Discovering My Inner Gamer: How Fun Can Games Be!

My name is Namcy, and for my entire life I’ve been considered legally blind. This is due to a degenerative disease of the Retina. When I was younger I had more vision, and I actually use to play video games, but as my vision got worse I slowly stopped playing video games. Recently, I began playing Mine Sweeper.

The essence of play was present, such as the challenge and reward. There were several things that were challenging for me. First, figuring out what the game was about. Second, not have a mine blow up, because it seems that I was really good at finding a mine. Third and most importantly, enjoying the game without relying on any visual cues. I felt that was the most challenging part, but once I played Mine Sweeper, and found that the game had some auditory cues, then the reward aspect came to light. First, I began to enjoy a mine blowing up, so my phone would vibrate. Having that indicator as the end of one game, and the beginning of another became something I looked forward to. Second, having my son guide my finger on the screen, and he telling me the squares and numbers being unlocked felt so rewarding, because I felt that I was making progress. Third, it’s not a reward directly related to the game, but it arose due to the game; I feel a renewed curiosity about playing and the systems of rewards and challenges, and how I can learn to adapt games for me.

I didn’t feel that there was a particular path to follow in this game. It is somewhat unclear to me what was the main objective of Mine Sweeper. The only goal I had was prolonging the times between blowing up, but I’m unsure if that is the goal of the game. This uncertainty about the game is what frustrated me.

I really didn’t do a formal visual analysis of the game, because I became so involved with playing the game. I forgot to ask about any visual effects. I would ask about the squares and numbers appearing on the screen, and what part of the grid was unlocked. Additionally, I wanted to know what I would possibly be doing next. Overall, this isn’t a fast pace game, but when someone is describing what’s on the screen, then the game takes an entirely different dimension.

Lastly, Fun!!! I did enjoy certain aspects of play, such as the challenge. Despite the” win” being so elusive; I enjoyed trying to discover what Mine Sweeper was all about. Also, I liked that the game was set up like a grid, so it made it easier to identify were on the screen I was supposed to touch next. Far above and beyond, it wasn’t the game I enjoyed so much, but the actual experience of “play.” I had forgotten how much fun playing a game is, and how “play” is very relevant in processing information, such as what is on the screen.

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8 thoughts on “Discovering My Inner Gamer: How Fun Can Games Be!

  1. Great post and I love the honest nature of your narrative style. There is certainly some power structures present within gaming that so heavily relies on full functioning eyesight (something some people do not posses) which do indeed negatively affect people who enjoy games. Glad you rediscovered how important and cool “playing” really is.

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  2. I am so glad that there is someone other than me that enjoys minesweeper. It is the classic game that comes on every computer, and man is it fun. At first I was lost, but after a while I picked it up and enjoy it. I will make sure to read your next blog I am interested in what games you will play next.

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  3. Interesting post. A very calm writing style. But, remember to really tie in one of the course readings so that you stay focused on the topic. That said, I want to push you a bit on your statement that “didn’t do a formal visual analysis of the game.” My question is do you need to do a formal visual analysis? Did you need to really get that layer, or was it, to you, superfluous? A different way to get at this would be to ask if there was any difference to you between the two versions of Missile Command that we played in class (Atari 2600 through iPad and online version)? Why I want to push you here is because nowhere is “VISUAL” purported to be important for games as art, or games as play, and yet it has become so dominant. Pushing against that theoretically through your experience can be powerful.

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    • I have given much thought to your comment. In the art world some believe that without full functioning vision there is a certain inability to appreciate art. Recently, I noticed that for me that’s not the case. I think that for Mine Sweeper the formal visual analysis wasn’t necessary to enjoy the game. That may not be the case for other games. Previously, I have played Black Jack through the Blindfold Series. Their aim is to make games accessible to the blind. This course is making me realize that when I was playing the Black Jack on my phone, I was experiencing full gameplay. Sometimes, a formal visual analysis detracts from a game, such as in Kim Kardashian Hollywood. PS you had said to look at the graphics and colors being used in a game….. Later, I realized that it wasn’t meant for me. FYI not all visually impaired/blind care or understand art….. It depends on their experience in relation to art… My family was very descriptive when it came to everyday things… It just carries over….

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  4. I like how you made this feel like an actual blog because of your insights and not a paper. Personally, I have never been good at Mine Sweeper, but taking the simplicity of the game itself, how can you compare it to other games you have played?

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    • I enjoy playing simple games. If the games are very complex, or I don’t understand the game’s aim, then I tend to loose interest in the game. The simplicity of Mine Sweeper is precisely what I enjoyed.

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  5. I liked how you incorporated what you found difficult in the game and how you went about that. However, as someone who has never played the game it would have been nice if you would have explained the game so I would’ve understood what you were talking about. I hope you were able to incorporate that in the rest of your blogs. Some cool pictures would have been nice too to keep the reader engaged with your blog.

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