Tomb Raider Podcast Reflection

They say the second time you attempt to solve a problem, it get’s easier. It was the same case for our podcast assignment. We ended up solving a lot of problems we faced during out first time doing the podcast, adding in some essential details.

The second video game for we chose was Tomb Raider: not just the latest one or the first one, but the whole saga. Tomb Raider was one of my favorites growing up and I had seen the evolution that the game went through. I wanted to analyze how the game developers differentiated between each sequel, and how they developed character and the story.

Planning out the podcast definitely got a lot easier this time. Having done it once we were a little more confident about the content of our podcast, as well as how to present it. Our podcast was more structured and we learnt about what made our episode stronger. We were able to make stronger points as we listed down what we should mention and what we could potentially shorten or remove. It also helped that we’d edited once before as the physical process of listening to the recordings sometimes proved to be tedious before. We learnt to edit much efficiently, which in turn made the podcast much better.

Freedom of Speech, Thought, and Everything Else

As we gathered as a group of four students, knowing little to nothing about how Fiasco would work, our group found itself embracing the free-form role playing game, creating our own unique story where everyone was enthusiastic as the other to create a living, thriving story. At first I was rather weary of the game, I didn’t think it would be too much and I must admit I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. I like things that are fast paced, that I can get through quickly and efficiently and I didn’t think a table top RPG would satisfy that need for efficiency. But, I was pleasantly surprised.

As we started the game, we were unsure about what to do. Although we read the instructions multiple times, it was still quite difficult to get a hang of it. But as we just went with it, it became easier and we understood the goal of each player. We chose “Boomtown” as our playset, the “Wild West” where I played a criminal, trying to steal a very expensive “Matched set of Colt revolvers.” I personally really enjoyed acting out the part. In a video game, you simply adopt the character that you’re put into, you teach yourself to see like them and you become a pre-designed person, following a pre-designed path (no matter how many options you have to choose from). While for table-top RPG’s such as Fiasco, you simply design your own game. You can create your own story, your own character, and how you choose to make yourself move about in this alternate universe you have just created with your group-mates. But then gain, you only have a limited number of choices in some scenarios, as in a video game. Just as how video games may have a certain number of different paths you can take, or a certain options for dialogue you choose, Fiasco only has a certain number of Playsets, locations, objects, and motivations. But, the rest of the story is yours to tell.

Although I did enjoy acting like a different person, someone completely unlike myself, I personally thought creating a story from the outside was more fun. I would rather be able to think about what might be going on in everyones heads, just as a narrator would in a book, and create a story that would benefit their perspective . I enjoyed moving the story head towards the bigger picture, but often times I found that I didn’t pay too much attention to detail, which is why my teammates were always there to help. We had a healthy balance of trying to progress towards the main goal, creating details to make the story and the characters more enriching, and having fun at the same time.

Fiasco was a very enjoyable experience. I personally felt I learnt a lot more about collaboration, from the learning outcomes. All of our group mates got together do draft a story that would be unique to just us. We worked with each other to reach common ground, talking through any problems we came across and solving them collaboratively. We were pleased by the freedom we had to create our own story, and create literature, in a rather “unconventional” fashion.


Picture from Flickr




Podcast Reflection


Podcast Reflection

One certainly doesn’t expect to make a podcast for English class, but when it happens – it’s great! Anika and I teamed up to create a podcast about the video game Candy Crush and how it relates to the terms “Branding” and “Habituation” used in Ian Bogost’s book How To Do Things With Video Games. The experience was actually quite rewarding and it was quite the rewarding experience. I feel talking about a certain topic and being able to express your ideas as soon as you think of them makes the feeling more spontaneous and you can share your experiences first hand, without tampering with the words and risking changing the meaning, unlike when writing a piece and editing it multiple times. Although editing material can prove to be beneficial, you might lose track of the original point you were trying to get across after editing it at a different time or if you have a different mindset.

Our primary goal was to be able to relate to our audience and be able to establish a connection between Candy Crush and everyday life. It was also to be able to analyze the game, compare it to literature and make a successful argument describing how Candy Crush has made a majority of people addicted to the game even though it’s algorithm is very simple. We included personal anecdotes so the arguments we described were more relatable and believable. I feel like this is a valuable lesson I learnt from the podcast. These are also useful in personalizing the writing. It makes you seem more human, rather than someone just writing blatantly about facts and figures that were researched. That is something I should incorporate in my writing more often.

This assignment definitely helped me, personally, learn about digital citizenship. While posting content anywhere online it is important to take on a specific role and keep in mind the connection you are trying to establish as well as the message you are trying to get across. With a podcast perspective in mind, it was quite interesting to write an audio script for an audience in mind that are listening specifically through the internet.

I used to host radio shows for 3 years back in Kathmandu where I had to write scripts and select songs to play on air. Creating a podcast, for this class specifically, was definitely different because of the analysis part of the task. It is necessary to stay on topic and not stray from the thesis of the analysis all the while keeping in mind that we maintain a role as a creator online.

Collaboration is again definitely another learning outcome that this podcast helped me, or us, achieve. We spent time talking to one another, what we wanted to include in the podcast and how we would divide each task. Although it was a little difficult managing time and picking out time to work together and sort things out, in the end it all worked out. We managed to get everything done as planned and I feel Anika and I worked very well as a team.

Overall, I’d love to do this again, and I’m looking forward to working on the next podcast!



Unpacking Manuel’s

The first draft of my Unpacking Manuel’s assignment is up on my blog. You can check it out on this page. I’ve included why a portrait of Harry S. Truman could be hanging on the walls of Manuel Maloof’s Tavern. It was quite fascinating to try and find out the connections between the two democrats. Feel free to leave questions of comments!


Unpacking Manuel’s