In my formative years I felt writing was my passion. I was fascinated by learning new forms of writing, new words, and new ways to articulate my ideas. I fell in love with poetry and short stories and writing my own poetry to express myself and convey my thoughts on a subject or event. As I reflect on this semester, I believe my best writing would be the textual analysis of video games, which was our second essay assignment of the semester. I enjoyed writing this essay; moreover, I learned the important skill of how to structure an essay to include textual analysis. The strength of my textual analysis is driven by my sentence and paragraph flow as they were smoother than previous writing. There were several significant skills I learned this semester, which improved my writing. First, proper structure and building of an essay is vital for developing a competent essay. Second, games in the classroom can help a writer engage the mind in unexpected ways and lead to creative ideas. Third, handwriting verses typing on a computer has powerful benefits for the writing process.
An important lesson this semester was how to structure an essay. Planning, drafting, and revising essays separately helps writers take the time to develop fully a piece of writing outshining an essay one would throw together without exogenous opinions or deeper introspective analysis. A central theme of this semester was learning how to write essays I did not know existed. Combining what we learned about different types of essays with reading different types of stories has benefited me greatly as an author. The perfect example of this is the textual analysis on “Just One More Game…: Angry Birds, Farmville, and Other Hyperaddictive Stupid Games” by Sam Anderson. I chose this essay because as I was reading there was a quote from Jordan Peterson that kept interrupting my thoughts. (Peterson, 2018)
I think part of the reason games are engrossing is one you have to learn things from playing games because, in some sense you’re always playing a game right because you’re always inside a reality that’s bounded by a certain set of assumptions, and it’s not the total reality. It’s like a game-like representation of the total reality, and you know hopefully it’s good enough.(SIC Transcription)
This quote established a connection with Sam Anderson. Though our opinions of games differ, furthering the need for me to remove my opinion as to better analyze the work. In contrast, Sam Anderson stated, “This, I fear, is the dystopian future of stupid games: Amoral Corporation hiring teams of behavioral psychologists to laser-target our addiction cycles for profit.” (Anderson, 2016)
Games in the classroom were a surprisingly effective teaching strategy. Coming into class to play educational games such a scrabble was a delightful way to start my morning. Being able to challenge your mind to figure out words with a few letters at hand is an effective way to get your brain warmed up for further intellectually strenuous activities. An example of this, is that every day that I played Scrabble, I seemed to have more success coming up with interesting ideas. Through my experience, I believe there ought to be more intellectually stimulating games within English classes.
My last take away from this semester is that of writing longhand instead of typing. Longhand has given me great pleasure as it helps me connect back with the earth and reality. Technology can benefit us in many ways; however, there is research, as well as my personal anecdote, showing you retain information more efficiently when something is handwritten. An example would the journal that we kept throughout the semester. The movement away from a computer screen in a classroom setting has been a refreshing change of pace in our modern world in which screens are ubiquitous and invasive.
During this semester I reflect on three particularly influential subjects: proper structure and building of an essay, integration of games in the classroom, and longhand writing as opposed to technology. Granted, there were tough times, but through the tough times, we grow stronger and better prepared to face the world. Ultimately, this semester has been a pleasure as I have transitioned from the working world into academia. I would even go so far as to say, this semester, despite its challenges has been a time of joy; indeed, there are many features of this semester that have caused me to become a better, more thoughtful person.
Anderson, S. (2016). Just One More Game…. Angry Birds, Farmville, and Other Hyperaddictive Stupid Games. In M. D. Richard Bullock, The Norton Field Guide to Writing with Reading and Handbook (pp. 105-110). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Peterson, J. (2018, Feburary 18). Jordan Peterson World of Warcraft other video games. Retrieved from Youtube.com: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrHRZmOGovs