Discourse has been my educational quandary of the month. I find the concept particularly difficult to grasp when it comes to immaterial things such as online communities or video games. Even in hosting the annotation of Gamestar Mechanic: Reflections on the Design & Research of a Game About Game Design, I struggled with why discourse is important and how it plays out. In the following Hypothes.is conversation, I was asking for clarification from my professor, Remi:
In the above conversation, I learned GameStar Mechanic was able to teach learners how to be game makers by immersing learners in digestible pockets of discourse. By acting as game makers, learners become game makers. They are learning the Discourse, which includes the actions, language, and mannerisms of game makers in order to one day become full blown Game Makers.
Relationship between Games and Learning
This month’s group game, Exploding Kittens continued to teach me the larger discourse of gaming to learn. Not being a gamer prior to this course, group play allowed me to learn the discourse of gaming. I have learned that our discourse is supportive and curious about the design. So much so that the game can stop and hands can be revealed in order to better understand potential outcomes. We dissect the game design together and my peers are essential to my learning.
Changed Preconceptions about Games
I have always been very competitive, but find my new gaming discourse to favor curiosity over winning. With competition off the table, I have found a new appreciation for gaming. In fact, gaming to learn can build community and teach communication. In fact, my gaming to learn experience is making me ask the questions:
“How can I incorporate more games into my life?”
“How can I become a (G)amer?”
My Affinity Network
My classmates and colleagues continued to help me decide upon my chosen game discourse, but it took a couple tries. My first suggestion on financial awareness was a dud because I focused on a boring topic that had no educational pull for me. However, my classmate, Lisa Dise, was incredibly helpful in finding a great affinity space for this topic. When I got permission to switch gears, I relied upon guidance from my boss, Brad Hinson heeding the importance of understanding the fundamentals of code. Then I continued to ask questions of my peers, Kirk Lindsford and Lisa Dise around which coding language, game, and affinity space would be best. As experienced in group play, they were incredibly helpful.
Playing an online game and joining an affinity space allows me to step out of game theory and step into game experience. This is the only way for me to truly understand such a challenging and intangible topic. I am be(com)ing a gamer through immersion and (d)iscourse at its best.