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You are browsing the archive for 2011 September.

Supplemental: Amateur Productions

September 28, 2011 2:07 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

Vote on Gamified Experiences

First Extra Credit Opportunity:

To replace UP TO HALF of the points on a single Mission

  1.  Donate $500 points to me. In the message box, write the number of the Mission you want to apply the points to.
  2. Send me a message through the site with your reflective thoughts on something related to the topics you missed.
  3. The quality of these thoughts determines the number of extra points applied to the mission.
  4. I will send you a follow-up letting you know how your grade has been updated.

Remember: you can only do this particular opportunity once. Extra credit options will change as we move forward. Points are only redeemable once. Before any extra credit is granted, I will audit your site contributions to make sure you aren’t spamming empty or repetitive posts. If you cannot use the points donation system, message me and I will deduct the points manually.

Watch and Discuss:

In Class Exercise: Creative Communities
  • Fanfiction.net
  • Deviant Art
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • FanArt Central
  • Nanowrimo
  • YouTube
Investigate your assigned community, and report back on the COSC 407 Forums:
  • What do members of this community create?
  • How is the community social?
  • What is the reward for creating and sharing with the community?
Remember to include all group members in the post.

Mission Five: Our Cognitive Surplus

September 26, 2011 1:41 pm in Missions by Anastasia

Step One: Reading Quiz

There is a one-question reading quiz today at: Reading Quiz Three. Please make sure you are logged in before completing the quiz. As always, the quiz will be available for the first 15 minutes of class.

Step Two: Pitch Your “Game”

Be prepared to share the rules and results of the “gamified” experience you collaborated on this week. Remember to include:

  • A discussion of how you’ve enhanced the task
  • A clear description of how to implement your “gamification”
  • The feedback system and rewards structure

Step Three: Debating Gamification, Clicking Cows

Step Four: Scavenger Hunt

For this week’s at home task, find unusual and interesting examples of at least two of the following forms that Shirky discusses in this week’s readings:

  • Digital Folk Art
  • Fan Fiction
  • Write-in “Activism” (ala Hank for People.com’s Most Beautiful Person)
  • Remixed Video
  • Social Production
  • Wikis

Share your find with a detailed analysis considering the motivation, feedback, content and intertextuality of the object in question. Imagine that you are looking at it like an anthropologist of internet culture might if visiting from the future: why does this object exist? What does it say about its creators? Its audience? Include your observations in the “Scavenger Hunt” topic on the COSC 407 forum.

Step Five: Reflect on Readings

Participate in these two discussion prompts:

  • Clay Shirky writes that we have more free time than ever–but how do you spend yours? Try installing RescueTime, an automated tool for tracking time usage on the computer, or using another system for monitoring your time usage. Use it throughout the week and report on your experiences in the COSC 407 forums on the cognitive surplus.
  • Discuss the shift from “audience” to “participant” in terms of your own experience with social spaces on the COSC 407 forums. Consider how games and social media have made even passive experiences (like watching a TV show such as Lost) into interactive ones. How does this change our expectations of traditionally passive experiences?

Supplemental: The Unidentified

September 21, 2011 3:06 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

Reading Quiz: The Unidentified

In Class Discussion

Brainstorm: Is this the future of education?

Mission Four: Gamify Your World

September 19, 2011 1:45 pm in Missions by Anastasia

Step One: Check In

First grade report will be based on your participation in Missions 1-3, and the guidelines for exchanging points will be made available.

Step Two: Reporting on Twitter

Step Three: In Class Design Exercise

In teams, discuss the concept of pervasive gaming experiences that exploit your social network and make use of micropayments. Pitch an idea for creating a game that follows these models for Twitter, using what we’ve discussed of social media theory. Your game idea should be situated on the foundation of an existing social network and consider innovative ways for using the connections and data that network makes available to you. (Post your idea in the Twitter group). Be prepared to pitch your idea in class and explain how you make use of the characteristics unique to the Twitter ecosystem: for instance, hashtags, the text-based exchanges, following, etc.

Step Four: Mission Gamification

This week’s mission is team-based. You will need to complete the first tasks individually and later as a group: all tasks are mandatory. This is a practice run for the Midterm Raid.

At-Home Task One: Observation

Watch Jesse Schell’s GamificationTalk and consider the model of gamification he presents. Observe “gamification” in the wild and report back on your findings in the Metagames forums. Think about Gamification as it exists in both “good” and “bad” implementations–and in the contexts we’re exploring through this course. How does The Unidentified play with the concept of gamification?

At-Home Task Two: Research and Report

Check out the issue of the Game Studies journal on Game Reward Systems. Pick an article to read and report back on the COSC 407 forums, considering:

  • The article’s thesis
  • Key points on which you agree / disagree
  • The centrality of the rewards system to the game experience under examination
  • The relationship argued between rewards and player motivations
  • The connection from this article to one of the assigned readings for this week. Make your connection explicit in the discussion.

