If you speak multiple languages or are taking any type of language class, go check out Lang-8. It’s a site where people essentially correct each other’s writing in order to facilitate learning among the community. The awesome part is that there is a points system. You get points whenever you correct someone’s writing. More points = higher positioning in searches. To balance this out, the site also encourages correcting posts that have yet to be corrected. Subtle, non-overbearing gamification (I feel dirty even typing that word) is fun. Learning Japanese won’t be so bad after all.
Gamification is a buzzword. I see and hear it all the time nowadays when talking about the game industry’s impact on other areas of society. I hate buzzwords. Now watch me contradict myself and call more attention to a buzzword. This one gets special privileges though, because I like the idea.
It recently dawned on me that I haven’t actually posted anything that has to do with my academic life. It’s not that I feel like I have to prove that I’m a student or anything, but I do think that some of the things I do in my classes qualify as relevant content. For example, I happen to be working on a game in my Game Software Development class. I call it The End Begins.
So I figured I’d justify the “#1” in the previous post by posting another VGSTPimH (next-level acronym, hater). This one’s not a happy one. I was woefully reminded of this theme as I attempted to register for winter classes here at RIT. As a freshman, I was essentially a tertiary scavenger, below even the lowest of course-seeking vultures. I scrounged for enough classes to barely qualify as a full-time student. Even after acquiring a few classes, the ending was bittersweet. I was left feeling powerless and defeated.
All the while, the song of failure echoed in my mind. This track probably isn’t very well-known, but I remember it: the theme of mission failure from Front Mission 3. It isn’t like other game over themes I’ve heard. The game doesn’t try to forcefully drive home the fact that you failed. Rather, the feelings of inadequacy creep in, slowly becoming more prominent as you watch your situation steadily deteriorate.
Sometimes life hits hard, and you lose. Just remember to get back in your Wanzer and try again.
Most people never read the “About” sections of blogs, so I’m going to assume that you don’t know anything about me. I happen to be studying Game Design and Development at Rochester Institute of Technology. Never heard of it? Don’t feel bad, if it wasn’t for the nationally ranked GDD program, I’d be just as clueless. However, RIT is getting some press recently due to a new initiative called “Just Press Play,” sponsored by Microsoft. It’s being dubbed “a game layer for student success,” and it’s being beta tested by students in the School of Interactive Games and Media only. The whole shindig launched on October 13, but I can’t start until October 17 because I need a “Play Pass,” which I’ll explain later.
To most, walking is simply a means of transit. In fact, most would call it a last resort, only utilized in the absence of a vehicle. I laugh at this concept. Allow me to take you on a journey, an EPIC JOURNEY OF WALKING (basically, trying to not be late for class)!
Before my quest, I must use the elevator. Please forgive me, as my legs have not yet evolved to the point which allows me to traverse 90 degree angles or fall from 7 stories. If it is any consolation, I spend my elevator time scolding my legs for their weakness.
Upon emerging from the vertical-moving metal prison, I stealthily maneuver between the crowds of inexperienced pedestrians, but not all are so green. You see, some of these beings possess remarkable crowd-traversing abilities. I spot a fast-walker, and quickly move in close behind him. His trail becomes mine, but there are risks. He skirts dangerously close to the left, where people walk the opposite way. I can’t rely on him anymore, but there is a predicament. The guy to my right is attempting to flirt with a female (with little success). Normally this is not an issue, but this display of failed masculinity moves abnormally fast, and I can’t shift to my right because of it. I must not make physical contact, lest I draw attention to myself and my awesome walking legs, only to be taken to a government research station and have my legs extracted for further study.
Suddenly, hope arrived.
There was a small gap in the oncoming lane. Most people would not have even noticed it, as it was so brief. If I waited, there would be no other chance. I summoned my ki, and also my chi. Then I charged some chakra. I also loaded up on MP, SP, AP, TP, and other types of points which contribute to one’s ability to be awesome. With all of this, I blasted forth into the dangerous left lane, immediately looking for a chance to shift right. There were few gaps, but an intersection was coming up. Being in the left lane filled my boost gauge, so I accelerated into position, then I used the wall of people as a shield and executed a flawless barrel roll to the right.
After that, I used a boost to get through. Class reached, mission accomplished.
Real G’s don’t just walk, they make it an art form.