Digital Gaming World! How this led to my gamification study.

I am not a die hard Clash Royale game and I am not a die hard fan of any games. I am a gamer but with a slight difference. I don’t play competitively and I don’t play for rewards. I play for pleasure! I play for the pleasure of appreciating the awesome artworks you can ever see in a game! I play because I enjoy a great interactive and immersive storyline! I play because of the kind of freedom I could get in a gaming world as compared to the real world. I play because I get to practice strategic decision making which would eventually lead to obtaining or unlocking great rewards. But it is the many ways that lead to the solutions which attracts me to today’s gaming world.

My preference is open world games and strategy games. Particularly games with strong narrative and visceral landscapes! The best game interactive game I have ever played would be the Mass Effect trilogy. Firstly I enjoyed the game because I am a big sci-fi fan. I love a good science fiction with great depth to its story. Mass Effect trilogy doesn’t disappoint!

Mass Effect Trilogy

The story is so immersive that you get connected to the main character in which you also get to customise. Then you get to explore the galaxy. Its not exactly open galaxy exploration but it’s scripted enough to allow some amount of free roaming. The action sequences are fluid and convincing with the freedom to also use the surroundings for shelter. There is a range of decision making capabilities in this game. Playing this isn’t like playing a game at all but it is more like an interactive movie. NOw I can’t wait to experience Mass Effect Andromeda!

Another interactive movie is the Uncharted series. That game series is easily a version of Indiana Jones of the new millennium! it has great characters and a compelling story to get the players hooked from the start till the end of the entire series (4 in total).

Uncharted 4, A Thief’s End

It boasts great visuals, amazing vistas and incredibly fluid gameplay! The learning curve for these games are really short and easy to master the controls. However Uncharted, unlike open world games is scripted all the way but there is some amount of roaming but it meant for finding stuff. But that’s okay. It still have great replay-ability due to its great narrative. That would the reason why I would want to play it once or twice.

So, I can go on expressing and describing my fascination and interests in such gaming genres. But my journey in gaming started much earlier. Ever since Command and conquer, Red Alert, Star Craft and the likes, strategy games always fascinated me. What if there was a strategy game, with a really good continuous story and comprising of complex gaming mechanism. Then, my only fascination for gaming was just the excitement, the rush and curiosity. As computer technology advances, computer generated imagery becomes more realistic.

But I want to take you even further back! Back during the 80’s. The days of the 5.25″ floppy disk drives and early MS DOS operating system. Being able to control armies and plotting their positions to conquer a map just a game of risk; was the most fascinating thing. Its called Ancient Art of War! Back then my brother and I were a big fan! we could even make up our own maps and missions and we played with each others maps. For a DOS game, this is really good. Check out the review below.

Then after that I had abandoned gaming for further studies. After some years, Sid Meier’s name started to appear everywhere when comes to strategy. Civilization series. But Alpha Centauri caught my attention. Check out the intro below. It still amazing! Its easily the best turn based strategy games I have ever played. There is so much you can do with. You can even customise factions and even how the cities would look like (require basic modding skills). You would get involved in developing faction civilizations, decision making on diplomacy or war, tech tree, expansion and etc. You get to name your own cities. Conflict and war is interesting. You get to develop advanced military units. Everything hinges on resources. Factions compete for resources. and they ally for exchanges and commerce.

So that was it. The turning point. By that time, I have already obtained my Masters degree in Educational Technology. And I was a novice lecturer at the time. It all began when I was a substitute lecturer for a business class. I had to cover for the actual lecturer for a month! I didn’t know how to teach business and i was advised to just provide some activities concerning commerce and exchange. Then when preparing the lesson the night before, I played Alpha Centauri and like an epiphany, I realised that the lesson plan and teaching strategy was right in front of me all this while! In fact, i wanted to go out and tell all teachers that its all there! The Simulation about developing a faction can be converted into a pedagogy in the classroom. Then I replicated the process. Created a map, projected it on the overhead projector. and the class was divided into 4 factions. Then everything just fell into place! Then I saw it. My very first attempt at gamified learning. My little experiment worked! Maybe it was that group of students who responded well. But whatever the case, I saw potential in this. Ever-since then, I have been more observant about this pedagogical method and have never stopped trying. So that’s how it all began. That’s how I perceive games today. It still has that possibility. During these times, it may be one of the most viable way to complement experiential learning and collaborative learning today. My research is ongoing and i hope to publish more about this in the near future.


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