Final Class Reflection (Julia Rose)

First off, an apology about how late this reflection is. I’ve been turning the prompt in my head all week, and I feel like I need to say something “profound,” but nothing’s come to mind. Instead, I’ll settle for my standard stream-of-consciousness affair; I hope you find at least some of it mildly interesting.


I’ve been playing video games for most of my life, but it has only been more recently that I started thinking critically about how these games are made and all of the aspects that go into the creation of a game. Especially as a musician, I have always paid particular attention to game soundtracks. This is not related to specifically games and game design, but one of the reasons I’ve been so drawn to music theory in the past is that it allows one to speak and give particular meaning to phenomena within music or composition that people generally think of as just a “feeling.” Finding this vernacular and ways to analyze other things that make me “feel” certain ways is what perhaps drew me into learning more about game design and development as well. So once I found out about 247G, I knew I had to take it.

I won’t lie, the initial promise of “playing games as homework” was also ample motivation, and so I sat in class, eager to learn about the “secret sauce” of why I enjoy playing games so much. Learning about and then making my own sketchnotes was also daunting at first, but I just gave it my best shot and looked at the class blog for inspiration (oh yeah, I need to mention how much I’ve enjoyed having this shared repository of my and my peers’ work – it really feels like I have something concrete to look back on with respect to the progress I’ve made through the entire quarter). And then, it happened: the moment I was truly drawn into the class.

Why have I enjoyed playing games so much? I don’t know, it’s just ‘fun.’

And then I read about the types of fun. How had it never occurred to me, about how useless and generalized a word “fun” is? I dove into that reading, I’ve probably read it at least 3 times by now; I was slightly obsessed with it. I started thinking back to all of the types of games I’ve enjoyed playing and the types of fun that appeal to me in various forms. That was it. I had found at least the start of a way to more “properly” explain why I enjoyed this so much. After years and years of my parents being a little (or more than a little) fed up with the amount of time I would “waste” with my head in my screen, playing these silly little games, I found a way that I could potentially appeal to them, perhaps inspire them about how it’s not just a vapid “fun” pasttime but there are these different aspects to the unique flavors of “fun” that games provide. (Or at the very least, I’d drown them in a sea of vernacular that shows them I’ve at least thought critically about the way I spend my time.) 

Of course, throughout the quarter and as a senior in her last quarter, the sweet embrace of lethargy was more than appealing at times, but the course materials maintained a standard level of appeal for me, especially as they touched on games that were particularly significant to me (that PvZ talk was so cool; I recommended a few of my friends outside of class watch it!). And now more than ever, I find myself seeking out game development or analysis video essays on YouTube to watch in my free time, to try to think about video games in a more critical way or from a designer’s perspective more often than not. It’s quite satisfying to be able to articulate exactly why something makes one feel a specific way, and I’m happy that 247G has put me on a path to be able to talk about games in this way. I’ve met and gotten closer with some of my closest friends through the games we share together, and I hope I’ll be able to do this with more efficacy in the future, after being equipped with a multitude of tools by this course.

And again, in a more general sense, I’ve really enjoyed having a place to look back on my work and thoughts over the course of the quarter, as well as a newfound passion for writing, however mediocrely unplanned and disjointed my thoughts are on paper. So in the future, I may try to find a place to catalog my thoughts about many things (but especially games!), as a keepsake for myself.

Thank you for a wonderful quarter!

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