Minecraft Impact Guide

Game Basics

What would happen if you cut down all the trees? What if you did not replant any trees? [+2]

The answer to this changes depending on the version on the game played. I played on a PC, and found that if you remove all the trees in a certain area they will be gone forever, but you can move along and find more as the PC version of the world is almost endless and will keep generating new areas with tree.
I also gave the game a try on the Xbox 360 version, and in this one the world is not endless like the PC version, and the resources the area starts with are the resources you are limited to, so if all the trees disappear then there won’t be any more trees unless more are planted using saplings

How do harvesting and building affect the environment? Are there any unlimited resources? What can you
do to make sure you have resources available? [+3]

This also depends on the version of the game being played since the PC version is endless. Using the Xbox 360 version, harvesting and building has a visible impact on the environment, the player can see where they took their resources from, there’s a visible emptiness of lack of stuff where resources are gathered from. Holes can be be seen in mountains. Some resources, such as drops from NPCs are unlimited as long as the NPC is also unlimited such as enemy units. Renewable resources such as trees can be unlimited as long as the player remembers to plant the saplings and make sure there are trees available to them in the future.

Theme Insights
Try to replenish resources through breeding animals and planting trees. Did these actions have a positive
impact on your game world? [+2]

creating a small farm of pigs and replanting trees had a very positive impact in the game. It takes advantage of what’s renewable so that it may be used over and over again, never having to worry about the supply of wood and food in the game.

What resource do you wish you had more of? Why is it hard to get? How can you change that? [+3]

everything that can be picked up in Minecraft is a resource, so the rarer the item, the of it I want. Some things though are super hard to get because they are part of a quest or a drop from an enemy such as the dragon egg. To get them items, you simply have to get better at the game, create better gear using other resources, and go questing for them.

World Connections

Why are mining and farming important in the real world? How are they limited? [+2]

Mining in the real world is important as it provides us with the mineral based resources that make up most of the technology and infrustructure we use today. Its hard to find something or someplace that doesn’t have a mineral resource used in its construction in our world today. Mineral resources are limited to what can be found. Farming is important since it supplies food to our large population sizes, however, unlike mineral resources, cattle and crops are renewable which allows us to create even more of the resource through breeding and planting seeds.

Are all resources renewable? Identify a renewable resource in the world. How is the use and renewal
managed? [+2]

All resources are not renewable. Most resources are not, or we don’t have a means to renewing them just yet. Recycleable resources are in a way, renewable as we can take them and transform them into a new form. Like minecraft, the two truely renewable resources in the world are livestock and crops, which we renew through breeding and growing seasons. Trees in the real world are renewable, however we don’t seem to be planting enough compared to the number we are destroying.

 

Andrew Jones: Spent

FaceBook Post Part 1FaceBook Post Part 2

Game Basics

Well I played Spent twice to beat it and it was pretty interesting. The basics were the same. I started off with the most reliable highest paying job even though it was manual labor and bad for my health. This led to a stable paycheck due to the consistent hours. I figured such a job could cause frequent, and possibly serious, injuries so I enrolled in the Affordable Care Act Gold Health Plan and figured the $15 dollar co pay would make it the most cost effective in the long run. I chose to live as close as possible to my job even though it cost the most and it paid off because I made it to work every day and didn’t have any noticeable travel fees. For groceries I went with a lot of the basics: hot dogs, milk, cereal, eggs, chicken, bread, spaghetti, beans, and ramen. I spent a total of $105 on groceries and didn’t get anything fancy such as juice. I didn’t run out of food during the game. Unfortunately my child wouldn’t eat because I couldn’t afford anything but the free lunch and it embarrassed her. That horrified me. I made extra money by borrowing from my friends using the Facebook Share function and donating Plasma. I also saved money by having a garage sale and made $150. My unexpected costs were minimal because of my great copay rate. Though my apartment fee was drastically raised and my registration expired. Fortunately I lived so close to work that I rarely had to worry about driving and didn’t buy new registration. That part personally touched me because I have friends that do that (live close to work but are afraid to travel because their registration expired) as well as donate plasma.

