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Internship With DoIT Engage

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Blue square.jpgJOURNAL SECTIONBlue square.jpg

June 27, 2006

June 28, 2006

Thursday, July 13th I guess the greatest problem that I had was the lack of work to do. But after today, I am happy to say that the amount of work that I now have should be enough to keep me busy for the next couple of days. I have at least two interviews tomorrow. I am in the process of taking a background survey for Engage. The interview questions consist of learning through games and simulations. I have not revised the question set yet. But I will make the nessecary corrections that Chris, Cid, and I discussed. There was nothing wrong with the questions themselves, just that the way some of the questions were worded seemed awkward. I have been having lunch at Union South these past couple of days. It's been relatively lonely, eating lunch by myself, but mostly I do enjoy keeping to myself. My freind Anne works upstairs. She is another ITA intern working in the same building, with Erica. I saw her for a few minutes. It seems that her intership is going well there too.

Friday, July 14th I came to work a 2 hours late today. I was not able to get a ride. I would have my drivers liscence by now, if it werent for the lack of initiative on the part of me and my parents to actually go and take the drivers exam. Anyway, its a good thing my mother called in so Chris knew I would be late. It was essential for me to come today since 2 of the interviews at LSS and with Jessic Kroll were set for today. I was able to get LSS and catch to Under Grad students to interview there. I got some great feedbback. I might return there later to interview Atrian, a supposed gamer who works there as well for his summer job. My last interview today is Jessica Kroll. After I get her, all that is left to do is compile the surveys into a summary. Eventually I will turn the whole thing in to Chris. I did a summer internship with the Learning Support Services last year so I know quite a few of the people that work there. It was nice to see Doug and Ron again. I had alot of fun there.

Teusday, July 18th I ended Friday by playing one of the best games that I have ever played in my life. Oblivion is so involving, I feel like I can do things in that game that I have never been or never will be able to do in real life. I have been occupying my time playing that game when I don't have much work to do. The atmosphere is relaxed and I am able to finish my work on time. I am done will all my interviews and am currently in the process of compileing them in a digital format. I should be finsihed by the end of today. Hopefully I can get some more play time. Love Oblivion. I wonder if Dan wouldn't mind burning a copy of it for me. Maybe that might not work . Or he might just think it's too illegal. Well, all being said, I really enjoy it here and I look forward to that days to come. This wiki concept is something new to me. I had a basic idea of what it was all about it. It is far more intersting and adicting than I expected. I'm going to start a personal one once this intership is over.

Wednesday, July 26th Today I finished installing the last of the games onto the gaming pc. I was having some technical difficulties, so I asked Dan for a little assistance. It turns out that the reason why I was having trouble installing Rome Total War and Civilization 4 was becasue the full installation required multiple discs. I didn't know this. Dan forgot to tell me. It is a simple mistake since the game only requires a single key disc to play. All the updates however are on. I spent a good part of my day getting familiar with the games there. I went through the tutorials as best I could. I am a big fan of Real Time Strategy games. Civilization, as good as it is, is a turn based strategy game which I cannot handle. That was one of the only games I could not find myself getting into. I was persistent however and was able to finish the tutorial. After compiling all the student interviews, I decided to write an article, wether it be published or not. I just want to have a formal summary oraganizing the information from the interviews. I have started already and I am about one fourth of the way complete. There is a project that will be going on next week, something about moving courses onling. I am pretty free, no arguments in helping. Chris will be gone the whole of next week, hopefully we can come up with things for me to do. I saw DOug for a breif moment today, I made sure to say hi to him.

Comments from Engage Staff

Hours Logged

June 26, Monday 2 hours

June 27, Teusday 8 hours 15 minutes

June 28, Wednesday 8 hours 15 minutes

June 29, Thursday 7 hours 15 minutes

June 30, Friday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 5, Wednesday 7 hours 15 minutes

July 6, Thursday 7 hours 15 minutes

July 12, Wednesday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 13, Thursday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 14, Friday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 18, Teusday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 19, Wednesday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 20, Thursday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 21, Friday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 26, Wednesday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 27, Thursday 8 hours 15 minutes

July 28, Friday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 2, Wednesday 9 hours 15 minutes

August 3, Thursday 9 hours 15 minutes

August 4, Friday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 7, Monday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 8, Teusday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 9, Wednesday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 10, Thursday 8 hours 15 minutes

August 11, FRiday 8 hours 15 minutes

Summary and Personal Comments on Compiled Student Interviews

I had the oppurtunity to go to various places around campus to survey students concerning learning through games and simulations. THe results of the interviews were compiled and turned in to the Engage team. I went ahead and wrote up a summary based on the interviews I took.

Real-time strategy games like Rome-Total War or many of the installments in the Age of Empires Series require a bit of learning at the beginning. The command interface may seem difficult to grasp at first, but once the player has conquered this, the real fun can begin. The rules have to be learned to actually play the game, the interface must be mastered in order to be competitive on the battlefield. Whether the player knows it or not, he or she is learning how the game works, and strategizing on how to achieve the main goal. Both Rome Total War and Age of Empires have scenarios and campaigns based on historical events. The player can actually play through recreated battles in history. The best way to learn, I think is to actually relive the experience. Of course that itself is impossible but the closest thing to it is actually playing these games.

