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Pecha Kucha, Resources for Getting Started

The new assignment in INTE 6710 "Creative Designs," is Pecha Kucha. I never heard of it until I took this course. It's essentially 20 slides and 20 seconds of speaking per slide. No fancy animations, moving text, or retro transitions. I haven't quite figured out how I'm going to pull this off without being boring in the process, thus, boring the audience. However I know images and inspiration is a good place to start. It would be nice if I had the time to create 20 beautiful slides, be that photography or graphic design, it's not realistic. In the typical work place there would be creative design and writing departments who could pour hours into this sort of content. Fortunately at this time in digital history there are massive libraries of photos and graphics that are available for use given the correct attribution and license such as creative commons. I don't often look for content like this and I do prefer to make my own images but thanks to some reso…

A Story Without Words

A photo exercise in telling a story with only 5 photos. What's the story?

Graphic Design is WAY More Complex Than Just CARP

This week in INTE 6710 "Creative Designs," our class dove into understanding CARP, or contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. There are many other deeply embedded meanings in simple graphics that evoke responses in the viewer, even if subconscious or subliminal. There's color, gestalt, symmetry, asymmetry, texture, scale, etc. All these things we pretty much take for granted in the modern era where we are bombarded with imagery, mostly well done thanks to capitalism. Embedded in the psyche of each person living in the modern world is the "taste" or ability to discern what looks good or what looks bad. Just like listening to music, there are rules to be followed and we all know it when we hear a good tune versus a bad one. We may not be able to describe why the music, or the image or design is out tune, but we know a bad design when we see one.


17 Ways To Make Graphic Designers Cringe
In order to describe visual design to make what works and what does no…

Designing With CARP in Mind: Analysis of an Example Info-graphic

INTE 6710 Journal Entry 3 For this journal entry, I wanted to look at an example of a successful info-graphic, somewhat related to the subject matter I chose to explore for an info-graphic of my own. I discovered an info-graphic on Pinterest to create awareness and "call to action" World Backup Day 2012. The Pinterest link can be found here and the website link for the original showing of the info-graphic found here. I applied the CARP principles, or contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity. I "marked up" the info-graphic to indicate where we can see CARP. I then broke the info-graphic out into segments to call attention to how each principle was applied.
Fig 1: At the top of the info-graphic we can see alignment and proximity work together to create a text title unit for the info-graphic. This is the largest text on the graphic. Interestingly, in the top corner a logo breaks the alignment and expands off the page. This creates interest and the arrow pointin…

Keep Calm and "Sticky" Like a Boss

INTE 6710 Journal Entry 2
After the "SUCCES" exercise this week, inspired by The "SUCCES" checklist, by Chip & Dan Heath, or "Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story,  I was able to narrow down the catch phrase for the infographic to be "Keep calm and save on (the right way!)," or "Save like a boss avoid data loss."

The first phrase, "Keep calm..." seems somewhat trending in social media. Interestingly, the term originated from British propaganda during the beginning of the second world war (hence the crown) often seen. The original phrase was "Keep calm and carry on." The wikipedia entry and original poster can be seen here: KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. To get some idea of how this propaganda phrase has exploded in social media, just check out this Pinterest search on the phrase.

The second phrase, "Save like a boss avoid data loss," is catchy, leet, and rhythmic. There are some "stic…

INTE 6710 "Creative Designs" Ideation Journal Entry 1

So I need to make an info-graphic for a graduate class assignment. I'm also an instructor of CAD and design and I'm shocked at the poor work and saving habits of most students in the labs or classrooms. I'm sure I'm not the only instructor who has had students drop due to "losing data" or computer files. To help remedy this, why not make an info-graphic to post in the labs and classrooms to remind students about the best ways to save and back up their data?

After reading week one reading assignments, I was really engaged in the process and analysis of ways to make ideas "stick." The "SUCCES" checklist, by Chip & Dan Heath, or "Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Story was a great way to help me think through some "one liners" or catch phrases to introduce the info-graphic to my audience. I used the checklist to create an ideation exercise for myself to present ten different catch phrases and info-grap…

Learning Reflections of Games and Learning Part 3

For the final learning reflection in Games & Learning course INTE 5320 with Associate Professor Remi Holden I have selected a few things to highlight based on key participation this semester. Works featured include blog posts, annotations via hypothes.is, and affinity space participation and presentation.

