I have been working on deciding what to do for my research project for a course entitled “Language and Learning in the Digital Age”. Those of you interested in language, literacy and education might note that this has the same title as this book by Dr. James Paul Gee and Dr. Elisabeth Hayes. If you did realize that, then it might interest you to know that Dr. Hayes is the instructor of the course. In this course I have to do a project that falls within the scope of the course (which leaves a lot of wiggle room, when you think about it). The “traditional” research project is a research paper. This is unsurprising, as it is an English course about literacy research, and I am in the quintessential research program: rhetoric and composition. However if anyone knows anything about me, it is that I don’t always do things the “traditional” way (for example, just tonight I asked why no one tries to make new methodologies, rather than use established ones). So instead of the traditional research paper, I am making a game.
I, like many, many other game players recently, have begun playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DX:HR). I am not really any good at aiming on a console. I’m very much a mouse and keyboard kind of person. And even then, I stick to games that have a low reaction time requirement. So why did I decide to play DX:HR? Part of it was because I saw everyone else playing it, and part of it was that my roommate played it and it looked like some fun. But what really got me to playing the game was that it was a game that supposedly let you play however you wanted. I was interested in seeing how they did it. I was also interested, keenly so, in breaking it.