Games and simulations are the future. Already the newest games are changing the way we see entertainment. The games that people play often times have a profound impact on the player without them even knowing. To harness this power and let it loose in an academic context would unleash education and teaching methods to its fullest potential.

Student Survey Documents

These are the actual student survey responses from a created question list concerning learning through games and simulations. The links are to the surveys themselves.

Brooke Hausman and Tara Schwertfeger.doc

Jessica Kroll and Dustin Jacqmin.doc

[Jessica Kroll and Dustin Jacqmin.doc]

Link title

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Square-image21.gifSUMMER PROJECTSSquare-image21.gif

The following is a list of projects that I have been or will be working on for the duration of my internship.

ENGAGE Projects for ITA Intern, D.D.

Supervisor: C.L. Project leads: Cid, Jane, Luiz

2. Work with Cid to set up a role-based WisCal calendar.

b. Post notes in wiki for sharing. c. Work with Jane & Chris on interpreting the data from interviews. d. Consider writing an article for the student newspaper on findings. ?

4. Review Engage website, get familiar with Engage projects and website lay out.

5. Work on Engage website with Cid, Luiz, Michelle.

8. Help Luiz set up learning space for sims & games.

9. Attend weekly Brown Bags on Thursdays on learning games & simulations (see whiteboard in Rm 110 for updated list of topics and dates).

10. What else?

11. Other projects as assigned!

Square-image31.gifCURRENT OR PENDING WORKSquare-image31.gif

The following is a list of the projects that I am currently working with. If there is anything anyone can think of to add, or just some basic work that needs to be done, feel free to add it here and I'll try to get a hold of you to get it done.


Nothing too much right now,

-Still have to install to games onto the new gaming pc, having some trouble though, have to ask Dan. -Updates still need to be installed as well, some technical issues need to be figured out, Dan can help. -I have to give the interviewees the Starbucks gift cards, I know not all of them have recieved them.

Thats about it.

Game logos.jpgTHE GAME REVIEWSGame logos.jpg

HOMEWORLD 2 copy copy.jpg

World of Warcraft banner.jpg


Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Oblivion is one of the best games that I have had the pleasure of playing. I think the main reason why it is so attractive is because the level of realism in the game will knock your socks off, and then some. Oblivion is so real that it could seem to be a simualtion in a sense. People play simulations as a form of entertainment often times because they may not be able to do that activity in reality. That is how I feel when I play Oblivion. There are things that you can do in that game that you can never hope to even dream of doing in the real world that we live in. THe plot of the game really drwas the player. REadinga a quick summary on what the game is actually about may cause someone to judge oblivion as just another save the world game and become a hero. One has to actually play the game to realize how good it actually is, and how the same idea of saving a world from almost certain desctruction and an era of eternal chaos and hell, can still be the most interesting game to play. One of the greatest things about Oblivion is the non-linearity to the game. You can actually decide not to save the world if you choose. Become a cunning merceneary and do jobs for the highest bidder. It is even possible to become the catalyst itslef for the almost certain destruction of the Cyrodill Empire, the empire in which the player is a citizen of. There are many guilds across the country. Each with their own set of tenets, lifestyles, and quests. Adventureing is one of the primary factors of Oblivion. The country of Tamriel is massive and exploring never fails to fill me with excitement. Wether it's fear when I accidently stumble across a raider camp, or find myself in the midst of a pack of wolves, or if its the pleasant suprise of stumbling over some ancient chest with legendary elven armor in the Alyiad Ruins. Oblivion is a very versatile game. The players character can have so many different styles, it is overwhelming at first. Not to mention the countless possiblities with the character creation engine which allows the player to design and customize every last detail of his or her charcter down to the style of hair, lip color, or nose height and length. Archers, Mages, Knights, Warriors, Barbarians, Whichhunters, Battlemages, Assasins, Acrobats, Samurias, Soldiers, Monks, Crusaders, and Necromancers are only few of the combat styles available to choose from. The player is also free to persue a path that incoperates more than one style of combate. Necromnacer assasins can be the most fearful characters in all of Tamirel. Warrior monks may the saviors of those in need, recieing fame and enlightenment wherever they go. Oblivion has over 1000 NPC's which stands for non-player contoled characters. Each NPC as its own schedule and life within the game. You will not be able to find the same charcater in a specific place all the time. They are always moving, and living theri lives. The wether system is also very unique. The fauna and flora, grow and adapt to the wether. Trees sway in the wind. Water ripples when you swim through it. The sun glares in the middle of the day, and the twilight moon is a perfect night for a vampires feeding. The game iteself is beyond words. For me to describe it to you is nothing. You will just have to play it yourself.


Rome Total War

I talk to my freinds alot and though many of us don't ever admit it, we would all love the chance to taste total power and glory if at all, at least once. Rome Total war is so real that, I don't know if I should classify it into a simualtion or a game, though is does seem like it could fit in either category. As the commander of one of the great houses of Rome, the Eastern Hemisphere is at your fingertips. The game itself is very historically accurate and the combat system is just astounding. Nothing can give me more pleasure than to see the Roman calvary thunder across the plains as they route and slaughter my feeling enemies. Cities can be captured, forts built, armies created and annilated, and Eurasia up for grabs. THe graphics are suprsiingly well done. Rome total war is one out of a few games this year that mark the milestone in new era of gaming where technology has ascended to the next level.

Civilization IV

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