Theme Insights

I know my character spent a lot of time sick or had to visit the doctor because of how rough their job was. They worked through the pain regardless but it was sad to watch. I could see people with a job like that being more on edge than anything else. The other jobs instability would probably leave them anxious though about their next pay check. That was a tough decision. I paid for everything I could for my child from field trips to tutoring. I put my child before everything and that’s how I plan to be in real life when that time comes. The first time I played the game I lost because I bought my child name brand shoes. It was a rude awakening to know the great lengths parents go for their children and where sacrifices have to be made. As far as morals go I got a woman fired because I broke something and hid it. She was blamed for it and could no longer support her two children. I felt bad for her but she had to take the fall. I also watched a woman drop a $10 bill and kept it for myself. I missed my best friends wedding because of costs and I couldn’t even go to a free concert because of the childcare fees. My morals were survival and my social life was nonexistent. However I still put an emphasis on education and I took Computer Science classes at the community college. After losing the first time my priorities were solid the second time around. Everything was geared around the welfare of my child. I think being financially responsible is making sure your money supports your priorities.

World Connections

Relating this back to real life I don’t know how I could do it. I’m horrible with money in real life. I just make sure I have enough to eat and then I splurge everywhere else. The game really gave me a better understanding of the struggle but I always had respect for people who are trying to survive. I understand now why some people don’t report expensive things that they find. This game taught me about acceptance and the struggles of others just as much as it taught me about money. It showed me how blessed I am and how hard it is for people in poverty. You can also see how the system repeats itself. Those computer science classes were a big sacrifice to move up and especially because it didn’t even account for time it takes to do it I could understand how it’s so hard to move up in the world. Also my kid could’ve just as easily been where I cut costs. Also of note I finished with $113 and still had to pay rent for the next month so I won but I really didn’t. It’s truly a struggle.

Pandemic II Review by Sunny Liu

Game Basics

• Choose different types of symptoms to start the game. What type of symptom did you choose?
Why?[+1]

I chose the the virus because it spreads and evolves really fast and have the fastest possible game. Having played this game a few time I know how long it can take.
• What are evolution points and how do you get them?[+1]

Evolution points are obtained by spreading your disease.
• How does your evolution help spread your disease?[+2]

It helps by making your disease tougher, spreads faster and kills more effectively.

• Read the breaking news on the left corner. What is happening in the world and how does it inform your
strategy?[+2]

So if my country is not going to first worlds, I would invest in the immunities to drug and also I don’t want to my disease known till I am killing people so I have to be careful with my evolution.
• Looking at the map, what countries are the hardest ones to infect and why?[+3]

Madagascar in this version for sure because there is only one way in and out. In their more recent version which is a full game that is on steam, Greenland and Sweden are huge pain.

 

Theme Insights

What kinds of traits did your disease begin the game with? How did those affect your strategy?[+1]

Mine started with coughing I believe which was nice it’s visible but not that serious and helps spread the disease nicely.
• How effective was your disease against humanity? Would you evolve in the future? Why?[+2].

I failed because of Madagascar, I think I would probably choose the more discrete evolution to avoid getting detected and save the more lethal ones for later.
• How do natural disasters in the world help your disease spread faster? [+2]

Things break down and make people go to shelters and lower their living standards which helps transmissions.
• For the countries that were not infected, why did the infection not spread?[+3]

For me personally, a cure was developed since I was hasty and the countries turned against me.

World Connections

• What is a pandemic? How is it different from an epidemic?[+1]

The former is something that can affect the world while the latter is on a significantly smaller scale.
• Have any pandemics ever happened during your lifetime? What were they and how did they affect the
world?[+2]

The ebola virus right now is quite dangerous but it probably will not have major impact upon first world countries. Cancer is also another one if I just generalized the diseases.
• How do nations work to prevent pandemics?[+3]

Report the symptoms, create cure and drugs to help patients. Research the disease and micro-organisms and develop immunizations. Fold it.
• If the disease you created in your game was unleashed against humanity in real life, how effective do you think it would be? Would humanity be able to stop it be before it spreads out of control? Why?[+3]

Well, cells don’t evolve THAT  fast, it takes generations but anything is possible. I also don’t think the people in that game shower or washes hands. Humanity would probably be able to stop it, because in that game humanity reacts extremely slowly in the beginning and in real life we are progressing every day.
• How can a game like Pandemic II be useful against actual pandemics? [+3]

It can mimic the way diseases can spread depending on the place of origin and the type of disease and therefore help contaminate the infection and help the victims.

