It’s a double post kind of day! 😛 While summer doesn’t technically start for a few weeks, I’ve been thinking ahead about my goals for the next few months. I’m finally getting the blog to a place where I’m generally happy with its appearance (you may have noticed a theme change and some reorganization of categories/posts), and I have been keeping up with publishing 1-2 posts a week; this frequency is something I’ll have to assess later on. The end of summer will get busy as I get ready to move, but I’ll talk about the impact that will have on the blog at a later date (No worries. I’ll still be here!).
For the summer I have three main goals for this blog. I’ll be working on two new series of posts: Indie Spot! and a currently unnamed analysis of The Walking Dead games. In addition to these, I would also like to expand the education element of this blog.
You can read more in-depth descriptions of these changes and additions below.
As the title suggests, this series of posts will focus on indie games either available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or PC (assuming I can get it in working order). Recently, I’ve been perusing Twitch.tv more and felt a slight tinge of jealousy watching some of my favorite streamers playing titles that weren’t even on my radar! The urge to return to PC gaming is strong. As much as I enjoy gaming on the PS4 and Switch, the indie projects available via the PC will always keep me coming back even if it is sporadically.
Taking advantage of this renewed interest seems like a good opportunity to share some indie titles here. I’ve already got my eye on a few games in my Steam catalog including Emily is Away Too, Orwell, and The Underground Man. For the Switch, I’m going to try my hand at Kamiko and any other eShop titles that catch my attention. I’m not sure if much is available on the PS4 that wouldn’t be easier to access on PC, but I’ll be checking that avenue as well.
The Walking Dead:
In case I haven’t said it before on this blog, I LOVE Telltale Game’s The Walking Dead franchise. They seem to have struck a near perfect balance between an active narrative, characterization, action, and suspense for episodic video games. I’ve been itching to start over from season one since A New Frontier was announced.
I haven’t completely decided my approach in terms of posting about my gameplay here, but I will be writing to share my thoughts and to analyze the games in terms of narrative, game elements, and anything else that strikes my interest.
As part of the impetus for this blog, I had a desire to create a space to write about video games in the context of education. It’s a topic that interests me greatly, and I would like to infuse some more of that into the blog. I will still be creating the same kind of video game content that I have been, but sprinkled in between may be a few Press Start posts. I may even add the “Teachable” tag to some of my regular gaming posts that are applicable to gaming and education.
In addition, you might see content boxes like the one below that offer thoughts and ideas for educators and anyone else interested in gaming and education. This content will be a small part of the posts they appear in but will hopefully add value for readers that care about the connections video games can have with education.
For educator’s, I can see WRoEF as a potential text for the classroom. It deals with mature themes, the level of access is moderate (relatively cheap), and because the game offers a tight narrative experience, you can’t go in many directions or deviate too far from the path, it can be played in two or three hours. It is also a game I would feel relatively fine about having students play on their own time since it is not overly complicated in terms of its mechanics and control scheme. +access (play and purchase) + short playtime +analysis (narrative)
Once I start my Ph.D. program, and hopefully start teaching a class or two using video games (!!!!), I will also offer updates on how my research is going.
These three additions should keep me busy with the blog this summer! As I move into “fix PC mode” and begin looking for more indie titles, I’d love to hear any suggestions for what to play or even for the blog in general.