius move.

Interestingly, I found out a common characteristic of the series of the podcast our group produced. Without planning out intentionally, we all discuss the problem of how the game is trying to break the fourth wall in the podcasts. In Doki Doki Literature Club and Undertale, the characters are aware of the player’s effect, and in Plague Inc., the players are like playing his or her real-life at this point. We dabbled into that topic a little bit. This kind of immersive gaming experience is quite a thing recently in the gaming community. As far as I can see, breaking the fourth wall blurs the boundary between the players and the game so that it actively engages the players to put their foot into the characters’ or the developers’ shoes. People can get the idea conveyed by them better: appealing people’s attentions to teenagers’ mental health problems, making the game as an educational media of public health, and provoking compassion and understanding between individuals.

Composing podcasts is a more vivid creation than simply writing. It is pretty amazing to see how the group is finishing the goal of doing an episode step by step: building up the draft on the top of a little point, decorating the statement with personal experience, and voicing and posting out a comprehensive thesis. Doing all three podcasts is a self-improving process. This improvement is not only about using Audacity or Google Doc better but also about building up the bond and trust with the group members and challenge me to explore alternative ways to think about games. Using more vocabulary than “good” to describe the game absolutely broadens my word bank and view.


Moon River Forever

I recreate the scene of Holly Golightly, performed by Audrey Hepburn, singing with a guitar on the balcony in the movie Tiffany’s Breakfast. Because I currently don’t have a guitar next to me, which I left in the storage in Atlanta, I try to use my phone and iPad to mimic it in the best way possible. Obviously, I can’t play the song, so I record this video silently and put the iconic song Moon River as the background music to make it more recognizable. Though Tiffany’s Breakfast is not my favorite, Hepburn’s elegance and the character Holly’s yearn for a better life made this scene classic and unforgettable for me. I am happy to have a chance to recreate the movie scene I love, tipping my hat to the classics in an entertaining way.

Podcast Reflection: UnderTale

Humor, determination, and violence were some of the themes that were touched upon in discussion with the co-producer, Cherie, and line producer, Wenyi. An all-inclusive approach was involved, because it felt there would be missing elements that would not explain the length and depth of the game. Between producers, the work was placed on google docs. We split the work in half, starting with a rough script and adding more details to explain each point. As producer, I wanted to include ideas of probing and Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter strategies in consideration to the theme of the other podcasts. This led with a lead-in with probing and ending with SuperBetter in order to best connect with the older podcasts and bring in a new theme. In short, the script was conversational, each producer replying and adding a new point to the argument. It was also focused on the mechanics and then branched to larger messages.

The primary goals were to condense the amount of topics created and used in the game and to show a relationship between the design of the game with a larger message both with texts and real-world issues. For example, we explained the mechanics of the game as progression from probing to humor and unconventional knowledge about game mechanics. From unconventionalism, it led to comments about violence, which made commentary about SuperBetter techniques including post-traumatic growth, the self, and bad guys etc. Interweaving all evidence and commentary from the creator Toby Fox, SuperBetter, and the game was the most important in order to encompass all aspects of the game. The only problem that was not touched upon were civil issues; they were vaguely hinted at with violence, but the argument focused more on conflicts between individuals and the results upon the main character. Clearly, it was unrealistic to mention all aspects of the game, but this one category was particularly lacking. There needed to be more evidence outside or an additional theme to interconnect the idea of civil issues such as overcrowded cities to the individual and compassion. However, some challenges were to create a more fluid idea rather than create several separate points and a lack of interviews from Toby Fox, the creator of UnderTale

The podcast overall allowed us to achieve the learning outcomes by having the team communicate and collaborate on ideas; adding onto each others points and conversation through text was the main idea. The team was able to translate a rough draft of points in essay form into a working script, and finally into vocal media. Interviews, texts, and the game were all synthesized to emphasize our message of the medium to teach one to improve their individual qualities. Writing was a process involving an outline of themes, a written script with edited points for both producers, and a final recording/editing. Finally digital citizenship was displayed through credited links of all works used to produce the podcast. Some patterns of creating the podcast was the full explanation of game plot and mechanics in the beginning intro, and the consistent use of music to imply transitions in topics. It is similar to traditional essays in that clear transitions and background information are important to an audience in order to convey a strong argument and flow. The most important skill was the ability to pre-plan and continuously edit a piece of work. It is very easy to fill in the blanks once main points are established and all evidence is gathered. These skills will certainly be used in future pieces, because final drafts are simply rough drafts subject to deadlines.


Ferris Bueller’s Outro

For my iconic movie moment, I decided to recreate the after credits scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where he tells the audience to go away because the movie is over. This is one of the most iconic examples of breaking the fourth wall in a unique and funny way to end a great movie. Even though it’s after the whole credits are over, this is still one of the most memorable moments of the film, and has been parodied many times. This was pretty fun to make, and I watched the scene again to make sure I said the right lines. Here’s my take on it, wearing my blue bathrobe:

The English 101 Menu

I decided to make an assembly using the structure of a menu, with various appetizers, entrees, and drinks and deserts. The appetizers laid the foundation for our learning in class, and included many of our early readings about gaming and gamefullness. In these readings we learned how to define games and make sense of games, most notable through probing and telescoping. I also included some of the early games we played which got us thinking more critically about games than we had in the past. The entrees are the main bulk of our class, including large assignments and recurring themes that have become central to our class. The drinks and desserts are the fun games that we played for class, all of which managed to tell entertaining stories and got us thinking about more subtle aspects of games: music, environment, themes and symbols. This assembly was overall pretty fun to make and helped me organize the various things I did in this class over the course of the semester.

