Video Game- Update #3 Pleasantly Frustrating

The Gee principle that kept coming up throughout my Video Game experience was Pleasantly Frustrating. You can see in the above photo that my first attempt was being Venice. I was becoming increasingly frustrated because of multiple conflicts. I had Milan and their Allies putting Venice under siege, and as you can see in the bottom right corner, I was running low on money. I was straight up not having a good time. Gee argued that the new challenges should “… at the outer edge of, but within, their ‘regime of competence’ (Gee 36).” I felt that my initial attempt was difficult because I was at the epicenter of all the action, and the tutorial did not prepare me for that. Gee believes in games presenting well-ordered problems, which are like a walk in a pathed garden (Gee 35). Unfortunately for me, my experience was like walking through rose bushes. My takeaway from this experience: I must try the game and discover the challenges before introducing it to my students. If I were to use this game, I think it would be helpful to create a sheet of “tips”–what to focus on, which country to start with, etc. This would allow students to make their own decisions but also have the tip sheet to reference.

3 thoughts on “Video Game- Update #3 Pleasantly Frustrating”

    1. Kate, Thanks for replying to my post. I was quite proud of the tip sheet idea. Do you think any of the authors would oppose it because a common theme in our readings was Learning by Doing? I thought of Gee’s concepts “Information On Demand” and “Just in Time” (Gee 37) when reflecting on my post and your response. I thought the tip sheet would be a great idea, but now I wonder if I should hold onto my knowledge until they need it. Gee stated that “human beings are quite poor at using verbal information when given lots of it out of context and before they can see how it applies in actual situations (Gee 37).” That is now making me think that we should allow a student to face challenges, and right before that pleasantly frustrating turns into plain frustration, then *boom* tip sheet is given.


    2. I love the article and love the phrase pleasantly frustrating! I think you related Gee’s article well. Pleasantly frustrating can be what we need in order for our students to learn. If something is impossible then there will be no attempt but when the student knows it is possible then there will be a desire to figure it out and get it done! There is a trial and error to figuring it out and I believe that is what needs to happen in order for our students to 1. love the game 2. have a desire to learn.


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