What are Play Journals?As part of the Games and Learning course and study with University of Colorado Denver Information and Learning Technologies Master’s program, students will participate in both shared and individual play sessions. These play sessions are part of “learning by doing” and reflection necessary to understand what it means to be a learner through playing games. The play journals are a synthesis of scholarship and reflection on play per the chosen game.
Playing HearthstoneHearthstone is a single player, card, turned based, strategy game that can be played against an artificial intelligence (AI) opponent, in “Solo Adventures.” It can also be played against other players over the internet including friends on your Battlenet list. Hearthstone is available on a computer and most mobile devices making it very accessible, and it’s free to play! Playing the game in solo mode will initially unlock cards and other heroes. This serves as a sort of tutorial that must be completed to reach the full potential of play. The game is free to play, but to compete with other players you must unlock cards through purchased game adventures and expansions. These adventures include bosses in a dungeon like sequence that unlock cards for the player to own and use. These cards are added to your personal collection that can be used for crafting decks.
What I learned by playing Hearthstone
The brutality of competitive free to play. Pay or grind?
How what I learned by playing Hearthstone relates to course readingsThere are several interesting components to playing Hearthstone that relate to cycle two readings. If I had to pick one connection to the readings, I would say affinity spaces are very important for prolonged, successful Hearthstone play. It’s very easy to get stumped on a boss or get frustrated playing other players with seemingly unbeatable decks. The ability to turn to websites dedicated to Hearthstone strategies and decks among many other helpful things allows people to continue to progress in the game. The affinity spaces for Hearthstone range in nurturing to hardcore, but mostly, these groups will feature content readily accessible to both newbies that require nurturing and hardcore players looking for professional decks and strategies. To name a few of these affinity spaces: HearthPwn and Icy Veins do particularly well and have a robust community of contributors. Because Hearthstone utilizes rich story developed over the life of Blizzard entertainment products, and it allows players to craft their own decks, there is rich metagame potential. I’m reminded of how simply it was put by J. Gee, in “Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game Based Learning,”
“Of course, we will argue that a principle of good metagame design is involving players as designers. That is, most positive social engagement in and around games involves, in part, players acting and thinking like designers.”
GEE, J. P. & HAYES E, Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game-Based Learning