Monopoly Game class

Since our class focuses so much on games, I thought it would be fun to incorporate a game into my diagram. Monopoly seemed like a good choice because there are a good amount of elements in the game that I can assign different game piece to what we have covered and learned in this class. Looking back to what we have studied, I was actually surprised. I did not expect we would be able to learn so many skills within one semester including under the influence of a pandemic. Collaboration is something I want to elaborate a little bit here. Usually in regular courses, collaboration just means finishing an assignment together or giving a presentation as a group. That collaboration usually ends up like dividing the work, everyone working on their own, and then put up together a result. In ENG101, the way we collaborate is so drastically different. In board games like Fiasco, we have to change our game plan according to other player’s story and eventually come up a decent ending. Or in mansion of madness, two groups of player are formed after the “haunt has revealed”, within each group of the players the goal is to either chase down or escape from the other group, and we are actively collaborating and talking secretly with the other player on your team. There are many other examples like creating a podcast or home-tasking that you collaborate with people outside of the class. These collaborations in my mind are enjoyable and everyone is contributing to a common goal, and are not heavily depended on one person in the team. From my perspective, these collaborations are enjoyable and make me feel accomplished. I wish I’ll have more chance of these type of collaboration in my future courses.

SQ14: Rube-Goldberg

For the assembly, I wanted to capture the polarization of our semester. With the immense amount of trick shot and Rube-Goldberg machines being posted right now, I deemed it in style to follow that vein. The difference, is having an unexpected obstacle shift the direction of the machine in a different way. I tried to represent this through a Ping Pong Ball shot that starts as any RGM would. The Left side represents the first portion of the semester on campus, with each element representing a specific facet of our class that helps us become better writers. After the Cat, the virus, messes with the trajectory of the machine, the outlook becomes much more bleak. I represented this with the lack of color throughout the right side, barring the final cup. With the elements on the right being the tasks we completed at home (Hometasking, Podcasts, etc), we still found a way to have a successful semester of learning and growing despite the intense interruption.

#Assembly #SQ14

My Brain

To represent the ENG101 class about gamely thinking, I drew my brain and the thoughts provoked from the class’ learning outcomes. Each learning outcome led to specific lessons I learned, and through each of these lessons, I learned more techniques and devices to channel my newfound gamely mind. Although each thought is not directly related to one another, I connected each thought together because I believe the thoughts provoked through the learning outcomes each influence each other, even if I do not realize it at the time. In a game, each move and choice leads to another, even if the player does not realize this while they are playing. This class taught me that if I utilize the skills we learned to think “gamefully,” each of life’s experiences teaches a different part of my brain a new lesson. These moments are all interconnected, and they form who I am. ENG101 has helped me realize this concept.

My Creativity Factory

Anything I create begins with a jumble of information and thoughts as seen with the large thought bubble on the left edge of the page. To organize and break down my writing and creating process, I have an assembly of my factory.

All the assignments and words act as inputs that travel through the Suction until they get to the the first stage: The Waiting Room. Here is where ideas can culminate and accumulate. The room is quite comfortable, so ideas can hang out there for as long as needed.

Once an entity is in The Waiting Room three things can happen to it. First, it can be sent to the Gutter, where many of the bad ideas are discarded early on in the process. Second, it can be a good idea, but maybe not for this project. In order to accommodate for the needs of these types of ideas, they are sent to Long-Term Housing. The building has lots of rooms and is one of the best underground storage facilities in the factory.

If an entity in the waiting room is ready to be developed, it will get to take the path up stairs to the Brain Storm. Brain Storm can be quite tricky and act like a sort of maze, but once the idea has been workshopped it is able to reach the end and enter the spout of the Filter Focus Watering Can.

Here the idea has been washed through the storm and out the watering can into the Nurturing Garden. The garden is key, allowing the best ideas to nurture and grow. There is even a Root Strengthening Gym if the idea needs stronger roots. From here, the best ideas grow big, tall, strong, and healthy with lots of leaves and flowers.

The tallest idea will be able to reach the Creation Hub. This is where the idea starts to come to life. The Creation Hub is meant to look like the palette of an artist about to use his skills to create something amazing. Sprouting from the Creation Hub is the List of Goals and Tasks to keep the factory in check.

The entity will then makes its way across the Bridge to Building and end up at the Solid Formation Tower. This signifies the end of the creation stage. From the Solid Formation Tower a Product Cube is formed. This Product Cube is basically the first draft. Everything is laid out, but it is plain and needs a little pizazz.

That is why the Product Cube quickly gets shrunken down and drenched in Creativity Potion. This gooey, sparkly mess slides down and is zapped in the air, awaiting the Cutting Stage. Here, things can be pared down to fit word limits or to get rid of all the superfluous language. The edges and goo of the Product Cube fall into the Pit of Fallen Phrases will the main entity gets sucked up the Tunnel of Humor and Personality.

Once the product is whisked, and swirled around the tunnel, it is filled with personality and loaded unto the Trip to Final Packaging. The product reaches a last stage conveyer belt where it gets hit with Dash of Flavor & Style.

The last stage of my creation process is the product receiving that Cherry on Top. It goes through the last tunnel where it is quickly whisked Off to the Whims of the Universe. Don’t worry, the information is replicated and placed in the Saved File, so I will always be able to access it.