Beginner, Identify and Strategize

Having fun is a state of mind. In some cases a fun environment can be easily created. I definitely had fun with this assignment because it is not the usual homework you get, you know taking a college course to play video games I mean how cool does that sound!

After playing a couple of times I was able to come up with a noticeable pattern in playing which I’m sure everyone experiences when they try something new. The way Space Invaders is setup is that there is a small spaceship or rocket at the bottom of the screen and rows of aliens in the middle. The objective of the game is to shoot all the aliens while simultaneously dodging the lasers they fire at the rocket. After a certain number of times you get fired by the laser it is ‘game over’. At first I didn’t know what exactly I was doing, I briefly read over the instructions and started to randomly pressing the ‘right’ and ‘left’ arrow buttons. Then as I went back and read the instructions thoroughly I figured out which letters on the keyboard facilitate the rocket ship to fire lasers as well to destroy the aliens. So at this point I have my fingers gently tapping the ‘left’, ‘right’, and ‘D’ keys to take another shot at this game. By the fourth or fifth time playing I finally got a hang of it and dare I say, it was ‘fun’. By the seventh or eighth time I applied some strategies on how quickly I could eliminate the aliens. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve the high score but I noticed that I tended to perform better with the music on mute rather than it playing.

Two (Self and Progress) of the seven levels of play introduced by Sutton Smiths correlate well with my experience. Every time I went back to play again I went with some knowledge on how I can efficiently eliminate the most aliens by not getting destroyed. With this game the progress was noticeable because in each interval of play it took me less time to get a higher score. Along with this, like any other player I also did get angry when the game didn’t go accordingly or when I happen to mess up. I feel like that sometimes playing these type of games is a good way to test ones temper, because even the most patient people (including me) tend to get annoyed. This is where play as Self comes in because when you try something different you find out how quickly you can pick up new things. For example, like I learned that I have poor hand-eye coordination compared to my friend (whom I intrigued to play to compare skills). I also came to know that that there are ways to improve my performance, for example playing without the noise. It was a lot harder to concentrate because the “Beep! Beep!” was off sync with my movements. I thought this assignment was interesting because in evaluating and analyzing playing this game I was able to find out and learn about myself as well.



3 thoughts on “Beginner, Identify and Strategize

  1. I completely relate to your post because as a person who hates video games, I actually love this class! I’m learning about so much more than just video games, and this actually has helped me improve my gaming skills. Similarly, I agree that “having fun is a state of mind” and even though it is different from my perspective of fun as an experience. However, playing space invaders for me it just didn’t reach that specific state of mind.


  2. Most games are just really fancy patterns that sometimes have to be figured out and understood. Now, sometimes the patterns are not revealed in the easiest of ways. Most games do not even tell you that there is a pattern as the developer wants you “The Player” to figure what the pattern is.


  3. Be careful of your usage of Sutton-Smith. He is talking about 7 rhetorics of play, not levels. Rhetorics here are ways that people talk about play in our culture (and over time). So, self and progress are not stages, but ways certain people talk about play. For example, the improvement of the self is what you’re talking about. But is that fun? Probably not in Sutton-Smith’s conceptualization. Where is the ‘fun’ for Sutton-Smith? Where, for that matter, is the fun for you? Did you have fun? Or was this not about fun, but about something else for you?


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