Kill Screen Magazine (back to school issue)

I was interviewed for an article in Kill Screen Magazine, and my free copy arrived last week.   Calling it a magazine isn’t really fair, though that’s how they refer to it themselves.  It’s really much more substantial, more of a journal in terms of quality and amount content.  Unfortunately, there’s no online version, so I can’t add any links.

Some of the highlights for those interested in games for education:

Breaking Pangea describes the attempt to create an online virtual world for teaching Chinese.  This is the article in which I appeared including my experiences with WoW in my German 101 course.  In addition to the Pangea folks, there’s also a great deal taken from an interview with Purushotma, someone I’ve been following for quite some time.  He wrote his thesis one, drafts and all.  In this article, I thought he had some very insightful comments on the difficulty of integrating language games into the more traditional and structured classroom.  His solution seems to lean more towards the independent learner.

Renaissance Man covered the historical elements and inaccuracies in Assassin’s Creed II.  I had played Assassin’s Creed on the PS3 and had some interest from an Italian professor to have her students play the game in Italian.  I had envisioned it generating a discussion about the presentation of culture/history in modern media, perhaps by comparing the game with an older movie about the mafia.  After reading this article, though, I realized there’s more story related content about the renaissance era than I realized.  It’s accurate enough that students could instead focus on where the game deviates from history.

The Shadow and the Sorrow was probably my favorite article.   It describes the game “Shadow of the Colussus” which breaks the typical hero convention of most games.  While at first it seems to follow the pattern of defeating a series of opponents before finally meeting “the boss” and receiving the awards of a hero, the ending turns the tables on the player.  The violence wasn’t justified as he is forced to realize, and his own ending is tragic.  It’s scheduled for release on the PS3, and I’m curious to try it.  It’s a good example of morality questions built into video games.

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