Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year. Full of Possibilities.

Well it is now 2014. Strange I don't feel different. But it is a good time as any to reflect about this whole blogging thing and to think about the future. So here is my list of things I learned through the experience.

1) Write. Just write.

When I first starting blogging I really didn't have any solid plans. I just needed to write. I had just finished a paper about game research in the information systems discipline and my head was full of ideas. I realised that it was not possible to write full research papers on all the topics that I was thinking about but I needed a place to write them down before my head exploded. I found it to be cathartic.

2) Writing can be fun.

I also found it to be fun. Writing helped me to coalesce some half-baked ideas that had been swimming around in my head and it was great to see them fully realised. Here were my little thoughts down on "paper", so to speak. Google Images also made it enjoyable.

3) You can only do so much.

The last two months of last year were overwhelming and I really didn't have time to take care of myself, let alone write on a little blog. This year should be better. I hope.

4) Academia is awesome.

My favourite article was my one on aesthetics and Candy Crush. I liked it because I was able to use a theoretical framework to help explain my feelings about a topic.

5) Writing begets action

This blog has given me the confidence to evangelize gaming research in my academic field. If I did not see how many interesting and important research ideas could be generated by mixing game research and information systems research then I would never try to form a Special Interest Group on the topic. However once I saw what I alone could think up I thought about what a whole research team could do. This could be amazing stuff!

As for the future, I have some topics that I want to cover. I want to take a closer look at simulations and why they are so good at helping people to learn. Also, a former student of mine asked me whether I would design my current class into a game. I have to admit that I have become somewhat curriculum-design fatigued (I have been doing it almost non-stop for three years). However I might just put down a blueprint of how to turn my class into a game. It might be an illuminating exercise. I have also decided to take a look at the not-so-cool characteristics of gaming (and gamers). What are the consequences of bringing in some of the odious charactersitics of the gaming community into non-game contexts?

Lastly, a good blog without readers is a good game without players; well crafted, interesting, and utterly pointless. If you have followed me from the beginning or are just now reading this post then.....

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