For all of the reading and research about ARGs that I’ve done in the past for communication classes, never did I ever think that I would get to create my own and launch it for people to actually play. That alone was amazing. I think that the projects we all did really helped us develop our critical storytelling abilities, whether through the development of characterization or through creating puzzles in games. We’ve all come such a long way through the semester, some of us knowing nothing about the wonder and amazingness of comics and of the great stories that are out there like, of course, the wonderful words of Joss Whedon and other fictional worlds. (PS, I still think we should have had a day devoted to Whedon worlds. Since they’re awesome stories. AND THEY HAVE COMIC BOOKS. Or we should have just have him come guest lecture. You know, whatever.)
The world of communication is changing each year that goes by and through this introduction in the world of transmedia fiction, games, and ARGs, we are better equipped in the real life for opportunities that will come before us. Who knows, maybe in ten years, the real trend is to get the vast majority of the population involved in different ARGs to promote different products, or maybe Jane McGonigal’s dream will actually come true and people will be constantly playing games to solve the world’s problems. We might have Cloudmakers specifically for solving things like AIDS and global warming. Stories and games may permanently cross over from the entertainment realm to the educational realm.
As a writer, either fictional or analytical, I feel like my writing has improved dramatically because of the concepts of linear storytelling and logical progression that comes with developing a story or characters or designing a functional game. The skills we’ve learned in this class can be applied to a variety of other things if we learn to transfer them. Anytime you can look at a situation with a different viewpoint, you can create new possibilities and solve problems in a new way.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this semester and greatly appreciate all of the wonderful readings we’ve read. The articles we read were amazing and helpful and relevant. I always love reading McGonigal, even if she is on a slight powertrip. She’s still kind of a badass, being one of the top game designers in the world. And anytime we get to read comics in a class is a total win for me. The Unwritten comics were fantastic and have opened even more doors for me as far as reading and understanding comics go.
Thanks for an awesome semester, Dr. Delwiche. It was an absolute, incredible blast!