Create a forum topic with the name of the article. If there is already a forum topic for the article you’re reading, join that discussion and continue the article analysis.

At-Home Task Three: Gamify Your World

Consider a task you engage in that is productive but not engaging on rewarding. Examples include routines, like the toothbrushing example from Schell’s video, or process like getting a licence renewed at the MVA. Pick something small enough that you can feasibly make a plan for every stage and context. Pitch the task you think is worth gamifying in the Gamification group. Don’t have an idea? Go find and comment on others’ pitches.

Find a group of three to four people to support your idea and make a plan for the process. This plan should include the rewards system, meaningful engagement, and deployment system for your game model–and should be doable without specialized technology or equipment. The entire plan must be agreed upon as a group and posted as a detailed rules set for “playing” the game of your task. Make sure your rules are clear to others and could be potentially picked up, in context, and “played.”

For the best score: either “show” us the play context of your game in a creative way (video, art, photography, Prezi…) or take someone else’s rules set and try playing their game, with documentation. (Groups who inspire the most “players” to try and document their challenge through narrative or pictures of game scorecards, etc. will win an achievement).

Supplemental: Anonymity and Reputation

September 14, 2011 3:11 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

Exercise: Your Reputations

  • Do a Google search on your name (with additional identifiers as necessary). Do you find anything surprising?
  • If you have a Google account, log in and check the Ads Preferences page. What has Google inferred about you and your interests?
  • How do games make use of this information and your reputation?

Mission Three: Ideas and Social Networks

September 12, 2011 1:33 pm in Missions by Anastasia

Step One:

Watch the Diary of the Dead trailer

Step Two:

In-Class Discussion

Are social networks subversive? Or corporate? What ideas and “learning” do they encourage? (The Unidentified)
Step Three: Twitter
This week, there is one mandatory task: experience Twitter. There are four options for taking on this task:

Option One: Join as Yourself
If you have never used Twitter, but want to try using it for game industry related content, try joining the network as yourself. You can set your updates to private if you are concerned about adjusting to the environment.

Option Two: Join as a Fictional Character
If you would prefer to experience Twitter as a space for play, join as a fictional character. You could consider creating a Hulk or another persona based on the topics of this class. This is also a good option for experienced Tweeps–see if you can establish a presence with this account. Some good examples are HulkGameCrit and LordVoldemort7.

Option Three: Extend Your Network
If you are already on Twitter, suggest important industry figures for others to follow and mentor others in the etiquette of Twitter. You can share your username and find one another on Twitter using the Twitter Experience forum in the COSC 407 group on the site.
Option Four: Observe from Afar
If you don’t want to join Twitter for personal or professional reasons, watch the trending topics and dialogues from the perspective of a non-participant. How does the dialogue of Twitter extend? Who participates?

You should also complete at least two of these tasks and report back on the forums:
  • Play Echo Bazaar – form a group, find classmates on Twitter playing, and report back on your experiences. Is this more or less invasive than the Facebook API for gaming?
  • Share your “Twitter-sized” thoughts on The Unidentified Part Two and Three
  • Play Twitapocalypse and report back – does this change the way you think about Twitter? Is this a social or antisocial game?
  • Join (or observe) a hashtag chat and share your experiences
  • Check your Klout score and actively try to raise or change it. Can the system be “gamed”? Share your thoughts ad score on the forum.

Remember to document and discuss all these activities on the forums!

Mission Two: Our Social Networks

September 7, 2011 2:56 pm in Missions by Anastasia

By now, you should be comfortable with the class game space and ready to try some more advanced and collaborative missions. It’s also possible to embed content from YouTube, Flicker, and many other sites directly into your posts by including the URL. There are more questions waiting to be answered in your profiles based on ideas suggested throughout the week.

This week’s mission closes at 12:30 on Monday, September 12th.

Step One: In-Class Discussion

Step Two: Readings

 Step Three: Online Discussion

Contribute to both of this week’s discussions:

Topic One: Discuss your reactions to the social media presented as you begin to read The Unidentified. Post at least three thoughts or reactions to others’ posts prior to next week’s meeting. You might consider “live-blogging” some of your analysis or ideas that rise from the reading. All posts should be in the COSC 407: Unidentified Part One Forum.

Topic Two: Discuss your thoughts on learning through play. What is your experience with learning through games or social networks? What do you think of the argument in the “Play Power” article that “the division between work and play is a myth”? All posts should be in the Metagame: Learning through Play Forum.

Step Four: Forming Community

Participate in or form another interest group within the site. Use the opportunity to create the character of this social network: think about our discussion of how networks reflect identity. Want something else to be possible here, or have a thought for something you’d like to study? Post it in the Metagame group.