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Showing posts from April, 2016

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…