As a part of my studies in Digital Games, Learning, and Pedagogy (ETEC 565S), we are to analyze a game that we have not played before, creating field notes around it. As this is an interesting exercise in dissecting game design, I thought I’d share my game logs here, along with the case study that I write up from my fieldnotes.
Name of Game: 80 Days
Monday August 10th, 2020
Session 1: Before Playing
Each of these question aims to get at a general notion, “what expectations (about this game) am I coming in with?” The goal in this reflection is not to test the accuracy of your predictions; rather, the goal is to identify and reflect upon the assumptions and biases you, as an observer, are bringing into the experience, as catalyzed by the games’ promotional material, introductory screen, any other descriptive or suggestive information.
Answer the Questions
With this in mind, respond to each of the following questions:
What will I like / dislike about it?
- I am excited for some travel and adventure, even if it is just virtual travel and adventure.
- Given that this game is set in 1872, and based around Jules Verne’s novel Around the World in Eighty Days, I suspect if the game plans to be historically accurate that I will need to prepare myself for some systemic racism and sexism.
- I love that this game is written by a woman, Meg Jayanth.
- I wish the purpose of the game was not to get around the world in 80 days, as I know I am going to want to take my time to explore the various places within the game.
- I will definitely miss not being able to enjoy the local tastes in the virtual places I visit in the game.
What will I find interesting about it / boring or tedious about it?
- I am really hoping to learn about the culture of the different places that I virtually visit in the game.
- At present I have high hopes that there isn’t anything that I will find tedious. Although on a real life trip, that would be the constant packing for me, waiting in airports, and flights.
What will I need to do in it?
- Attempt to travel around the world in 80 days.
What will I need to learn within it?
- Trip preparedness.
- Fastest modes of travel.
- Strategic routes of travel.
- Possibly local customs.
What will it be like / similar to (other games I have played)?
- It will possibly have some similarities with Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego and The 39 Cues, in that a knowledge of culture and geography will help you to advance in the game at a faster rate.
Fieldnote Summary Session 1
At the end of your fieldnotes for session one, craft one or two sentences (no more) that, for you, summarize your expectations prior to playing, and what these expectations are based on. Include one image that catalyzed and/or supported your expectations.
As I get set to embark on this adventure with 80 Days, I am filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation for discovery. The sort of excitement and anticipation that I’d normally have from real world travel, but I am pleased that a video game can offer me in a virtual adventure in our present pandemic. Like in my real world travels, I am hoping to learn about culture, be met with the unexpected, and enjoy a few thrills along the way.