casual games

so I’ve been playing Farmville 2 on my phone…..I feel like this is a huge confession, what videogame professor fesses up to playing a casual game like Farmville 2 (and I’m not playing casually). so i’m working through my own stigma against casual games. which is odd, because I don’t feel they should have a stigma, I usually play nothing but casual games – but always feel the need to justify my choices. I LOVE CASUAL GAMES. It needs to be a button I wear, fight the power style.

So, Farmville 2 has released special edition missions for the 4th of July and summer. I’m especially intrigued by these missions because they 1. are optional, 2. include very few directions, 3. are difficult to incorporate with all the other missions meaning my resource management (including playing time management as a resource) skills are become quite honed. I’ve figured out ways to collect and build items in specific orders so I can grade and write course curriculum while my game works on it’s own. then I can take quick breaks to set several more tasks, before again returning to real life. Candy Crush has similar principles with optional and few directions, but an entirely different type of resource management (players have few lives unless they pay real money, and few moves in each level – making those the resources). so two of the more popular casual games rely on similar principles for play. while similar to some ‘hard core’ games, these principles seem more fitting for reconsidering educational design. i’m more committed to the missions in Farmville 2 because I chose to engage the mission, not because i’m required. I’m paying more attention to resource management to complete the missions quickly and effectively (both ideas defined by me) so i’m more engaged with game play and learning more about management as a result. the downside is, these games are very isolating. I don’t play with friends, or interact with many people outside the game. these are all individual choices that affect individual play only. what i’m struggling with now…..how do I translate these ideas into online courses to increase learning?

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