Ask for Help or Stay Stuck?

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Photo Credit: Code Combat

The last time I wrote about my affinity space I spoke from a place of fear of group participation, while wanting to complete as many levels as possible. Isn’t that exactly what affinity spaces are created for? To accelerate one’s understanding and identification of a chosen discourse? As fate would have it, I have reached a level where I cannot pass without asking for help. I tried for three days to solve the code problem on my own with no luck.

I posted my code and question to the board. With no response after a full day, I’m starting to wonder a few things. Did I categorize my question properly in order to be seen by the right people as quickly as possible? What if that level has a bug? Who am I to tell Code Combat there must be a bug in one of their levels?

In all truth, I could post my question to every category and, although that is probably poor form, it shows that I really want to learn. I truly am sick of this level and want to keep moving. However, I suspect my case is exactly the point the discourse hopes players will land. A place of needing help and the motivation to solve the problem outweighs the desire to stay below the radar.

I’m stuck in the Backwood Forrest  on an If/Else loop that requires me to kill the never-ending supply of munchkins. Here’s my code:

loop {
var enemy = this.findNearestEnemy();
if (this.isReady(“cleave”));
this.cleave(enemy);
else
this.attack(enemy);
}

Whether my code isn’t correct or there truly in a bug in the level, I’m grateful for this point of pressure. It is forcing me to engage and this extra little push is exactly what I needed.

Challenging Myself to Something New: The Code Combat Discourse Community

The synergistic effect of joining an affinity space in my Game Theory class and trying something new in my Social Media class led to my bold exploration of coding. To some, this is not a big deal, but to me, it’s a massive challenge. This endeavor has made me feel really vulnerable mostly due to an untrue belief that coding is an elite language that only especially smart people learn. Plus, it didn’t help that I hated every minute of my coding class in high school.

Photo Credit: Code Combat
Photo Credit: Code Combat

In my state of feeling very awkward as an adult learner of code, I decided to join a coding game and affinity space geared towards middle and high schoolers. Code Combat has been surprisingly easy to play right out of the gate. As a lurker on the affinity/discourse space I figured out how to change my coding language to JavaScript. The discourse space allowed me to search for key words, which allowed me to find my answer from a previous conversation. As my confidence grows, I excel to higher levels, and I cannot find simple answers on the discourse space, I will branch out and ask questions of the community.

The discourse community for Code Combat has what James Paul Gee and Elisabeth Hayes would term a nurturing affiinity space. All newbies are welcome and it is made clear that respect is key as seen below.

Photo Credit: Discourse Code Combat Although I haven’t joined a clan yet, I appreciate the fact that clan comparisons, insults, and anything forbidden by the rules are clearly stated. The boundaries are clear and everyone knows what is expected.   It took me a while to decide upon which game and affinity space to join, but I feel quite good about my decision. I am actually excited to dig into the game, create an image in code, and learn what the community has to offer. Code Combat’s onboarding and design have shifted my gaming perspective from, “I think I can,” to “I know I can.”
Photo Credit: Discourse Code Combat Although I haven’t joined a clan yet, I appreciate the fact that clan comparisons, insults, and anything forbidden by the rules are clearly stated. The boundaries are clear and everyone knows what is expected.   It took me a while to decide upon which game and affinity space to join, but I feel quite good about my decision. I am actually excited to dig into the game, create an image in code, and learn what the community has to offer. Code Combat’s onboarding and design have shifted my gaming perspective from, “I think I can,” to “I know I can.”