CS 247G: Final Class Reflection
If there’s one thing, I can say about CS 247G, it’s that it has revealed in me one simple truth – that I am a gamer. I have never seriously considered myself a gamer before. Despite having grown up on Minecraft, League of Legends, Steam, and Twitch.tv, I never found myself identifying as a gamer. The label never felt right – for some reason, I did not feel like I belonged in the same space shared mostly by angry white men. What this class revealed to me was that the label “gamer” encompasses so much more. The field is so much more diverse than I had ever expected. I appreciated that Christina took time to recognize these unseen spaces in the gaming world and bring their value to our attention. I’m more comfortable now knowing that “gamer” isn’t limited to just first-person shooters – gamers play Edith Finch, Portal, Plants vs Zombies, and Escape Rooms as well. I feel comfortable to recognize that I do enjoy video games and picking apart the motivations of their mechanics. I feel comfortable associating with gamers as a group of cultural consumers and critics.
This comfort is a special sort of knowledge that I wouldn’t have experienced in any other class. I’ve gamed for most of my life, yet I had never had the thought to really scrutinize the games I play critically. The ability to apply a formal framework of knowledge to understand the mechanics and appeal of a game is surprisingly present in my life. This class – through the course of its readings and GDC talks – has endowed me with the knowledge to comfortably create a game with great intentionality. I feel prepared with the techniques to tackle issues of balancing, design for building online friendship, and create a meaningful onboarding. That’s definitely not something I can say I had before taking 247G.
My favorite part of CS 247G was relating the readings, videos, and critical plays to my life. I’ve always enjoyed playing games with my friends, so being able to see our learnings present themselves with such a positive effect is awesome. I really enjoyed the GDC talk with Daniel Cook – I spent so many hours of my middle school life just grinding at Realm of the Mad God. I was obsessed with the game and its mechanics and culture, so it was really special to see Daniel talk about the intentional design behind RotMG’s social interaction.