adventures in gaming

Like I talked about in class, I started cheating at Braid. I don’t care about being a part of a community of cheaters (I think I’m a lurker) so I decided to ask my friend Kenneth, who has played it a bunch of times, for some advice about the shadow stage (World 5). He… was very enthusiastic and sent me this email:



So…. that’s what I’ll be going off of.


Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater. I cheated! I was getting really frustrated, so I googled “cheat” and “Braid game” online and well…. I consider it team work. After looking at the cheats (and getting chewed out by the official Braid-masters, who “released” an official walkthrough that states, “DO NOT CHEAT. GO FIGURE IT OUT.”) I realized I would have never gotten it. It would just be… too much effort… and it’s one of those “think outside the box” things that I would have never thought of for myself. I’m not great at logic games, which is strange because I consider myself a pretty logical person, in the sense that I excel at math and english, both subjects that require good reasoning, and even creativity.  When I found out about the method required for passing the level, I was like, that is so CHEAP.  It just seems not fair that the videogame maker has all these advantages over the player. I guess that’s life.

And two can play that game!

This semester, I have to choose one game and play it for the entire semester. On the advice of my friends, I chose Braid. It promised to be challenging, have a narrative arc, and be sort of snarky.

I started playing.


And? I’m not addicted. I sort of dread playing it. Because I can’t get it and if I hadn’t paid $9 for the game, or if I was not required to write about my experiences, I would stop. Our readings talk about different types of motivations, whether they are challenges, boosts in self esteem, or curiosity (Malone and Lepper 1987). I… have none. In real life, I do, I promise. I love learning. I just don’t see the benefits of learning from Braid yet — and I feel so stuck! I’ve “gone through” world 1, and there are four puzzle pieces that belong in my puzzle that I just can’t even obtain, let alone begin solving the puzzle. I’m not sure what the clues are; where’s the scaffolding?! I am so tempted to cheat and look online.

I really don’t understand the interest in games yet. Why not just read a book if you really want to learn? Doesn’t that seem more direct? Am I just a no fun party pooper? Apparently…

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