Final Game Demos!

Dear All:

I wanted to let you see each other’s work — here are some links to game demos by your classmates:

Kathy Pangtay, Game Demo

Quentin Holtz (it is currently “Private,” but he is fixing it — I hope!), Game Demo

Colton Revia, “The Birth of a Legend: Analysis of Star Wars: the Old Republic” (Narrative of Star Wars)

Diana Reyna, Portal 1 and Portal 2

Cameron Slayter, Harry Potter the Game

Ashley White, Point and Click Horror Games

David Wood, Game Demo: Beyond Two Souls


My take on: Empathy Game Posted by abell32

abell32 posted: Empathy Game

I took some time to read the article and wanted to comment of the post by Ashley but I found that my comment was a bit too long. Therefore, I decided to write my thoughts on the article as a post.

So I read this article, and found it interesting. I also read a good number of the comments at the bottom and found those even more interesting. So the article describes a new type of game, that focuses on teaching empathy to children. The article never says that these empathy games are suppose to substitute parent teaching. Yet many of the comments reflect that type of thinking:

“Now a game is teaching kids something their parents should of taught them.”

“Learn empathy by helping needy people in real life? Community service, Volunteer, Maybe??”

“Computers and the Internet playing the role of the parent, making many people further desensitized and detached from the real world, and now video games–once an outlet to let out your stress and detach a little (and to let out your inner homicidal maniac)–are to teach their children how to play nice and live in the real world. Right, right, right. How about a good book, being a good role model, and some family quality time without graphics or a hard drive involved?”

I don’t understand this type of thinking…….. Why cant empathy games be an addition to what parents already teach their children? That’s how I see a lot of the learning games that I let my son play. I don’t let him play them so that he can solely learn from them, I let him play them so that he can practice and improve on what I am teaching him. He doesn’t find me holding up cards with letters on them and asking “what letter is this?” quite as fun as playing a game that involves learning the alphabet. Yet we still do both because I think both methods of learning are good and together are better than one.

Game Demos

I really enjoyed hearing the different types of games that people played. I actually really enjoyed the car racing game I forget the name that someone presented. The models and extent of emersion that is possible in the game is impressive. The other game I thought was interesting was “Sword and Sworcery” I actually played it for a little on my phone. I got frustrated with it because the pacing of the game is rather slow. I also thought it was weird but the style is very interesting. Now that I know how much more is available to do in the game I want to go back and play it.


What games we play…. For the Lydians, they originally played games for the right reasons – positive emotions, social interactions, and to lessen the difficulties of food scarcity. And that is great. However, when that did not solve their problem they played one last game to determine who would leave Lydia in search for somewhere else to live. They were in an unfortunate situation, but even back then they knew the answer was reducing the number of people living in one area. They split their population in half; half could stay and gave the other half’s real-life fate to a game. Now, it is pretty well proven that the Lydians, post-18 yr. game play, left with no destination but did survive. In fact, they most likely had a heavy influence on the Etruscans, Roman Empire and civilizations as we know them today. But, is that good? They brought the GAME MENTALITY – game invoked values – into reality. But they weren’t playing for a life and death scenario. It wasn’t about surviving anymore and it wasn’t about the community; they had found new land, new resources and new happiness. And they could cooperate, organize, plan, and optimistically set goals. But, this historic example and the origins of the word **compete, given early on in the book, has made me turn completely away from how I felt at first.  “Games are a sustainable way of life,” WHEN PLAYED FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. (p. 350). But, when Ashley Bell and I were talking, she said “it’s funny how a lot of people who work for big corporations say they feel like their job is a game.” And those office jobs for large companies are the result – hundreds of years later – of increased collaboration abilities. We have brought games so far into our lives – the first thing we teach our children or entertain them with is games.  But the word compete – came from a Latin word which meant to come together or strive. It can sound great when you hear the “come together/strive” but also remember competition isn’t always a great thing. That was one of the main things we listed as a negative aspect of reality. Competition puts a lot of people under pressure or brings out bad qualities. So which way is it? Do we come together and strive because competition causes us to keep trying harder? Or does competition come from large amounts of collaboration? This book really blew my  mind. I wanted to believe and read a book supporting that games are AWESOME AND SUPER POSITIVE for everyone’s lives… but somehow I have read the book to understand that this game-like operative tendency in humans might not be so great. How much more do we want our lives to be like a game before we realize that we have the food, water, air and sunlight that we need surrounding us to survive? Oh, because we need a game to decide who gets what.. Whoa.


