Camilo Garcia

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We have some questions to guide you as you reflect on your experiences in this unit. Please think about them as you write in your journals. Please write as much as you like! The more reflective that you are about your experiences using the Values at Play methodology, the more able we are to get an idea of what this experience has been like for you. We'd like to hear about what it's like to use this methodology and what it's like to think about the concept of social values becoming embedded in video games.

Contents

Class 1:

1. What was the experience of using the Grow-a-game! cards like? Was it difficult to brainstorm values in the game that you selected with the cards? How so?

Using the grow-a-game cards was a completely new experience. I believe that using the combination of random cards opens the possibilities of game creation to ideas we normally would not think of. I think the brainstorm with this cards as a team is very helpful since all the people in the group start with in the same page, meaning that there is nobody previous idea for the game thanks to the randomness of the selecting the cards. Additionally I really liked the cards, thanks to it made me think about values in the game, which is a new concept for me and I believe without the cards it would have been a lot harder to do.

2. Using the cards, how was it to try to use the mechanic to represent the value?

It is really different, I am still not convinced if I should try to set the goal of the game to represent the value or first fin a mechanic and then add the value, personally adding the value to a game is a hard concept that we still need to practice a lot. Additionally in the part where we used the pink card, I did not like being that forced to have a established mechanic, since in my opinion the mechanic needs to be a little open at least to be able to find something NEW.

3. What was it like to explore values in games with group members? Did any emotions come up (for you or anyone else) as you spoke about games and values? ==

I love the idea of group brainstorming with the cars, the reason for this is that all the participants start with the three random cards and that helps to be spontaneous, if we had a predefined idea and the participants all started with a different preconception of the game, some of then would be afraid to speak their mind. But thanks to the randomness of the cards is that everybody is able to speak even the most random, or dumb ideas in their mind, and those crazy thoughts are what may become great games.


4. For the out-of-class video activity:

For the following activity the complete analysis about he value of PEACE, can be found in: http://spradan.blogspot.com/2010/02/blog-post.html

• How difficult was it for you to discover an example of this value in a game? Have you ever done anything like this before (analyze game elements for value content)?

I would not call it difficult to find, but it might be difficult to narrow down a specific part of a game that involves the value. As my analysis states, there are the classic examples of peace in games like Peacemaker or Civilization or even in some cases Spore explores the value of not declaring was a the concept of peace. Additionally I felt that I wanted to look at other places to look for this value and thats why I put example of games like Command and Conquer and Call of Duty, that even though its not a specific moment their whole game idea can be justified as a quest for peace.

• Do you think that others might see this value represented in the game?

For my first samples yes, its very easy to see, for my later, probably no, I am pushing the line of the Peace definition a little more than normal.

• Do you think that the game’s designer(s) thought consciously about the value being reflected in the game?

For peacemaker that was the whole point of the game, thats why its qualified as a Serious Game, but all my other samples where not looking specifically for it, but still they show it.

• How did you make the connection between game elements (narrative, rules, or mechanics) and the value?

First I looked at a specific game mechanic that showed me the value, thats when I found the Win game move on Peacmaker to be the perfect sample, additionally the peace treaties in Civilization are the same example as peacemaker. Now for other games, I looked for the goal in the game, and found that it matched the Peace value in a very broad spectacle, but I felt they were good samples.

Class 2:

1. How challenging was it to discover the value that you are using for your prototype? How did you settle upon the value? What makes this value important to you? To society?

2. Values in games can arise from many sources: narrative, character representation and backgrounds, the game environment, mechanics (constraints and affordances), and underlying rules, to name a few. Which elements of your game design will represent the value that you have chosen? Why have you chosen these elements?

3. How have stakeholder values been appraised and integrated into your design?

Class 3:

1. How has your value been operationalized?

2. Were there any disputes among group members while trying to determine how to represent your value in the game? How did the disputes arise? How were they resolved?

Class 4:

1. How did your group handle conflicts around values representation in the game?

2. How did your group respond to critiques from other groups? Did you need to reconsider and design elements for values representation?

3. Write about your overall experience in this unit. What was it like to focus on embedding values as you designed a video game? What were the most challenging aspects of considering how to represent values? What were the most enjoyable aspects?

4. Have your thoughts or attitudes about the concept of values becoming embedded in video games changed at all since the beginning of the unit? If so, how? If not, why not?