I chose to highlight the Hearthstone play journal blog entry for many reasons, but primarily to share what I learned about crafting a game and the value of affinity spaces to learn how to play a game well, or competitively. I learned that this game is relatively easy to play, however at a certain point the player inevitably hits a brick wall and must turn to affinity spaces to come up with deck crafting strategies. Or, risk being so frustrated the player quits. I made it over the “curve” and turned to affinity spaces to learn how to play the game competitively. The affinity spaces I participated in were both nurturing and essential to understanding game mechanics and strategies …

Unity Community Affinity Space Project Presentation

The affinity space project featuring Unity Community as part of INTE 5320 Games & Learning, UC Denver. Please provide comments here in the blog and hypothes.is for review.

Please respond to at least one question from each of the following question sets aligned to the criteria of our affinity space project.
A. Observing the affinity space:
What observations about game/ing communities and cultures are shared?What does it mean to be an insider? How do you know? And how would you describe this space to an outsider?What are the cultural norms – the means of interaction and discussion – that are prominent in this space? And why?
B. Contributing to the affinity space:
How did your peer first begin contributing to the affinity space?How did other members of the affinity space respond?How did the nature of your peer’s contributions change over time? And why?What insight about games (and games and learning) did your peer learn through her/his contributions?
C. Reflecting upon affinity spac…

Who Are Some Key Members of Unity Community?

The Structure of Unity Community Unity community is an expansive affinity space for members interested in all things Unity. There are approximately 32 threads ranging in topics from “Getting Started” to “Commercial: Job Offering.” The affinity space is so large, I have only focused on a few topics like “Game Design” and “Works in Progress.” I just sort of dived right in to see what sort of things people are posting and talking about without exploring the overall structure. After living in the space for some time, I’m starting to look around and notice some systems in place to better analyze who’s contributing, who’s visiting the space, and how members are measured.

At the top of the forums menu there is a button to click “members” which takes the user to a new page that displays members based on number of messages. These members are listed from the most posts to the least. A user can also click on”most likes,” “most points,” or “staff members.” All of these categories seem useful exc…

Being a Hero of The Storm

Play Journal Entry #5
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.

How would you describe the social context of Heroes of the Storm, and how did this inform what it meant to play?Game:Heroes of the Storm
Platform: PC (battlenet download)
Genre/type: RTS, action hero. Free to play microtransaction.
Players: Multi-player online or with AI players
Game familiarity: I have watched media about this game for a few years. I have only played it infrequently for 6 months. I still consider myself a “newb.”

I have not played this game with other players, only AI players as teammates and opponents. I w…

Learning Reflections of Games & Learning Part 2

Understanding of games and learning During cycles 4-5 in the Games & Learning course at UC Denver, the way in which I think about games, gaming cultures, and affinity spaces have been transformed. Most of the research conducted during this phase has been on gender issues surrounding gaming culture. Topics about gender in game cultures are interesting to me for several reasons. Firstly, I am a white male who is privileged to be positioned in gaming culture as the dominant “norm.” However I do not identify with dominant white heteronormative culture. None the less, just by being present in some gaming communities, one could assume that I would or could perpetuate sexist or biased notions by being privileged as such. Because of this, it is very important that I do understand these issues. And as an educator, especially in settings where I may be implementing game based learning scenarios, it’s critical to exemplify fairness and equality and understand gender issues that may come to …

The Sims 2 and Gender, Not so "Nurturing"

The continued scholarship and research, as part of the Games and Learning course at UC Denver, has lead me to explore adult learning, simulations, and gender and identity as it concerns gaming. For the most part, videogames and gaming cultures have been the focus. While I searched for articles related to these topics I discovered “Gender and Identity in Game-Modifying Communities” by Hanna Wirman in the Simulation & Gaming journal as part of Sage journals published in 2014. In this article Hanna describes her research based on email interviews with THE SIMS 2 players in Finland. She also described how the media received THE SIMS 2. Finally, Hanna discussed the marginalization of THE SIMS 2 players (Wirman 2014, 71). Hanna wrote her Phd. dissertation on “Playing The Sims 2” so you can bet this article is an incredible resource on the subject. I was interested to see how Hanna presented her research findings compared to what was “nurturing” in “Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game Ba…

Is Unity Community a Nurturing Affinity Space?

