So I’m taking another video game course this semester.
I’m not really sure if video games are something that are actually viable for me to study/be a part of in the long-term, but in the short-term of my undergrad I’m really happy to see video game related offerings. Even in classes where I know that I have a background in the subject (ex. senior-level anth/engl classes) I sometimes feel as though I’ll make a fool of myself by speaking up. Not to say that this anxiety consistently stops me (because it doesn’t, and even when it occasionally does stop my mouth my face is super expressive and profs tend to call me out on my expressions anyways). Now I’ve been playing video games since I was stable enough to sit up on my own, and I was probably watching my parents play games long before that, and because of that (actual literal) lifelong upbringing in video games I rarely if ever feel as though I’ll sound foolish when talking about a game I’ve played.
Not feeling anxious is nice. Shocking, but nice.
First off this week: we had to make/explain avatars for ourselves, and mine is basically just myself as a purple elf.
It was cool to see that clothing/accessory options stayed the same regardless of the body-model chosen (I went through the creator twice to see if it populated different items for “male” and “female” body types), but it would have been cool to see some assistive equipment/tech in the accessory stages. In my own day-to-day I’ll sometimes use a cane, and there’s no reason canes can’t be enchanted for casting or used as melee weapons in Elf-land.
There are also weekly discussion prompts. Where it makes sense to I’m going to be posting my response to said prompts here on the regular (after posting them first in the discussion forum). There’s no word count required for these discussions, but based on the prompts I’ve read/the responses from others I’ve read thus far I’m guessing I’ll be spitting out about 150-800 words a week.
This week is a short one, haha. I left it to the last-minute due to cramming in a bunch of doctor’s appointments in right before my regular classes started today , but in the future I’d definitely like to include more of the weekly readings into my responses. I’m obviously not going to be posting reading lists, but this past week one of the articles assigned was Games, The New Lively Art by Henry Jenkins and it’s def a fave. Hopefully future articles are equally as cool.
But onto the (super short) prompt!
What games do you remember best from your childhood?
I was blessed with a couple of nerds for parents, and my brother and I grew up with SNES controllers in our hands. I definitely remember Super Mario and Yoshi’s Island the best, but I don’t think either of those titles rank amongst the games I found the most formative (which is what I feel is almost at the heart of this question).
Luckily in becoming an adult I’ve made some okay decisions in keeping my childhood SNES collection intact, and have spent the last few days revisiting some old favourites. Of the games I didn’t have to look up a guide to finish the first level for the one I found the most nostalgic pull toward was definitely Goof Troop–it’s a great adventure-puzzler set on an island, and I definitely remember pulling some fun afternoons with my younger brother. While there are later games that we put a lot more time into, like the Legend of Zeldas on the N64, Goof Troop was the foundation upon which we as a 4 and 5 year old respectively found we could work together without being able to read anything.
 I’m taking this video game course online via an institution outside of my home institution, and their term dates are a bit different. This class actually started on September 1st.