CS4047 – My Ideal Job

My ideal job would be one that I would have an interest in and one that I would enjoy and find a challenge in but not something that I would find too challenging and lose interest in. My ideal job would probably be in the areas of web development or software development. I would choose web development because it is an area that I am very interested in and something that I enjoy doing. To help myself understand the area of web development I am doing it as part of my Final Year Project as I am making a Web-Based National Sports System.  As a web developer you need to be able to do multiple tasks and not just focused on one aspect of the develop, you must be able to make and develop the website while also being able to design it in a certain way in which the company/person wants it personalised to their needs. As a web developer you need to be competent in the Front-end Design which requires you to be good at writing HTML, JavaScript and CSS. It also requires you to be competent in the Back-end Development using languages such as PHP and MySQL, to be competent in the User-Experience Design such as Interaction Design, Accessibility and Usability and to be competent in Content writing and Information-Architecture. In relation to my own strengths for the skills and competencies listed above I am fairly competent in HTML, JavaScript and MySQL but I will have to work on the others as I have no and very minimum experience in the others and I think that the Final Year Project I am doing will help me in improving the things I already know and learning the items that I do need to know. It will especially help in my learning of HTML, JavaScript and MySQL as they are featured heavily in my design and making of my Final Year Project. If I wasn’t to do web development it would have to be software development as it is another area that I find interesting and something where I can learn a lot from skill wise and development wise. Some of the competencies and skills required of a software engineer are to have the ability to apply knowledge with the ability to integrate the application of knowledge, skills, and sense of responsibilities to new settings and complex problems. To be able to use Abstraction and transition between levels of abstraction, representation skills spatial and temporal modelling skills, structuring skills, and theorizing. You need to have algorithmic and structured thinking along with logic, pattern matching, logical what-if analysis, problem decomposition and synthesis. While also having the curiosity, the interest in how things work and how to create things that work, the interest in the power of technology, humility, observation skills, with the ability to see things as they are, broader understanding and interests, openness to constructive criticism, value and readiness for lifelong learning. You need to have active listening skills. The skills and competencies listed above are only a small number of the vast skills and competencies that are actually required for one to be a software developer. To be a software developer myself they are a few skills that I have found that I have and can improve on but there are a few that I must learn and a few that I must vastly improve on.

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Culture of Digital War Games

Their is a debate on the fashion and influence that War games are having on the people of today. For those who play war games you may find them entertainment value fulfilling but are you really getting you entertainment value at a cost to yourself. According to some studies people who play violent games over a certain period tend to become more aggressive towards people as a result. It could be said that playing violent games actually reinforce the notion that aggression is an effective and appropriate way to deal with conflict and anger. In 2012 one such man used a certain video game to prepare himself for the bloody and horrendous act which he was to impose that lead to him killing 77 people. Was this man influenced by the game or was he just mentally unstable that it was going to happen anyway and that this game was the middle man that lead up to these incidents and that it could have easily been a TV show he could have been watching that helped him prepare for what he done.

Some games such as Americas Army as said to prepare people for the real battle of the US Army even if the person doesn’t realise it. It is said to desensitization us to the realism of violence and any act we take that leads to violence, thus making it more morally acceptable for a person to kill another. In realization by doing this the US Army are basically telling people that real life war is exactly like a video game and that all actions you take in a war game are exactly similiar to those in a real life battle. One thing they don’t tell you doe is that when you die in real life that’s it your dead unlike the video game when you can restart and play again and again no matter how many times you die. So in truth the American Goverment funded this game to basically recruit people for their own cause basically telling people how great it is the be in a war and killing people but not actually telling them how it really is. It may make it easier for the person in the short term but in the long term people could become mentally distressed from all they have done. When in the real battle they cant just turn off their Xbox, get off their couch and continue with their daily routine.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2214346/Violent-video-games-make-teens-aggressive-girls-affected-boys.html

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/17

http://www.ithp.org/articles/violentvideogames.html

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Digital Games and Learning

Learning and Video Games before would not be words that you would usually associate especially in previous year but now it is something that is becoming more prominent in today’s world and is something that society is now learning to appreciate unlike before where they would slate it.

