Videogames and Education

Schools emphasize the memorizing of acts, concepts, and ideas . The context is removed from the world and placed into an abstract, formal concept that can be applied generally to various situations. Learners who memorize a concept are only taking on a piece of the world. By limiting what a student can learn, educators are actually doing the opposite of what they meant to do. Instead of creating critically-thinking students, they have supported an environment that encourages students to accept facts as they are stated without an understanding of the contexts that they would be used within. Rather than enabling students, schools treat students as vessels ready to accept abstract concepts.

Thank you, Rosh

You made my blog so pretty...

NSFW - Slightly inappropriate

The Hasbro site's Scrabble Anniversary Edition broadcasts a new word of the day. You can also use the word builder or access the official Scrabble Dictionary. I am not sure that teachers will scramble to get this version but I am amused, very amused...

Warhammer: My experiences

I chose to be a Bright Wizard and my husband picked a Warrior Priest of the Order faction. This combination has worked well for us in the past. I will do damage while my husband protects and heals me. Again, this was no surprise and the combination did work well for us. Our starting zone was a safe area that new players could explore without too much trouble. The townsfolk that we spoke to were very long-winded and kind. We grouped with a few people, wandered around town, and killed the vermin to please the innkeeper. Up until this point, it was the same game like all the other games I have played.

Warhammer: Of leveling and experience

Warhammer Online is like many MMORPGs in the sense that players must accumulate rewards and experience by completing quests, tasks, killing monsters, and enemies. There are a few differences in the way that this is presented to the player. There are direct and indirect ways to advance your character in Warhammer Online. Player rank is like the age or level of the character. Increases in rank are a general way of raising the level of the character’s stats, like hit points. As the ranks increase, more abilities, like spells or attacks, open up to the player so that they can obtain mastery over a particular skill set that they choose. The following are explanations of ways to level. All are necessary to be successful in the game. A player cannot focus on just one part of the game.

Warhammer: Skills

Cultivating, as a skill, is very interesting to me. Players will find seeds on corpses. If players take on the profession of a cultivator, they can grow these seeds. It is not simply pressing a button and allowing the timer to determine when the seed is a plant. First, the seed must be planted in the correct kind of soil. The seed must be watered, fertilized, and given the correct amount of sunlight. Additives can be given to a seed for certain effects. The additives can reduce the time it takes to grow the plant or increase the desired result. The cultivator must choose the correct time to harvest the plant. If harvested too soon, the plant will be too weak to use in a potion. The amount of detail required is great but these are skills that will be ranked through experience. The more seeds planted the more skill the player will have in growing the items. As the cultivator gains these skills, they can plant more at the same time. Cultivators can grow dyes for clothing, potions, and essences.
There are different spell types that I enjoy. There are not only the basic skills that you learn through ranking up the character. The player can also choose different tactical and initiative abilities. Tactical and initiative type spells are only activated during PQs or RVR type fights (which would be war setting). The abilities do not cost anything to cast. Rather, the points are gained through heals or kills for the mission. As the ability charges, the player can use it during that battle. If it is not used, it will decay. All abilities will help the player or group succeed.

Warhammer: Tomes of Knowledge

There are certain objects in the games that are unique in their presentation. The Tome of Knowledge is the storage for everything that happens to the player in game. Inside the Tome, the player can read the story about Warhammer, the realms, races, creatures, and noteworthy non-player characters. As the player makes way through the game play, more entries are added as the character comes across them in game. It essentially ties together everything in game and tries to make it meaningful to the player. Players can see why the races are at war with each other and learn about the three major areas of conflict
The Tome of Knowledge also tracks everything about a player. It lists every single kill, quest, quest completed, items that the player has received, in addition to titles, ranks, achievements, and an armory set. The Tome also lists all of the player’s titles. Titles are notes added to a character as they wander and pillage through the game. Some are very silly, such as “Ow, my eye”. My first character received this after damaging herself for the 100th time. After dying 10 times to the opposing faction or mobs, players can receive the title of “Pincushion”. If a player loots 100 items off of corpses, “The Pirate” title is unlocked. Basically, anything noteworthy and insignificant has a title. Most of them are hilarious.

Warhammer Online: An overview of the game

The goal in Warhammer Online is to obliterate your enemy. It is not enough to just repeatedly kill him. A player must work through levels where every resource in the land is contested. It is not just mindless killing – it is killing with the purpose of survival and gain of your faction.

World of Goo

World of Goo is cute, fuzzy game filled with fun. It reminds me of childhood days - picking my nose and seeing just how long a booger could stretch between my fingers, dangling a long strip of spit to see if I could touch my sister’s head, or learning to make bubblegum bubbles (and hoping I would not get it stuck in my hair). This is a low-budget game without the intense cinema-like cut scenes or epic dragon fights. Because it is so simple, it is that much more powerful of a game. The World of Goo allows you to become the savior of innocent creatures, a designer, and a builder.

Standing in fires...

This is in response to an article by a fellow gamer. You can check it out at: