REFLECTION – CYCLE 5
In my Games and Learning class this semester I have learned about how valuable gamification,the application of applying game mechanics to non-game concepts, can be. Especially for educational purposes, specifically when its paired with recognizable and approachable media like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. Its with a curiosity of how important understanding this concept of pairing education and games that I have enjoyed learning in this class. My initial approach when starting this class was from that of a seasoned gamer who understood games in a very tactile sense. Games and Learning has allowed me to see a card game like Magic: The Gathering in a different light. The elements of the same games I play in leisure can enhance the experience of learning in education. When learning about science the methods of gamification can make it more approachable and digestible.
In this course I have also contributed to open annotation of our readings which has allowed me to contextualize what might be hard to read and thus learn. The comments and feedback from peers allows me to learn about definitions or facts pertaining to the reading. Most recently it allowed me to see that my fellow students also watched MacGyver, like I did. Gems like this paired with quick nuggets of punctual and relevant citations allow me to digest what might be an eye drying affair after work, an engaging and delightful experience.
For my affinity space project I am currently interacting with the online Magic: The Gathering community at MTG Salvation. A question I have let guide me when engaging with the community is, What attracts people to play Magic?
While I can’t know the answer for everyone I have certainly answered it for myself. Over the past few months I have taught two of my personal friends to play Magic: The Gathering. For me the game has always been about winning and doing so in a really different in fun way. When teaching my partner Jessica, I learned that the art had become the focal point for her. This very different approach to Magic for her then mine made me realize that Magic attracts new players almost entirely by its art. The learning of the game is more fun because of the art. Casting a Sphinx to fight a Giant Crocodile is neat! The art and the flavor text on the card evoke a realm of mystery and intrigue. In our article this week I saw this same combination of gamification and media to allow fourth graders to learn.
The last month or so I’ve really become curious with my intent with my Affinity Space Project and how I intend to approach its presentation, and ultimately its focus. I’ve spent much time on the forums reading about new decks, sharing my own and learning. Reading spoilers of the new cards and learning about the lore of the next magical plane of existence, debating how powerful new cards are. There are weekly market price updates on the previous six sets, whole micro-economies exist because of Magic.
These next couple days I plan on honing in on what I’ve truly learned and how what I have learned about Magic can benefit the knowledge of my peers.