Cassandra Ziesman: A Pandemic Epic

Introduction

Today, I am looking at the player impact guide for the game Pandemic II, also known as Pandemic. I have played a little with this game, but alas never really thought about it. I’ll be playing this game on realistic mode and as a parasite. As a parasite, my possible-pandemic will have a slow evolution but isn’t as affected to environments and isn’t easily detected.

Game Basics

  • Choose different types of symptoms to start the game. What type of symptom did you choose?
    Why?

My parasite has the initial traits of heat resistance 1 and has the symptom of sweating. Since my disease starts in the Middle East, I decide to go with fevers. This will keep my visibility low, but can allow my parasite to easily cause death to those infected.

  • What are evolution points and how do you get them?

Evolution points are like attribute points in the game or money. They are used to buy symptoms, resistances, and transmission for your disease. They are gained over time with the rate depending on the type of disease (viral, bacteria, and parasite).

  • How does your evolution help spread your disease?

The evolution points as noted above can be bought for symptoms and transmission. There are four transmission types: rodent, insect, airborne, and waterborne. Each type of transmission is useful to get to certain countries which has facilities like airports, seaports, and the like, but aren’t next to each other.

  • Read the breaking news on the left corner. What is happening in the world and how does it inform your
    strategy?

In the world, my parasite is in the Middle East still, which hurricanes hitting China, and a drought in Argentina. Since my neighbor is China, the airports are closed for the hurricanes so I would have to find a different way to spread the disease. If I was near Argentia, I could get insect transmission to help it spread.

  • Looking at the map, what countries are the hardest ones to infect and why?

Unless you start in Madagascar or are near it and infect it right away… They’ll close their ports before you reach it. The Oceanic areas such as Australia and Indonesia do have some problems and Greenland has also be giving me trouble to infect.

Theme Insights

  • What kinds of traits did your disease begin the game with? How did those affect your strategy?

I had heat resistance 1 and sweating, and these traits didn’t affect much since I was going with the strategy of being less visible, but highly infectious until I spend all my points into being lethal.

  • How effective was your disease against humanity? Would you evolve in the future? Why?

It was very infectious and effective since I took my time to plan it. I stayed with the low visible/high infect strategy and got nearly all the areas infected. So I evolved as I could to try to cover the world until my disease was discovered. Sadly, Madagascar closed it’s seaport shortly after the disease was discovered.

  • How do natural disasters in the world help your disease spread faster?

I didn’t really get a chance to see them in action as my disease was in areas where natural disasters weren’t happening! And when they were, they were either already infected or no where near there. I did notice the infection population did go up in countries when they were hit.

  • For the countries that were not infected, why did the infection not spread?

Madagascar closed it seaport after my disease was discovered and was near it. Since Madagascar only had the one port, it was a stalemate for my disease as it could not be transmitted to a country that was isolating itself.

World Connections

  • What is a pandemic? How is it different from an epidemic?

A pandemic is a global infectious disease, as it will infections millions around the world. An epidemic is a disease that stays in a region, but is afflicted to a large population in the region.

  • Have any pandemics ever happened during your lifetime? What were they and how did they affect the
    world?

They are HIV and AIDS pandemic which are transmitted by body fluids. There is also the many, many types of influenza pandemics (swine flu, bird flu, etc) like the H1N1. Also do to the anti-vaccine movement weakening the herd immunity of humans, certain diseases are starting to become possible pandemics.

  • How do nations work to prevent pandemics?

Nations’ can close down airports and seaports to prevent transmission and close borders as well to prevent infected people from coming. They can fund research to create vaccines and distribute them. There is also funding for medicines and hospitals, curfews and martial law!

  • If the disease you created in your game was unleashed against humanity in real life, how effective do you
    think it would be? Would humanity be able to stop it be before it spreads out of control? Why?

I’m unsure of the effectiveness since it’ll understandably take years for it to evolve into a lethal, heavily infectious parasite. My parasite didn’t have a human controlling so it would probably have a few mutations that will set it back years on the infectious scale. Then it’ll be a while to mutate into it’s lethal form. I would think that humanity would probably wipe it out quickly, but that if it deemed a high priority to vaccine researchers. There would be other diseases that would be more deadly to cure than my parasite.

