Podcast Reflection: Democratic Socialism Simulator

In the episode of Democratic Socialism Simulator, I became the producer. This time we had an even more clearer focus on the tasks involved. As the producer, I need to lead the discussion on the game, record and edit the audio file, and attend meetings including the meeting with Professor Morgen. Compare to the previous podcast on Temple Run and Oxenfree, I think we are much more organized. We literally had more interactions with each other. Although we had a stricter time due to the oblivion to sign up, we actually find the perfect game within a shortened time frame. For the last episodes, we had to probe on how to record in zoom, who is doing what job, and we had to record several times before the final version. Yet, for this episode, everything is simply going as smoothly as possible

Importantly, the goals and main talking points had shifted significantly compare to the last two episodes. We improved on the “game-finding skills”. For Temple Run, we had barely anything to talk about on its meaning and mechanics; yet for Oxenfree, the mechanics would be a little bit confusing to talk about without having to play the game itself. For Democratic Socialism Simulator, we are intrigued by the complex viewing point it provided towards the ongoing election. Amongst our group we had a heated discussion on the game’s view. Some of us believed that the moderacy element means doing nothing, others believed that moderacy means staying neutral. We even discussed about the historical successful president to prove our point. To be honest, I would not change any part of the content this podcast provided if we had to do it again.

As we have more attempts on the podcasts, the ability to “demonstrate collaborative skills in classroom discussion and while working together on projects and presentations”, as stated in the Learning Objective page, are being tested again. As aforementioned, we had different viewpoints that leads us to different assertions. However, with collaborations skils, we overcome the dividing views and came to a conclusion with everyone being satisfied . With the projects, Anusha, Hayden, and I had definitely became more comfortable working with one another. Although learning how to cooperate is a gradual process, we had made clear progression to mastering this skill.

Comparison Essay Reflection

In order to write this essay, I have replayed the two games that I talked about, Gone Home and Gris. During the replay, I discovered new elements like Terry’s story that I didn’t notice in the first time. Completing the puzzle is what I did right after I finished playing the two games and before I write the essay. I intentionally hided my thesis until the last paragraph for the readers to discover. I organized my essay through pieces that seems irrelevant by at the end and will come together as my thesis. I think the new structure went pretty smooth overall, despite there could be some inconsistency.

Podcast Reflection

In the episode of Oxenfree, I am the assistant producer this time. We are consist with our previous decision on the task involved. As the assistant producer, I need to assist the discussion on the game, make the transcript, and attend meetings including the meeting with Professor Morgen. Compare to the previous podcast on Temple Run, I think we are much more organized. Instead of deciding on our game the day before the meeting with Professor Morgen, we decided on the game about two weeks before the due date. For the last episode, we had to probe on how to record in zoom, who is doing what job, and we had to record several times before the final version. Yet, for this episode, everything is simply going as smoothly as possible

Moreover, the goals and main talking points had shifted. Since we had barely nothing to talk about for Temple Run‘s mechanics, we focus more on its relationship with COVID-19. But for Oxenfree, there are tons of information and themes. We first did some research on the game. For instance, I discovered the meaning of “Oxenfree” and its connection to the pandemic. Therefore, with this abundant amount of talking points, we focus more on the mechanics and meaning of Oxenfree. If I had more time, I would delve deeper into the plot and reference more specific moments in the game.

As we have more attempts on the podcasts, the ability to “demonstrate collaborative skills in classroom discussion and while working together on projects and presentations”, as stated in the Learning Objective page, will significantly improve. With the projects, Anusha, Hayden, and I had definitely became more comfortable working with one another. Although learning how to cooperate is a gradual process, we had made clear progression to mastering this skill.

Visual Notetaking

The visual approach of taking notes is a completely different experience. In my visual notes, I included a Pie chart to illustrate how small the inventory is compare to Apple’s assets. The line of logic is distributed very clearly with a visual note. More importantly it is more interesting and made taking visual notes more easier to take.

Throw a piece of paper into a bin

Video edited by Jiachen Zhang

My throws are spectacular because of the number of trials I have done to get the final throw. To me, throwing the ball into the bin isn’t the hard, yet the process of achieving the final goal is more important to me as a player to this “game”. In the video, I displayed several different places of my house, the kitchen, a hallway and the dining room.

Side Quest 6: Gris Liveblog

Screenshot from my phone

Since I used my iphone to download Gris, I incorporated some screenshots while I was playing.

The game begins with a fantastic animation of the main character falling from the sky. Different from other 2D side scrolling games, the introduction to the setting is extremely beautiful. It made me feel like I came into a fantasy world of drawings.

As the main character fell from the sky, she seems to be very heartbroken. Her eyes are looking towards the ground and even the surrounding displays the absence of color.

When I continues, I learnt that the character can go forwards or backwards by controlling the left-side of the screen and jump by controlling the right-side of the screen. As the plot progresses, I probed more options. For instance, I can collect the shining diamonds and it will follow me for the entire journey.

Then, the story develops into the next stage, Red. In this challenge, I would face red sandstorms and the character will fall backwards during the periodic sandstorms. To fight the sandstorms, I was introduced to a new movement, forming a heavy square and I later discovered that the heavy square can break things rather than simply used in battling the sandstorm. Even though I was stuck by the end of Red for three hours, I still got a sense of probing and telescoping in Gris. For me, Gris is definitely not a traditional 2D side scrolling games, it is more like a masterpiece of animation. It teaches me how to discover new functions. Moreover, the game does has any enemies, yet the biggest enemies are the environment and yourself. For me, this is more challenging than the traditional 2D side scrolling games like Super Mario. The five stages of grief is also displayed in this game. The shocking introduction and the resisting sandstorms displayed the first two stage of grief, Shock and denial. I think the most important point that the creator is trying to covey is the reality Gris feels to the players, and it teaches players step-by-steps to overcome grief.

Single Eye Alien

Picture taken by Jiachen Zhang

The first thing that came into my mind was the ring I wear. When I was a child I always had a fantasy that an alien was protecting me from any injury or mishap. The luckiness to have my joyfull childhood had been unbelievable for me who seen many of my peers going through unpleasant times. Yet, for me, I cannot find similar experience in my reminiscence. Therefore, I decided to recreate my alien friend, Momo, into my life with a physical medium, my ring. Since I do not have any talent or training on drawing, I simply replicated Momo’s past appearance from my head with a pen. The colors or details are vacant because they are also missing in my memory, and I would not want to be a blasphemer to my original belief. To me, Momo bacame more than a childhood fantasy, it is more like something that can make me overcome obstacles in my life.