Thursday, January 28, 2010

Learning aboot learning

So, while flitting to and fro between the various elements of my lit review, I am drawn back to the basic issue of which learning theory best suits my potential model. As I previously surmised, a mix of behaviourism and constructivism makes the most sense (or made the most sense) but I am yet to properly explore cognitivism.

It seems the best way to do this is to cover the theory behind each of the 3 major approaches (there are subsets and subsets of subsets whose warts have warts but if I don't draw the line somewhere this thing will ballon to such grotesque proportions that I'll have to enlist some sort of educational theorem pest control company to douse it in opposing viewpoints until it is nullified, conceptually), then summarize the appropriateness of each. I imagine there will be cherry picking aplenty as I build my own little customized learning theory that is suited exclusively to game design and development.

That's the goal then; take what I produced in 08 an add cognitivism to it, then summarize a theory for 'best practice' according to the desired learning outcomes.

In the meantime, I need to summarize each of the main roles within game design and development (programming, art and design) without restating the obvious. Let's see... I need to avoid expanding on the topic from an industry perspective, as the roles are too specialized to specifically cater for in a curriculum. Therefore, I need to nail the underlying principles of each so that a student who is exposed to said principles and equipped with a particular skill-set (let's say programming) can adapt to a more specialized role once out of the kiddy pool and into the Atlantic.

I'd like to cover the type of personality a budding programmer would typically possess, but I'm not entirely sure how I would do it.

Some common elements to each:

1) No matter the role, quality of soft skills is paramount. I should investigate methods for enhancing soft skill development that can be integrated into a game development course.

2) The application of skills outside of the more behaviourist skill acquisition should be wholly constructivist and subsequently collaborative.

3) Whatever a student's specialization, he or she needs a reasonably developed understanding of the entire development process; that is, not only of disciplines that are not their own but also of the publishing and marketing process. If the rumblings prove true and Australia's chief gaming export in the future is delivered via Wonkavision, a well rounded skill set supportive of a core skill will allow graduates the wherewithal to develop their own projects.

I'll get back to this tomorrow. In the meantime, have a manatee.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Clever Subversive Title For A Post

I made some teeny weeny progress this week, as in I actually did something. Wrote a bit, read a bit; it's a start. Expectations are currently low, so I feel as though they have been met. I'll be getting my own office next week (or part of one at least) and have sorted part of my teaching load for the coming trimester, so bully for me.

Even the ickle smidgen of writing I produced last week felt promising, a portent of slightly more words in the following week. I organized my literature review structure a little more and it is gradually starting to make sense thematically.

Not such more to write on the subject; I've started, that'll do pig.

In other news, the word is full of morons, sometimes disingenuous ones but always moronic to a degree. Apparently video games cause rickets, though upon contacting the people behind the research referred to in the numerous articles on the subject, Nick Lovell concluded that this story was in fact bullshit. The research was misused by the no doubt well meaning journalists without an agenda in support of a preposterous (do enjoy that word) assertion. Moving on.

I have discovered ChatRoulette, though am yet to fully engage with it. Amusing in theory but distinctly unpalatable in practice (I am yet to witness any real-time perversion), I expect it's merely a matter of time before mainstream media catch wind of this diabolical new apparatus that could facilitate some innocent child's exposure to a man with two fish perched cheekily within his dilated rectum. I say the sooner the better; the cultural importance of such a thing cannot be understated. Other items of even greater social significance than fish, adumbrative of the zeitgeist, are no doubt in the pipeline so to speak. iPods, Cadbury Pods, assorted miniature literary classics, a milliner's hat block, numerous species of succulent; these could by framed by one's anus and shown to the world. It's the for betterment of society and I heartily endorse it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Unexpected Party

Right then, to work. The aim is to concoct two delicately waspish musings a week, this being the first official one.

These will be short most like, unless inspiration strikes and the words tumble out of me like so many dwarves from a hobbit hole.

I suppose this will be a mix of the random and the research focused, or more specifically how far I am from possibly meeting a milestone in the next century.

I've acquired the necessary goodies (folders, pens(!), accoutrements; trappings (or accoutrements if you will) of organized academic pursuits. It is my hope that being more organized and having more stuff will create a sort of cocoon conducive to good work practices. I could be fooling myself and probably am, but if I can trick myself for long enough that solid work practice within the cocoon becomes habit, I might just have a chance. No doubt I'll sprinkle the odd dribble of arty business as that gathers momentum.

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you've finished, if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!

I won't be doing that, just research and some drawing.

P.S. This is an utter travesty, a joke, a heaped, rotting pile of fuckoff conservatism forced upon people who really ought to know better than to elect such morons. Sigh. To work.