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Welcome to Worldplay Research Initiative

Hello!

My name is Shelby and I am in a computer course, Games for the Web, at Trinity University. In this class we are studying transnational play and what happens when people play with people from different parts of the world. Check out our project overview at http://www.trinity.edu/adelwich/transnational/students.html. Here you can read our bios, blogs, take our survey and comment on our forum.

Thank you for participating in our research!

Happy gaming!!
The article I found is titled-The evolution of research on collaborative learning. This article discusses how collaborative learning tends to focus on how individuals function in a group. This group of people that learns together is the focus of the article. It establishes under what circumstances collaborative learning is more effective than learning alone.

I think this article is useful because it determines whether people learn more and/or better while working together or alone. It also talks about the roles people assume while working in groups and how this effects their learning. It also discusses the difference between 'collaboration' and 'cooperation' within groups.


I think Mendeley is a good tool for sharing information. It just takes a while to get used to the interface and how to use it. It took me a while to get my article downloaded. I also accidentally put it on the Games Class: shared research three times. I didn't realize that is was putting my article towards the bottom of the list rather than at the top.

Free Realms & DDO

Differences:

Free Realms is targeted towards a younger age group. The quests are mining, cooking etc. During these quests the player uses puzzles and mini-games to win. The avatars are animated and cartoon looking. The world is very cartoonish with its bright colors. Players do not need to know a lot about the game before playing.

DDO is geared towards older kids/adults. The quests are battling spiders, creatures, skeletons, mummies, etc. The avatars are more of a fantasy quality rather than being cartoonish. The characters also wield numerous weapons to use during battles. Having some background on the game is helpful for someone who has never played before.

Similarities:

The underlying concept of both the games is similar. They both have the user create their personalized avatar which they use to go on quests. Both games are set in an other-worldly environment which the players immerse themselves in to escape and have fun. Free Realms is a great stepping stone for someone who is new to these role-playing games and for someone who wants to play DDO. Free Realms is simpler, younger, more care-free version of DDO.



Chatting:

The chat tools in Free Realms are easy to use. The chat window in the bottom left corner allows the user to chat to everyone, just the people in their group, or just to people in their guild. There is a list of chat phrases that users can click on quickly without having to type a lot. Chatting with my group was fun and easy. Talking with other people in the game-not so much. I tried to talk to several people who were standing by themselves but they did not talk back. Though there was one guy who danced up on me and then ran off but that’s another story. There were a couple areas in the map that had a large congregation of people who were talking. However, they were mostly talking about buying and/or selling things rather than what part of the world they lived in or what kind of player they were.

Game Dynamics / Core Mechanics

I missed class the day we did this class exercise due to my water heater flooding my kitchen at 7 in the morning! So, for this blog I picked a game from the list and looked at its core dynamics.

I chose the board game, Game of Life. This game is about players racing against each other to get to the end first, have the most money, and have a better house and salary, as well as a family. This game requires the players to think critically and make rational decisions because each and every move on the board affects the outcome of the game. It also teaches players that not everything will go as planned. This is because the players' movement depends on the number they receive when the spin the spinner. This number determines the space that they land on and the actions that go along with it. Sometimes it can be good such as getting to go ahead several spaces or bad such as having to pay money for a flood in their home. But there are times when the players have more than one options and that is where decision making comes in.

The Game of Life has the Territorial Acquisition dynamic to some extent. There are only so many homes, jobs and salaries to go around. However, these cards are not completely gone once someone attains it. There are times in the game when players can switch their cards with other players. This gives the game its competitive aspect. Each player wants to have the best job, house and salary but the cards are drawn randomly the first time around and then must be taken from other players throughout the game. This game is kind of Race to the End. More importantly though, is to be the one with the most money at the end of the game.
I used to play this game a lot as a kid and never really thought much about the details of the game. I was always too busy trying to take someone’s cool house so I could get rid of my shack. It’s interesting to look at the small details that enable the game to run correctly and smoothly. All of these game dynamics are just part of a whole list of things to do in order to create a game. I have never really thought about it before, but now after reading these articles I have come to realize that designing and creating a game takes a lot of work and effort.