What is Learning:

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study, or by being taught. It falls into three categories for Human skills:
-Cognitive skills – which drive our intellectual judgement
-Psychomotor skills – which drive our physical judgement
-Affective skills – which drive our social and behavioural judgement

Learning with Digital Games:

When we usually think of games our first thought would be play and fun and not work but now the two have been integrated. For most people games are engaging and they are effective and so they are a great tool to help people learn without them knowing or even knowing. By implementing learning into games it helps us to develop on skills we already have and even learn new skills, this in turn helps us to improve as humans. Their are many games out there that we play and don’t know that we are even learning, in a way this is good as we can enjoy playing a game but without ruining the focus of the game we are learning something useful which helps the person playing feel good about playing and then later on use the knowledge they learnt from the game in another aspect of life, where before without having played the game they would have struggled with that problem. This can also be bad as a person might learn when playing the game that they are learning and will become unsatisfied as all they wanted to do was play and enjoy the game but now after realising this they lose interest in the game as they wont enjoy it after discovering they are learning something they didn’t really want to learn. It could also be said that after the person has realized they are learning that they actually enjoy the game and will be more engaged in the game and when playing other games will be more favoured to learning based games.

Then their are games out there that when the person is playing and they know that they are learning from it it helps the user to be more engaged into the game and they will try alot harder to do certain things in the game so they can maximize their learning possibilities from the game. This will help the user expand their knowledge or improve on certain skills depending on the type learning that is given by the game.

Their is many ways that a person can learn form a game. They could be learning about historical events while participating in a game or historical knowledge that they might have not have learnt otherwise only for playing the game, example of games like these would be Assassins Creed 3 and Empire Total War. Another type of learning could be where the person improves on their certain types of skills and traits, this is where they play a game and learn something new that could be implemented in a real life situation, games like these are Alien Addition and Furious Frogs.

http://marcprensky.com/digital-game-based-learning/

http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0620.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnEN2Sm4IIQ

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Ludology vs Narratology

Ludology studies games and playing in general, leaving videogames a just a particular branch of study.

Narratology is the study of the forms, structures, media, functions, and evolution of narrative, with a special emphasis on Story.

The narratological view is that games should be understood as novel forms of narrative and can thus be studied using theories of narrative. The ludological position is that games should be understood on their own terms. Ludologists have proposed that the study of games should concern the analysis of the abstract and formal systems they describe. In other words, the focus of game studies should be on the rules of a game, not on the representational elements which are only incidental.

My opinions on the subject are a follows:

Ludology is the study of games and play and game activities while Narratology is the study of computer games as narratives.

Ludologists play games to get their entertainment value out of it while not caring so much for the story of the game. They prefer to have a game where it focus is to get the most fun out of game. An example of this would be a straight up shooting game where the object of the game is to kill multiple enemies and blow up many objects as possible while their being no reason/story to behind the actions they implement in the game.

Narratologists play games and get their entertainment value out of them for the story that drives the game. To Narratologists it is important that a game has a good flowing and compelling story behind it and that character development has the gamer emotionally attached to both the character and the story in which it involves them. It can be said that a Narratologist is somewhat a sort of ludologist as they would usually find entertainment in a game from just playing it but what separates them is that while they would enjoy the game-play of a game the real driving force for them to play it is the compellingness of the story itself.

Why Ludologists and Narratologists play games:

-Entertainment                            -Hardwired for stories-Escapism
-Rewards/brgagging                  -Curiosity
-Ego                                                 -Nurture
-Relaxation                                    -Personal Development
-Social                                              -Teaching Responsibility
-Empathy

References:

http://uogamestudies.wordpress.com/2011/02/02/definition-ludology/

http://www.narratology.info/narratology/

http://memetechnology.org/2013/05/04/ludology-vs-narratology/

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A Intro and Guide to Prezi

Intro to Prezi:

Prezi provides a cloud based presentation software for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas. Prezi is a presentation tool that helps you organize and share your ideas. It is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations from monologues into conversations, enabling people to see, understand, and remember ideas. It provides a zooming user interface (ZUI) which allows the user to zoom in and out of their presentations.

 

How to Guide for Prezi:

– Use your mouse, scroll to zoom and drag to pan around the canvas.

– Use the zebra tool to move, scale and rotate your content.

– Start from a template and customize colours and fonts useing the theme wizard.

– You can insert a drawing by using the right click feature or insert shapes, lines and arrows using the bubble menu.

– Place URLs into your presentation by placing it in a text box and clicking OK.

– With the path tool, you can create a path to follow while you present, select path button from bubble menu and click the objects in the order you wish to present them.

– The reuse button allows you to use content from a previously used prezi presentation.

– Text and objects can be layered aswell as sent backwards and forwards by clicking on an object to get the zebra tool up and then right clicking and choosing your option from the list

Advantages of Prezi:

– Its free for basic features

– A blank canvas allowing you to manipulate and edit your presentation the way you want.

– It can be accessed from any web-based computer.

– Can zoom in on your presentations for easier readability.

Disadvantages:

– Can cause motion sickness

– Have to learn how yo use the tool before you can use it, so if in a hurry not wise to use without previous experience.

-Being web based you are limited to when you can use it especially if you have slow internet or no internet access at all.

 

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