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“I suck at writing” A glance at my first year writing course

“I suck at writing.” This statement was something I had convinced myself of for years, complacent in thinking that my life revolved around art and stem based fields. For majority of my academic career, I was taught that English only consisted of writing extremely long papers, focused on proving a concept or thesis. A field not made for the weak minded or for those with an active imagination. Many of those opinions and assumptions were proven wrong after taking this course. Looking at English and writing through the study of gaming and podcasts has given me a different take on what English can represent. The objective of this course was to look at English through the world of gaming, teaching students that English isn’t as one sided as it appears, nor is it as flat of a subject as what may have been explained to them in high school. Throughout the semester we  studied this by not only creating our own personal blogs, but also by critiquing different games and their relativity to English and by creating a class podcast series called ‘Playing Yourself: The Rhetoric of Games.’ Along with these activities, we read and discussed the novel Superbetter by Jane McGonigal, which lead up to us designing our own game.

Through observing my work throughout the semester, I can tell how much my writing has developed. I became more attentive to my work as a critique, paying attention to not only whether I liked the games being critiqued, but also how they compared to other games as well. Towards the end of the semester, I was more so focused on how games applied to a wider audience. I payed more attention to user sensitivity and the content of the games, focusing on giving a more well rounded and unbiased critique of the games. One thing I need to work on outside of my own gaming critiques would be actually submitting my work and reviews on time. I seemed to get lazier throughout the semester when it came to actually submitting my work in a timely fashion. However, despite my work being late it was always well thought out. I really enjoyed making and listening to episodes for the podcast series. Collaborating with some of my peers in class forced me to stay open minded while giving my opinion and critiquing the games on the show. I feel as though the more I continuously worked on the podcasts, the better my critiquing got and the more I listened to my partner, Jenny, and her opinions.

One of my favorite pieces of writing would be the one explaining how to play the game Fiasco. In analyzing this game, I looked at the depth of the game’s instructions, how I interpreted the game being played and whether or not I felt those who played the game with me enhanced my gaming experience. I was very selfish in this review. I was more focused on my own experience while writing this review. This was one of the first reviews I did that I felt really proud of, hence why it is my favorite. I more so gave my own account of playing the game instead of critiquing it, which while the purpose of the assignment. However, I do think that my own personal account of playing the game would be more relatable to those who read the article because my writing was more informal.

In the future, I will use the writing techniques I have learned from this class in future publications for other classes that I may take while at Emory. I will use them when writing persuasive papers for future courses, and classes where in which I have to defend or deny a point or topic of discussion. In the future, I can use my gaming reviewing and conditioning skills to critique later games that are created years down the road. I could become a game critic as a career option or I could onr day pilot as game Kickstarter of my own.

Playing Fiasco

Playing fiasco was an interesting experience for me. It was very funny and interactive, which I liked but the actual game was very confusing. The directions seemed to be very straightforward, however there were a lot of steps to the game, and considering the instructions were on separate sheets of paper, it was very hard for my group to keep up with them. Besides that, however, we really enjoyed playing the game, it opened a lot of gates for us to have creative discussions and it made the experience very personal for us. At the start of the game, we were very bored and uninterested because it took us quite a long time to figure out how fiasco even worked. I’m not sure if we knew all the instructions, but we got the gist of the game and worked with what we knew. I was surprised that we all had so much fun with the game and were able to make such a complicated story.

              Overall, our story had a very corrupt plot however it was very funny to make. The people I played the game with were Suneil, also known as Storm and Jin. Suneil and I were said to be partners in crime while me and Jin were said to be coworkers. Jin, started off the game and the story. The plot of the story revolved around a love triangle between me, Jin, and Jin’s ‘girlfriend’. Suneil and I, were said to have some secret plan that Jn was trying to find out, little did he know, I was having an affair with his girlfriend. His girlfriend eventually tries to throw me in a volcano which leads to Jin breaking up with his girlfriend. By the end of the story, Suneil and I are trying to rob a nude café and Jin’s girlfriend stopped Jin from trying to shoot Suneil and I end up going to jail.

Throughout the making of the story, we were more focused on plot twists than we were on the actual progression of the story line. I think if we would have focused more so on the substance of the story and the way in which we transitioned into each plot twist and major event, our story would have been a lot stronger. However, I am very proud of the story that we made. In comparison to an online game, I think playing the game in a table top style allowed us more freedom to interpret and make the game our own. It forced us to use our imagination a lot more because there were only so many instructions for us to follow. We all stayed pretty active throughout the story however it seemed as though I was more focused on moving the plot forward. We all were more interested in how the story fit together rather than our own individual character roles. Suneil was responsible for the character development throughout the game, while Jin and I focused on conflict and resolution. Playing Fiasco allowed for more creative control and it forced us to collaborate more as a group. It teaches you how to add to a bigger picture rather than what you, personally may want to get out of the game.

Avatar

The name of my avatar is Bad Boss C, she is meant to be my alter ego, equipped with the ability to take on any challenge or task with her only superpower being her brain and can do attitude. To make my avatar, I used a photo editing app called PicsArt and what I feel is one of the pictures that describes my personality the best. I chose this picture specifically because of the bright colors that I wore and the brightness of the background. Also, my smile in this picture comes off very confident and sweet which I believe is how people see me and how I see myself. The font, I felt, gave a very classy and elegant touch to the photo. The filter on the photo seemed like something you would see in a comic book which added texture and offered a medium for my avatar.