Collaboration Superpowers

Authors David Wood, Joshua Aoki, Kathy Pangtay, Josh Halley

1.  Define a key term: McGonigal spends much of this chapter emphasizing the positive aspects of collaboration and team competition as a motivator. One of the most important terms that McGonigal emphasizes is emergensight. This “ability” to understand emergent, pattern predictable, behaviour in chaotic systems. As groups get larger, more locationally wide spread, and culturally diverse these individuals will become increasingly important as leaders in the “game-place”, gamified work environment.

2.  Explain a key concept: The ability to collaborate or as McGonigal says have “collaboration superpowers” will some day motivate people to achieve epic goals and eventually make the collaborative superpowers a norm in life. Working in a team/collaborating will not only help them in the gaming world but in real life. In order to become a great collaborator they must practice. She has a point in saying that the more they practice the better they become not necessarily because of any innate talent they poses. The better they become the more they will want to continue collaborating for more than one game but for many months and even a year.

3.  What we think about McGonigle’s argument:
In a recent info-graphic published by RIOT GAMES, publishers of League of Legends one of the most successful games of all time, they demonstrate the positive effects of teamwork vs. 5 single people with divergent goals regardless of skill level. They show that there is up to a 40% increase in win percentage per person if they have positive playing habits vs a player who has been reported for negative behaviour. That’s up to 200% increase in win percentage just based on the ability of individuals to work together in a team environment.

(Medium LVL)

Chapter 13: Collaboration Superpowers (not everyone is a superhero)

Authors: Cameron Slayter, Michael Mueller, and Colton Revia

In chapter 13, McGonigal argues that gaming empowers us to higher levels of collaborative accomplishment.  “Gamers practice shared concentration and synchronized engagement.”  These definably human characteristics give a group the ability to ignore information that is not useful, and focus on only the essential information.  We all agreed that games are good tools for teaching us cooperation, and the ability “to honor a collective commitment.” There was some disagreement among us about the ability to apply these skills to the “real world”.  Cameron believed that there is a gap between learning these skills in games, and taking these skills to the real world.  “I feel as though it is important to specify that although we can learn these skills by playing games, it is easy to get under the illusion that we are improving the world by sitting on our couch at home, and playing video games.  As a society, we need to encourage the application of these skills in the “real world”.”  However, Colton disagreed- “The manipulation of these digital variables may not directly contribute, but the skills refined on the couch WILL be applied in every other pursuit.  Gamers are both athletes and scholars- the knowledge they acquire is integrated into their everyday behavior, woven into muscle memory and mental strategies.  While building a scale model of the Enterprise starship in Minecraft may not be solving world hunger, the same focus and single-minded devotion will be applied to solve that problem.” Michael: I agree with Cameron in the sense that we aren’t yet at the point that games of the potential to take us to. Although collaboration is a very key ingredient to successful gameplay today, not every gamer is strong in this area, even McGonigal touches on this point when she speaks about the player v. player environments that competitive natures dominate. But Colton is right.  The numerous skills gamers pick up through hours of play can easily be applied to the real world. That’s just from games made for the point of recreation; imagine what happens when we start making games with a purpose!  Although we can learn and improve upon these skills in video games, we mustn’t neglect the real world and cultivating those skills in person-to-person interactions.




Conclusion: Reality is Better

In the beginning of the conclusion, McGonigal quotes “If I’m going to be happy anywhere… I may as well do it in reality.” By this, she is saying we should take advantage of the power that games have over us—that they can bring us happiness and change if we let them. Throughout Reality is Broken, McGonigal explains three truths that we can learn from the past. Good games can help improve our quality of life by supporting cooperation and participation of the masses on a large scale. Games were once played to distract people from their problems. Now the games we play have problems that are relevant to real life, so when we solve them in the games, we feel we can carry the solution from the game over to real life. They can also lead us to be more sustainable and resilient. Games have become collaborative. You’re playing with other groups of people and working as teams to win the games, which is what we need to solve these real world problems. Games make us more resilient because it creates the urge to re-do something over and over again until we get it right. We need this in real life because often times problems take more than one try to solve.

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