Cycle 6 – Learning Reflection
The past few weeks in my Games and learning class things have continued to pique my interest and cause me to approach games in a new light. For my affinity space project I’m interacting with the community over at MTG Salvation and I recently submitted a deck for review on a forum. What I’ve learned in the process of interacting with the community so far is that there is a plethora of other micro communities existing within the larger Magic: The Gathering community. Ultimately the forums work as a relay for information to be transferred and gathered for those creating decks, comparing cards, debating prices and speculating on new cards. Magic as a game I have focused on in our Games and learning class as a Play Journal wherein I tested playing beginner decks with my partner.
The community at MTG Salvation serves as a gateway of sorts for new players as it divides its forums very straight forward. Deck construction is broken down into the various formats of play making it easy to navigate. Each format has a primer explaining the format which can be very helpful for new players. The forum also has a new player forum for greeting new players or people in the community as well as additional forums to support more off topic items and other discussions related to the lore and development around Magic: The Gathering.
I initially approached this class with a basic understanding of the sense of engagement games create but the ability of Magic: The Gathering to motivate its players and create a large community of players who discuss a plethora of topics related to it created a whole new avenue of thought for me. Its easy to shrug games off as a silly toy for young boys but the truth is they inspire engagement and sharing in large communities and allow a person to interact with others to develop new strategies and test theories.
I have personally relied on the MTG Salvation to help me decide on which cards to use on my sideboard in my U/R control/combo deck. I submitted the deck list and noted my issues when playing against other players and received a few comments on how to increase my win rate by adding some cards which would allow for more utility when playing. This ability for games to serve as a common ground between two parties is key when gathering information as in common face to face interaction may deter some from sharing at all.
While my interest in this class has primarily been the educational benefit of games I am now wondering what the application of communities to class rooms would have. Imagine if a classroom and its students could post questions and answers on a shared community forum with other students in the same grade or even school. While this has taken place to some extent I can’t help but wonder what this might do in grades 6-12. This question has popped into my head the past few days as I continue to take part in the MTG Salvation community.