So I googled the Game of Life before writing this blog to make sure that I was thinking of the right game. Here are some images that I found on Google images about the Game of Life.

So I think this lady should have maybe played the Game of Life more so that she would have learned that the decisions you make now will be with you down the road and then maybe she wouldn't have gotten this giant tattoo across her entire chest...just a thought.
http://slog.thestranger.com/files/2008/01/game-of-life-tattoo-1.jpg

I definitely remember doing this when I ran out of room in the car!
http://www.markstivers.com/cartoons/Cartoons%202006/Stivers-5-18-06-Game-of-lif.gif

A Wii of my own

Oh! and I forgot to mention that I am going to ask for a Wii for my birthday or Christmas because now I really want one!!

Nintendo Wii

I did not have access to a Wii this weekend but I have played one once before. I played the basic sports games; boxing, tennis and bowling. Since I did not have access to one, I watched YouTube videos of people playing it. The videos ranged from little kids to older adults. Most of videos I watched were of people playing tennis, bowling and boxing. I did watch one of a little girl on the balance board. I thought I had heard something about a steering wheel controller so I looked up the Nintendo Wii website and wow!, they have a lot of devices I have never even heard of. They have the basic Wii Remote that I have used and have seen in all the videos. There is also a Classic Controller that looks like a controller to an X-Box, a Nunchuk, a Wii Zapper, a Wii Wheel, a Wii Balance Board, Wii Motion Plus (which attaches to the Wii Remote) and a Wii Speak which enables up to four people to chat at no cost!

And of course there needs to be many different types of games to be played with all these different controllers. There are 761 games for the Wii on the Nintendo site. Games range from RockBand, to driving/racing, sports, outdoor adventure and even popular movies such as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Transformers, Ice Age and Hannah Montana. There are also many games that have been seen on other consoles before such as Final Fantasy, Resident Evil and Mortal Kombat.

I think that the combination of some of these games with the Wii Speak will achieve the same things as online multi-player games. People will be able to be in different parts of the city, state, or country and still be able to connect with one another over this new media. I think using the Wii will be different than people getting together over the internet because with the Wii they will feel more involved at the game at hand. When playing games on the computer one just clicks the mouse and various buttons while with the Wii people will be standing up, moving their arms and bodies much more actively. I definitely feel like I would be much more involved in the game world if I was jumping around swinging my arms around like a crazy person because I was trying to kill the enemy with a light saber rather than by clicking my mouse profusely. I think people will feel much more involved and determined when they are actively engaging through motion and speech.

MMO Sources

The Escapist Magazine
The Escapist covers topics such as game reviews, news on gaming, videos on games and movies and much more. It is easy to search for articles on their site. I typed in both Free Realms and D&D and found over 10 pages of articles. There is advertising at the top of the website which promotes the Escapist Store. At the bottom of the page there are ads for their partners, Entertainment Consumers Association and Castfire. I typed ‘region locking’ into their search bar and found many articles on the topic.

Massively Blog
Massively features upcoming MMOs, galleries full of screen shots from games, interviews and more. There are ads for different games and there are also several boxes throughout the page that have links for things such as getting whiter teeth and better insurance. I typed in D&D into their search bar which pulled up both articles and galleries about the game.

The Noob Comic
The Noob comic features comic strips depicting characters from games. There are ads on the page for other computer games. There is also a comments box below the comic as well as The Noob Comic Twitter. There is an online store, blog, and a section of extras which has user art work. This site doesn’t seem to really focus on transnational play but rather funny comics.

Games for the Web-Introduction

Hey fellow gamers! My name is Shelby. I am a senior this year and my majors are Art and Communication. I am an active member of Alpha Chi Lambda sorority. I also hope to start tutoring kids at Mark Twain Middle School as soon as the mentor program begins.

As for life after college...I'm not too sure yet. I think I will continue on to grad school since the economy isn't at its best right now. I am interested in getting an M.F.A in Interior Design.

As for games-I tend to play more first person shooters such as, Half-Life Deathmatch, Left 4 Dead and Unreal Tournament(hence my profile pic). I am not too familiar with massively multi-player role-playing games nor playing games online. I tend to play on a LAN line.

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