Reflection Letter

Welcome to Doraemon’s English 101 class for 2019 Spring semester!
In Doraemon’s journey, you can open the door to anywhere – to the recording room, to chaotic Fiasco, or to Checking-In. By exploring around the website, you will be able to dissect the gamification of learning and discover the various concepts of writing. Click here to explore more about Professor Morgen’s English 101 class – “Play Make Write Think”.

Throughout my writing career, I have always thought of writing as a formula: integrating an intro, body, and conclusion with a claim, data, and warrant. There is a certain direction I must follow. Yet, as I progress through English 101 with Professor Morgan, I realized that writing is not just concrete formulated sentences with fancy SAT words. Instead, writing enables me to express my ideas in multiple directions. Throughout the semester, I was exposed to various perspective on the gamification of learning and was able to use different mediums to express my writing in a flexible way. Thus, the uniqueness of this course allows me to deviate from the norm and express myself in various creative ways.

The archive of my work is presented in three main categories: Playing Yourself, Checking In, and Fiasco. For the first category, Door to the Recording Room, I collaborated with a partner the Kid to exhibit the intertwined system of game and learn by making a Podcast series. For the second category, Door to Checking In, I demonstrate how to effectively intertwine game and learn to combat the bad guys for Emory Freshmen. For the last category, Door to Chaos and Order, I played Fiasco with a group of friends, and through the process, I allowed myself to think outside the box and explore around freely.

During the first week of the course, Professor Morgen asked us the definition of writing. Most of us answered “using a pen or pencil to write down your idea on a paper”. In fact, writing is a medium of communication, thus it can be communicated by speaking or by writing. Throughout the course, I created two Podcast episodes of “Catan” and “Minecraft” with the Kid. It was the first time that I recorded my own voice on a Podcast. Creating a Podcast enables me to collaborate with my partner by analyzing other scholarly research and editing my voice with different technology. The first episode “Catan” was more structured, and we mainly focused on “the capitalistic value of consuming resources” embedded in the game. Then, the Kid and I researched together and used the program called Audacity to cut, paste, and edit our voices. It was the first try, so it was a stepstone for our second Podcast “Minecraft” which went on more smoothly. Soon, I realized that the verbal mode allows more freedom, so during the second episode, I was able to trust and develop my ideas more freely. For instance, as I mentioned in my podcast reflection “unlike writing it on a paper, when I say the word out loud [as a piece of writing], there were many new ideas popping out in my head.” Therefore, as if playing ping-pong ball, we built the conversation by freely asking each other question and making an analogy. I was able to make a connection between previous resources Fiasco and Minecraft and expanded how both media have “no overt goal, no immediate plot but the flexibility to do what you want”.

In terms of presenting a different type of writing, another main project of the course was creating a Kickstart to combat bad guys at Emory. My group designed a non-linear storytelling video game called “Checking-In”, and this was designed to help international students to experience life in Emory before the first day of school. This project cumulated the technical skills we have learned throughout the semester, such as Photoshop and Pixelart Maker. For this one month project, we used a google document to evaluate the idea by simultaneously communicating with each other. This project incorporated five aspects of the learning outcomes, and we heavily focused on the visual aspect. As we consider the visual aspect, “we focused on the playful pixelated design in order to make the atmosphere more welcoming”. It was my first time using PixelMaker to create a character for my own video games. Through the process, I learned that the written language itself is not the main determinant of the style, other visual aspects can also be crucial.

At last, Fiasco opened up many possibilities with its interactive open ending gameplay. I thought of myself as uncreative, but Fiasco’s infinite possibilities “taught me to not be afraid to challenge myself and deviate from the traditional norm” by creating a crazy plot involving drug dealer and bombing of the headquarter. Throughout the course, I realized that writing cannot define in one way, and my development was represented in Italian seminar 190. For instance, at the beginning of the semester, my writing was very structured. When I had to write a weekly one-page essay, there was a clear format of thesis statement at the beginning of the paragraph along with warrant to support my thesis, and three big fat body paragraphs embellished the essay. However, this English 101 course enables me to think outside the box and break out from the normal essay structure by teaching that writing cannot be confined in a single paper and a pan. Therefore, at the end of the semester, my writing in Italian seminar had a unique structure. I used the structure of the lesson plan to depict the food coma. Unlike the typical thesis statement, I state “Lesson one: Is food coma real? Where does it coming from?” to begin the paragraph. I gained inspiration for using unusual structure from the gamification of learning and creativity from Fiasco.

I appreciate the way that Professor Morgen has exposed us to various types of mediums of communication. I used to label myself as a poor digital learner, but now I can proudly say that I mastered how to use WordPress, PixelMaker, Audacity, and Photoshop, how to combine different resources to express my writing in a coherent way, and how to collaborate with diverse perspectives.