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The second post in my series on teaching games in the classroom! I forgot to post this here when the blog went up, though, so the third is only a few days away!

This post is specifically about how games fit into a modern definition of literature, and it looks at a lot of research on using games in the classroom!

~Nathan

Fallout II

Sep. 30th, 2008 02:19 pm
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I spent most of the morning dinking around playing Fallout II. I've never actually beaten it, and I may not be in for the long haul this time either, but it's been too long since I spent some time in one of Black Isle's worlds.

I resisted the urge to stack my character solely for Luck and Charisma, since Perception and Intelligence are also so useful in conversations; though I did go with a set of stats I know will let me get all four of those up to 10, eventually. Strength and Endurance are each only 4, but that's what Power Armor is for :-)

So far, his only combat ability is Unarmed; we'll have to see how far that can carry him.

The first two Fallouts (like most of Black Isle's games) are among the few RPGs to actually emphasize the player's ability to make choices that alter the course of the plot; similarly, Black Isle games were always heavier on the text and dialogue than their counterparts from other developers. I just hope that they don't fade from the memory of gamers until some development team actually manages to bring back that focus.

Unfortunately...I should probably do my homework now....

Blessed be,
~Nathan
rockwood: (Default)
I've recently started reading the webcomic Girl Genius, and have just gotten through part of Book 5, where I come across a cameo by a stagehand named Nod with a familiarly huge nose. Everyone's favorite henchman certainly seems to be getting around these days! At least, with Nodwick's appearance in The Gamers: Dorkness Rising and here too, I seem to be bumping into him everywhere.

Part of the reason that this surprises me is that so many of my gamer friends have never heard of him. Unfortunately, I can't find a really good site to view it on anymore---the old one is gone, and the one I can find doesn't seem to have all the extra stuff, like the character bios and so on---but here's a link to the first comic I can find, which dates back to 2001 and may be the first in the series. It's not the best comic in the world, but it's certainly a classic when it comes to gaming-related ones. I should go back and reread it one of these days...

Maybe I'll do that when I've run through Girl Genius. Which is quite good, I must say; Phil Foglio does an interesting combination of humor and story.

Blessed be,
~Nathan





rockwood: (Default)
This post is only vaguely gaming-related, and strays into general life content very quickly (although that part is, perforce, extremely geeky); fair warning. I'm leaving it unlocked since I welcome any thoughts or commentary, from friends and fellow gamers alike, on my attempt at nerdish wisdom.

"What happens next?" is a line from the movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. It's one of my favorite lines (and moments) in the movie because of the circumstances surrounding the quote, but I won't spoil anything here; I can instead say I like that question because it really represents one good attitude towards gaming. Sometimes asking "What happens next?" is a lot more appropriate than asking "Do I win?"

Which, I think, is a generally healthy attitude, even beyond the realm of gaming. Considering that almost no one ever gets what they want, at least immediately or without compromise, it's a lot less stressful to think about life in terms of what I should do next, and what I should be trying to do considering the evolving circumstances of life, rather than to try and twist things around until I get what I wanted initially. There's a whole lot of traditional sayings about this, especially the 'closes a door/opens a window' one, but those don't really work for me. I'm a geek; what can I say? I like "What happens next?"

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, partly because I've seen Dorkness Rising several times recently, but also because I've been trying to come to terms with a lot of stuff I don't like about life in general. The way the world works, in many ways, just doesn't jive with what I want out of life. And I really, really hate just letting go of what I think is important; I don't like ruling out my goals, since it makes me feel like a sell-out, and guilty, and pretty damn stupid.

But I can shift them to a back burner, reevaluate the current situation, and ask myself, "Alright, Nathan, that's how it is. What happens next?"

Blessed be,
~Nathan

rockwood: (Default)
Ok, well---after browsing around a bit, it seems there's enough gaming/Serenity interest to be drummed up to at least justify my blathering on those accounts. So I'll be posting a bit, soon, about the Cortex system's design and revisions, especially as related to gaming in the 'verse.

Also, I've got some schemes on the back burner; mostly for what to do with the system once the generic Cortex Corebook comes out. Since MWP has said that they'll most likely be letting third party publishers sell their own material with certain restrictions, I hope I can hop on that bandwagon pretty quick and get a sourcebook out. Some ideas are

--A game based on the novel I hope to write shortly (woot for easily achievable goals! /sarcasm), which would make it a pseudo-victorian fantasy mod I'm tentatively calling 'deathpunk.'

--A modern horror game based on the works of H. P. Lovecraft, primarily regarding a well-funded organization that has set itself up in the ruins of a burned out ghost town on the Massachusetts coast. They call themselves "The Innsmouth Project," and organize government investigations into supernatural happenings within the States. Of course, not all their operatives can avoid the...uncanny effects of The Call, but some casualties in the line of duty are to be expected.

More to come later, I'm sure. The problem with game design is that you just keep getting ideas which you have no time to implement... it can be excruciatingly frustrating. Just goes to show I really need that direct neural uplink. Scientists! Get on it!

Blessed be,
~Nathan

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