Audiences and Experiences: Week 6 Reading

The Playful and the Serious: An approximation to Huizinga's Homo Ludens, Hector Rodriquez

Hector Rodriquez's paper was a really interesting read. It presented Huizinga's Homo Ludens in a way that was particularly easy to understand. It also questioned his definition of play, and I felt like it was persuading me to question it more and more throughout.

Throughout the essay Rodriquez questions and challenges Huizinga's definition of play in relation to serious games, and how instead of giving the player an experience we should be separating experience from player and allow the player to gain an experience from their own experiences.

Learning to Play or Playing to Learn - A Critical Account of the Models of Communication Informing Educational Research on Computer Gameplay, Hans Christian Arnseth

Arnseth brings up some fascinating points in this article, which made me think to my childhood and the people and experiences surrounding me then. The idea that young players can take a concept or idea from a game without correlating it to real life never crossed my mind before but makes sense in retrospect. Considering how information is taught in classrooms is immediately regarded in the context of learning compared to how educational games could be regarded as "15 minutes we aren't really learning" by students is one of the things I found great about games in school, but I can agree and can see that for other people it could be regarded differently or how people who think differently would have a hard time to apply a theory or concept taught within a "learning but not learning" game in real life.

According to my Grandma, I always used to be "such a good little boy". In context, she was talking about what a little shit I had turned into. I feel this correlates with when I was beginning to delve into the world of games. So when he said "but they might also learn that people can easily be manipulated", it struck a chord with me because as I got older and begun playing games is the same time my Grandma begun saying that. That is something I have only recently thought about, the influences on me as a child both within and outside games.

All this to say; I agree with his closing statement. Perhaps rather than looking directly at the problem, look at grown people in college or university to see how they were taught in context to "edutainment" to gain insight into what could have been improved or different ways to include games in the classroom.



Game developer who studied at Solent University with some truly amazing people. Now studying a Masters of Game Design at UCA Farnham. Also Co-Founder of Stack Interactive.

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