The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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2:51pm on Friday, 1st December, 2017:

Game Design 1


My two weeks of commuting to Queen Mary University London to teach the Game Design 1 module to cohort 4 of the IGGI Doctoral Training Centre came to an end today. I got a round of applause from the students, although that might have been because I finished half an hour early.

Cohort 4 is much more games-oriented than cohorts 1 to 3. The other cohorts have plenty of people who are gamers of the first order, but cohort 4 has a higher percentage of them. As a result, I didn't have to go into depth explaining gamey things (which is good) and they would ask constant questions about all aspects of game design (which is also good, particularly when I didn't know the answer but one or more of them did).

It's great when students ask questions. Undergraduates will if there are up to six of them, but any more than six and they clam up. PhD students are more confident and will interrupt me when I'm in full flow, sometimes with web pages open on their laptops so I can't appeal to lack of evidence to save me. Having more time than I have with undergraduates also helps, because I don't have to rush through material to catch up to where I should be had I not had a 15-minute digression in which the peculiars of a particular game are described from out of nowhere so that what I'd just asserted could be tested against it. It's great! I love teaching PhD students.

OK, so I might not like it if I had 50 of them in the same room instead of 12, because then I'd never get anywhere. 12 to 15 is a good amount.

Next week, I have to repeat what I taught the PhD students last week, only to MSc students. That should be interesting, so long as I don't tell them the same anecdotes twice in the belief that the first time was when I was speaking to the PhDs.

Commuting every day is not pleasant, though. I don't know how my wife does it.

Similarly, teaching all day, every day is not fun. I don't know how my niece Nicola (a mathematics teacher) does it.

I'll end with a picture of a the sign on a curiously-specific fast-food shop down the Mile End Road, so as to trick you into reading this post in the belief it's about that.

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Copyright © 2017 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).