"I don't know what I don't know. Thanks for being patient with this newb." -BingoBob
A newb’s question After spending some time getting acquainted with Unity Community, particularly the members of the “Game Design” forum, I started to dig into some analysis of this affinity space. Is it nurturing in a similar sense that Gee refers to in “Nurturing Affinity Spaces and Game Based Learning?” In seeking the answer to this question I wanted to see how a newb, BingoBob, was treated when he posed a common and important question: “What do I do with my great game Idea?” Often times this is the question that irks someone enough to wonder if they should make games. Unity, being an engine very popular for learning how to make games or game assets by use of it’s software and learning tools means it’s a good place for newbs to get started. BingoBob’s question overall was received well, however a part of his statement opened him up to some mild flaming, and certainly, some sarcasm…

Situated Learning As a Member of Unity Community

Unity Community, an affinity space for all things Unity and game development is a robust online space with many forums. The study of this space, as part of the University of Colorado Games and Learning Course, is just one of many things cooking in the fire of learning ecology. We have our own interest-driven research, participation in course readings through shared annotation via hypothes.is, we have our play sessions, and play journals or other blog posts. As a participant of the chosen affinity space, I am shaped by these various means of simultaneous learning and production. I am not participating in the affinity space as a typical person looking for self-improvement through production of games or game assets, rather my participation so far is more of observation and research. The depth of topics and technology involved in this space is incredibly vast. Therefore, I have chosen to focus on “Game Design,” “Teaching,” and “Works in Progress” forums.

Identity and influence My initial …

What’s it Like Being a Game Dev Tycoon?

Play Journal Entry #4
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.
How would you describe the social context of Game Dev Tycoon, and how did this inform what it meant to play?Game:Game Dev Tycoon
Platform: PC (Steam download)
Genre/type: Sim, strategy, indie, casual
Players: Single player
Game familiarity: None! Until I browsed for games on Steam, a computer platform for game purchases, play, and social interaction. A few past co-worker and game developers “own” the game according to Steam social network so I decided to give it a try. Good reviews on Steam also helped me make a decision to pu…

Will Video Games Become "Gender Neutral"?

In cycle 4 of INTE 5320 at University of Colorado Denver Games & Learning course, we started to look at gender and sexism in gaming culture. Although the focus of my research in addition to the course materials, has been on adult learning up to this point, I have chosen to dig deeper into the issues surrounding females in gaming. As opposed to critiquing a single article or document, I found a Wikipedia entry for “Women and Video Games” to be very informative and rather comprehensive. The entry has cited several sources of interest, some of which I am already familiar with, such as the ESA statistical information and works by Ian Bogost. I think it’s important to assess the statistical information in addition to contemporary issues as to avoid generalizations that may not be fair or accurate. Through this research I’m interested to see if I can connect the dots between gender and videogames and how this relates to learning with video games and contemporary issues.

A cultural shif…

Learning Reflections of Games & Learning Part 1

Understanding of games and learning My understanding of games and game-based learning (GBL) this semester has been transformed by the myriad of ways in which I have been engaged in course work in INTE 5320 at University of Colorado Denver. Participation in this course so far has only taken shape over 6 weeks. It’s really been a blur, and I feel as though I am being assimilated into a culture of both playful and academic cohorts without really being totally cognizant. It just sort of happens in Remi’s courses by implementation of profound ecological pedagogy. Which finally comes crashing into a sense of awareness when reflecting upon the course.

Through the course readings I have learnt what it means to be a player of games and why games and learning are important for the development of 21st century skills and knowledge. As a class, we’ve dissected portions of seminal games and learning works such as:

“Situated Language and Learning: A critique of traditional schooling. James Paul Gee …