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Game Reflection

The Choice is Mine: Playing Fiasco

In our Fiasco game, my group chose the Main Street and Willow Road playset since that most accurately embodied Emory’s quaint, southern location. I established my relationship with Cherie and Rachel, the players to my left and right. Cherie was my gambler and bookie and to Rachel, I was a current co-worker. Even while creating our relationships, I was struck by how quickly the players embodied their roles. Right when a relationship had been established, it was almost like a light switch went off and we each stepped into a new persona. With this new identity, I felt a new sense of control. I have a clean slate and I can make whatever I want to happen try to happen. 

Our Fiasco story was one of ups and downs, surprise, romance gone-wrong. At the start of our story, the main conflict was between Austin and Cherie’s characters, who were ex-lovers. Austin kicked Cherie out of their house because she never did anything productive and stole his money. During scenes, many characters gave their opinions on the matter of their toxic relationship, and I ended up setting Cherie straight and helping her gain self-independence. In retrospect, in most of my scenes, I tried to take the upper hand and help out my friends even if that meant losing a potential opportunity to make money. For instance, I could’ve convinced Cherie to continue gambling and make a profit off of her, but in her best interest, I told her to stop gambling and instead focus on making a steady source of income so she could acquire a new home and live a comfortable life. I felt that my role in the game was not necessarily moving the plot forward but reacting to the actions of others. My character was more of an intermediary than one associated with large plot points and drama. When the tilt happened, I was destined to suffer and be locked up in jail but also make it out with dignity intact. During the game’s aftermath, Giovanni killed Austin’s grandmother’s friend at the elderly home and got away with it but I ended up in jail for helping him commit the crime. I had dignity, though, because I taught the other prisoners how to aid in a crime. 

A strategy I employed was not doing anything too controversial but rather helping players work through their own issues. I found this effective because I highlighted the problems in the actions of my peers, which helped me win all of my rounds. My tactic in this game taught me that one of my strengths is conflict-resolution but not creating conflict of my own. I think that is a valuable asset because I am not a very contentious person but rather like to help others work out their problems. Playing Fiasco differed from other work we’ve done this semester because it required us to perform a task that was constantly shaping and moving, rather than completing one task and the assignment ending. I enjoyed the unpredictable aspect of Fiasco, which kept me constantly thinking about the next move. I can apply the skills used in crafting my Fiasco story to future writing projects by compartmentalizing which aspects of the writing topic I want to focus on and which I should “stay out of,” like I stayed out of certain issues during our Fiasco game. Overall, the game session and reflection helped me fulfill the learning objectives for this course because I’ve learned to write and reflect on a non-written genre, which is a very important life skill. Many of the “texts” we need to analyze in the professional world are not written but rather analyzing real situations that took place and drawing conclusions from those interactions. During our Fiasco game, I took this these situations and truly made them my own, forging the path of our story.

Categories
Game Reflection

Betrayed?

After reading Everything Bad is Good For You by Steven Johnson, I was not convinced of his argument that video games are very complex nonlinear narratives that make players prove the physics of the game world and make lots of strategic decisions in order to play but board games don’t require the same sorts of skills from players. However, after playing Betrayal at House of the Hill, I was even less convinced of Johnson’s argument. Right when we started setting up, I knew this game would require many strategic decisions and set out a complex series of plays and choices. When we started setting up, we were initially confused as to where all the pieces went and why the dice only had four faces. We read the instruction manual very carefully but ended up watching a YouTube video about how to begin playing the game. Once we actually started playing, the rules made a lot more sense and after a few people took their turn and we started exploring the house, we all had a “Wow!” moment because we realized how cool this game was. I have played many board games but the scene has always been established before I started playing. However, in this game, it really excited me exploring the house and building it the way we wanted to. The game required a decent amount of strategy since we had to decide which traits to lower or increase and consider how these traits would make us stronger once the haunt started. Overall, we considered strategy in each step of the game to succeed in “The Haunt.” Once we reached “The Haunt,” we knew we were in for something exciting. After we all arrived at the Pentagram room in the fastest possible way, spirits and tensions were high. We played through “The Haunt,” and I died first (of course…). Then, the remaining two of us went insane and attacked Michael but they ended up dying in the process. So… drum roll, please… Michael won!!! He had the holy symbol and high rolls so it really helped him win, but nonetheless, congratulations Michael!  

Categories
Game Reflection

Am I Home?

5:10: I am about to start playing the game Gone Home. I read some of my classmates’ posts and from what I saw, I’m expecting the game to be gloomy and mysterious–especially towards the beginning. Now I’m starting to get scared! I’ll keep you updated on this prediction as I walk you through my live experience playing Gone Home.

5:15: So here goes nothing… I’m standing on the porch. The vivid sound of the rustling wind creates an erie feeling for sure, and the darkness aside from the porch lamps doesn’t make me feel any safer. The game establishes a setting in a suburban neighborhood in Portland. I actually used to live there so this makes me feel even more creeped out. Does the game know me or something? Since I am alone and there is no dialogue between myself and other characters, I the game designers still make it feel like a conversation because I am prompted to do various things and interact with certain objects and clues. I predict this game will head to me looking for my family and never finding them. Perhaps something bad will happen to my character during this process. I am prompted to open the door and see this note addressed to me:

5:20: I feel even more startled now. Home alone in the suburbs in my big house? This just doesn’t feel right at all. I wonder what’s going on–it’s certainly not something good. Pulsating with fear, I conquer my anxieties and step inside. 

5:25: Wow! Isn’t my house nice! A beautiful velvet stairway extends before me. I look around and this is the grandest foyer I’ve ever seen. At least my parents left me with something… if I predicted right that they are gone. 

5:29: I open the drawer as prompted to and see a note written in loopy cursive handwriting. 

On this note are instructions and a map to a new house. At least that’s what I think it says. I’m having quite a bit of trouble reading this handwriting. I feel confused. I wonder… Am I supposed to follow this map or is it old? Who wrote it? Was I meant to find it or was it written for someone else? I’ll just hold onto this information for later if it comes in handy. 

5:34: I walk over to the desk in the foyer and see another myserious piece of paper. It looks like some sort of financial record or bill. I wonder what it’s for? 

Terrence Greenbriar… that must be my dad. I see the date on the top says August ‘94. This makes a lot of sense since the house does not have a modern feel nor did I see any electronics, such as a flat-screen TV or telephone. The grand total is $2750. For all the items listed, I would assume they would cost more. But I guess things were cheaper back in the ‘90s. 

5:41: I’m beginning to feel frustrated. I keep trying to open doors but many of them are locked. And I can’t seem to find the keys anywhere. I finally did come across something interesting, though. I opened a drawer and found this note from my roommate. It’s purple around the edges and glows in a way. 

It seems like this girl Carol and I were really good friends. I wonder how long ago this letter was written. She seems very inquisitive about my life. Maybe I am bad at keeping in touch? Oh wait… seems like she’s talking about me and leaving on my “European adventure.” This letter must’ve been written to my mom not so long ago since I just got back from my travels in Europe. The letter was opened so my mom must’ve been here not so long ago. I wonder where she is? I miss her a lot. I am having a lot of trouble piecing these clues together. I miss my family and wish I knew how to find them. I’ll need to keep playing another time to find where they went and why I’m stuck alone in this spooky mansion.