  • How can a game like Pandemic II be useful against actual pandemics?

It helps spread the general idea about how transmission works. While it doesn’t give much of a narrative, it does make the player think about how to infect people to “win”. Of course at the end, that should be when the player realizes they just doomed society. Plus it teaches people what types of diseases there are and how governments are used to keep diseases at bay. For every action or evolution the player disease takes, there is a possible counter move for the countries to take. It also teaches us how much we need vaccines and the all important herd immunity.

You could easily recreate West Nile virus by picking up the insect transmission, or Bubonic plague with a rodent transmission. However, it should be noted that there are diseases that are transmitted in different ways than the 4 in the game (body fluids, skin contact, other animals) so that recreating certain diseases will have to be created.

Torrie Cannon Pandemic II

Pandemic II Critic

Choose different types of symptoms to start the game. What type of symptom did you choose? Why? [+1]
With the basics of the game I chose to start with a cough, because it’s not very noticeable, as well as it makes the disease airborne, which is very hard to control.

Read the breaking news on the left corner. What is happening in the world and how does it inform your strategy? [+2]
Watching the breaking news of how the countries and world reacts to the disease is very informative but I didn’t examine it well enough and went symptom happy and it became contained easier than I would have liked. I should have noticed where the drought’s and flooding were and pushed my disease towards certain parts of the world to help it spread. I found it very helpful and interesting to watch though.

Looking at the map, what countries are the hardest ones to infect and why? [+3]
Unfortunately my disease didn’t spread past South America but I have seen this game played before and I would say the hardest country to infect seems to be Canada and Greenland because of their cold temperatures and the virus or bacteria not being able to evolve very well.

What kinds of traits did your disease begin the game with? How did those affect your strategy? [+1]
I wanted my disease to be very resistant so I spent most of my evolution points on resistance and its traits were basically a durable virus, I wasn’t able to really expand these traits or change them, that’s what I was given.

How effective was your disease against humanity? Would you evolve in the future? Why? [+2]
My disease was very effective even when it was contained to South America, it killed millions of people and everything in South America was shut down, the airports, hospitals, etc. I would always continue to evolve my disease to make it harder to create a vaccine and to keep it spreading and hard to detect.

How do nations work to prevent pandemics? [+3]
I thought that the nations in the game worked very well together, it seemed like they communicated fairly well and that was how they were able to contain it so well. I feel like they worked to prevent it from spreading and tried their best to keep the rest of the world safe. Other outside countries such as the United States even started working on a vaccine and when I changed the way the disease spread, they acted very quickly to stop it.

If the disease you created in your game was unleashed against humanity in real life, how effective do you think it would be? Would humanity be able to stop it before it spreads out of control? Why? [+3]
I think that if this disease was unleashed on humanity they would have more trouble containing it but in the end all of the countries would band together and fight the disease as South America did in my game. The disease would be very effective because it was a virus and they are quite hard to treat but I believe it could be stopped as long as scientists from around the world worked together to create a vaccine or worked to contain it and hope for the best.

How can a game like Pandemic II be useful against actual pandemics? [+3]
I think the game is very effective in potentially helping against a pandemic. The game makes you think like a disease, you have to treat it like a chess game and I think that, that’s exactly what battling a disease is, a long complicated chess game, understanding it’s moves and then counter-acting them.

WELCOME TO EDT 460 GAMES, TECHNOLOGY, AND SOCIETY (FALL 2014)

Welcome to Games, Technology, and Society!

In this course, we will play, critique, analyze, and design games as an exploration of the interplay between new technologies and society. We will consider how technological developments affect social systems, and conversely, how social systems affect the nature and use of technology.

Unlike many other classes you may have encountered, this course will be experienced as an adventure. By the end, you will have completed four quest-lines, developing skills as a critical consumeran ethnographera game designer, and an entrepreneur. Throughout the adventure you will develop your understanding of games, their design, and potential for impact. Expect to have fun!

Please explore the Adventure Game Board (this course website) for essential details on how this course will run, and the resources at your disposal.