Welcome to my world
this website is created for my English 101 writing class at Emory University called “Play, Make, Write, Think.”
The first semester of college has been a dream. Coming into this first year writing course, like every other incoming college freshman, I was afraid my style of writing could not be good enough to be seen as a great writer. In my first writing assignment, while I reflected on my past writing experiences, I wrote, “writing was one of my biggest fears. Fear of doing something wrong had once imprisoned my thoughts.” (Literacy Narrative). These sentences perfectly summarizes my history with reading and writing. Through a class and an eraser, I ended my literacy narrative with understanding there is no right and wrong in writing, and had a confident mindset rather than seeking to wipe away the unwanted. To have a “happy ending” by the end was my style of writing. Remembered Professor Morgen asked how I felt about my essay during the individual meeting, without hesitation, I responded, “Not confidence at all.” Think about it now, it was definitely ironic, since I had used a three page essay to portray “there is no right and wrong in writing.” I was too intent on following the rubric and following my own little “rule” of writing. Throughout the semester, Professor Morgen encouraged the class to push the boundaries of his rubrics for assignments. Breaking rules takes courage. With these in mind, the following assignments, I was readily able to differentiate from previous interpretations about what an essay was supposed to be constructed.
While looking back to my writings, I realized I had a better understanding of the concepts including rhetorical composition, writing resulting from critical thinking and reading, writing as process, collaboration, and digital citizenship/identity.
Over the semester, I had performed using multiple modes to compose texts in multiple genres. I enjoyed the Twine game project the most within all the assignments that I did this semester. Working with my groupmates, we developed an interactive game that connected to the theme of school violence. At first, me and Elaine were writing the original adapted plot from the Japanese TV series, Unnatural Death. Developing a game was a brand new experience for everyone in our group, our original draft was dull and lack of interaction. To make it more game-like and engaging, Roy and Ryan took the role of revising. They had splitted the scenes, adding more choice options for each scene, in scene four we illustrated, “the countless bruises and wounds reminds you of the probability of school violence. What will you do?” (Twine Game). To allow players to actively participate, instead of addressing the statement directly, we let players determine the flow of the plot. For the final version of our Twine game, we had a nice and pleasant playable game that was mainly in dialogue format. Compare and contrast the draft and the final version, I had realized the audience, purpose, and constraints should be the basis in writing, as well as games. When I actually understood who my targeted audiences were, and the purpose of our creation of the Twine game, I gained the knowledge of rhetorical composition thoroughly, learned to write texts that involve players and readers. Raising awareness, by the end of our Twine, we want players to be aware of bullying, to fully understand the consequences of school violence, and to prevent them ultimately. Writing could not be simply words on paper, the constructing process is way more meaningful. The collaboration that was incorporated into this process enabled the success of the game.
Game should be one of the main topics for this course. In my stances, the most distinct difference between game and writing would be interaction with the audience. In his nonfiction book, Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter, Steven Johnson argued that,“ Reading is not an active, participatory process; it’s a submissive one. The book readers of the younger generation are learning to ‘follow the plot’ instead of learning to lead.” (Johnson). Playing games such as Gone Home and Gris not only merged writing with interaction with the real world, but also introduced me to the topics of trauma and understanding toward the recovery process after traumatic events. I argued that, “in many aspects, these two games both demonstrated the main character’s interaction with the outside world after undergoing a trauma or a psychological breakdown.” Before taking this course, for me, games were designed to entertain. I never thought games could be used as a recovery tool to motivate people that have gone through traumatic events. Remember after playing Gris, I had remained silent for a long period of time. Moving along with the main character, Gris, I had realized that games obtained their strength from interactive existence. Gris was organized by Kübler-Ross’s model of the five stages of grief. The recovery journey could be seen as a color adding process. Starting with the black-and-white, and the isolating desert background, as Gris explored her mind, the fragments of herself began recovering, she saw herself once more as a whole when the world was awash with vivid colors again. As the semester progressed, I have gained the ability to analyze, interprete, and assemble visual and written documents.
Something credible to be mentioned in this semester, I collaborated with my group mates to create three episodes in The Longest Rainy Sunday podcast series. Producing our podcasts correlated to the second learning outcome, “Summarize, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the ideas of others as you undertake scholarly inquiry in order to produce your own arguments”, in the group setting, we analyzed and discussed our individual perspective and interpretations. Probing through the games that we chose, me and my group mates analyzed three games in themes including individuality, conformity, health care, domestic violence, and even religion. We explored the message each game was trying to convey to the players.
Over the semester, this course opened up a brand new perspective about games. With the combination of writing and playing games, I recommended this course to others by saying, “it’s a course that teaches you to play games.” But more accurately, this is an english course that analyzes diverse games, this is an english course that you can produce podcast series about games, this is an english course you could create your own game, this is an english course you will enjoy the most. In the future, I will keep practicing to have the confidence mindset while writing and using the five course outcomes. During the pandemic, stuck home, and sitting in front of the computer screens, it was nice to meet everyone in this course, and wish to see you guys in the future again.
It’s not the end, it’s to be continued,
Dec. 11, 2020
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