“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.

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