Serious games: The Great Flu

After reading a little more about serious games, I played The Great Flu a couple of different times. The first, I waited until people were infected before I did anything, so by the time it had started being contagious, it was too late to keep up or make much of a difference. The second time, I spent almost all my money immediately setting up precautions against the outbreak. Less people died or were infected this way. The third time, I did nothing. The effects were much more drastic this time — Riots started, the Health Secretary resigned, and animal testing labs were attacked. With the exception of the last trial, the virus had been contained in the China/Japan, India/Pakistan, and South Eastern Asia region. After that, it started spreading to major cities in other countries and continents. Up until this point, I had been playing on the easiest level, the Kai virus. I tried playing on the hardest level, the Broadway virus. The spread of the virus was fast and almost exponential, and despite any precautions I had in place, the virus was almost impossible to slow down.

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Apertures Relating to the Common Hare 101

Pyramids, the most suspicious of all 3-D geometric shapes.

I’m very interested to see how you will connect postmodernism to conspiracy theories. I really don’t know much about postmodern theory, and I hope to understand it a little better by the end of the semester. I also would like to revisit some of the film analysis stuff; that seems like the type of knowledge that comes in handy every time one watches any piece of pop culture.

My favorite reading is either Chuck Klosterman’s “This is Emo.” or Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” I love Klosterman’s work because it is such a raw take on the corrupting nature of pop culture characters—that is, that distilling any large group of people into one fake person creates an unattainable, unrealistic goal for folks. But I also loved Hofstadter’s piece because it blew my mind with how parallel it is to today’s political and social climate of paranoia and suspicion.  My least favorite reading from the semester was Baudrillard’s “Precession of simulcrae.” Obviously, I know the ideas in it are brilliant, or at least they became brilliant when I finally figured them out. It was so dense that rereading didn’t even help—I just skipped 4 words at a time and hoped the next one would shed light on the last. One part I liked in spite of the general opacity was the example about a robbery in a bank. I still remember that almost word for word, and I hope that gives me the gist of the rest of the article.

Next semester is less based in the liberal arts for me. I have mostly math and computer science courses set up for next term. Study abroad is an option I haven’t explored fully yet, and I’m pretty sure I’m not graduating just yet. But this class has definitely made me look closely at other communication classes I might be interested in taking; honestly, I wasn’t really sure what a communication class was until I took this one.

I would love to see a Heroes/Villains semester, though with regard to some of the other blog posts, perhaps you should include an “Antiheroes” subsection that both classes do, to avoid dissatisfaction with either category. One topic I would absolutely love to see, especially after our recent discussions about zombies, is movie monsters. You could create a versatile class based around movie monsters and what they represent, how they reflect popular culture, etc. If this is too specific, “cultural fear” or something like that could be a more encompassing alternative. The fantasy and space opera double sounds like a great idea. You could go into detail about what the difference is between science fiction and fantasy is, and have both classes examine an example of a mixture of the two genres.

Well, here we are at the end of the line. This is the final log entry in John Dylan Wagner’s conspiracy journal. The “Man” was too much for me, he’s shutting it down.  I’ll certainly miss this class. Well, I’m off to keep my DNA resonance strong with some human blood. Dylan signing off.

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His Horns, Her Wings and Several Genres

Saga¹ is, according to Dr. Delwiche, “a space opera about JAN120485_1star-crossed lovers described by one reader as Star Wars meets Romeo and Juliet meets Game of Thrones.” I don’t believe that there is a more accurate way to describe this comic. Saga follows Alana and Marko, our Juliet and Romeo, as they try to escape the intergalactic war being fought between their home planets. The comic is beautifully narrated by Hazel, their daughter, whose birth launches the start of the first chapter. As a “science-fiction/fantasy/war/romance,” Saga has a little something for everyone. Continue reading

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Exterminate the Humans!

I am what some would consider a video game “noob” – I have almost no knowledge of video games outside of Mario Kart and Need for Speed back during my Gamecube days. While delving into the subject of “serious games” I realized that I do not have a very good perspective on what constitutes a serious game because I’m not even used to playing fun video games. Just from an outside perspective I would consider Call of Duty to be a serious game but from reading further about serious games I think that that would actually be classified as a game played for fun. However, I got some insight into this world in Bryan Ochalla’s “Who Says Video Games Have to be Fun?” It seems as if serious games are in a development phase right now and somewhat controversial because of their inherent quality of pushing specific agendas. This seems quite funny to me in the context of this class because we have talked a lot lately about Nick Bostrom’s theory in which we are all just simulations in a matrix controlled by more advanced beings. If this were the case, then these serious games would be simulations within a simulation trying to affect a computer-simulated mind. I think Nick Bostrom would get quite a kick out of this theory as it relates to serous games.the-matrix

I downloaded the game Plague Inc. to get some more experience with serious games. From my time spent playing, I have gathered that the objective of the game is to create a plague starting in a certain country that spreads globally, infecting and killing as much of the population as possible. In the meantime, countries are trying to make and distribute a cure to stop the disease. I played three times total, each game taking about ten minutes and spread my disease starting in West Africa, Columbia, and Mexico. Unfortunately, the disease was eradicated each time before I could destroy the world. After I lost the first two times I decided to cheat and look up tips on where to start on the Internet and found this article,  “Best Places to Start Your Plague,” and decided Mexico fit my criteria perfectly. Alas I was still thwarted. For the purpose of writing this blog post I was on the lookout for any kind of agenda that was being pushed, but I did not notice anything political or controversial leaking out from playing the game. Mostly I think the purpose of the game is to bring awareness to how quickly diseases can spread globally, no matter the point of origin. It also shows how large gatherings of people or natural disasters can affect the spread and nature of the disease. The only weird thing I found from playing was to be rooting for the extermination of the world – I found myself staring at the world death toll multiple times and saying to myself, “Seriously? Only 10,000?” I can say this is not exactly my normal way of thinking. I would consider this game to be effective in that it is educational and can semi-accurately show how a disease spreads across the world. I would not say that I enjoyed it very much but I suppose that is not the point after all!

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Reptiles, Rothschilds, and Hillary Clinton, oh my!

I didn’t know anything about the Rothschild conspiracy theories, but reading into “House of Rothschild: No One Can Understand What Has Happened to the Planet Without Reading This” by Andrew Hitchcock, I learned a little more. According to Hitchcock, the Rothschilds are in control of the world and have been for a long time. While this is debatable, a couple Google searches confirmed that the Rothschilds do in fact have strong Jewish ties. Hitchcock says this is because they are Khazars, or Ashkenazi Jews. They had a banking business, and are still present today, but on a much smaller scale.

However, when I looked up Andrew Hitchcock, I was directed to his website. Hitchcock calls himself not a reporter, writer, or journalist, but “truthseeker.” He thought the media wasn’t doing a good job of reporting news, so he took it upon himself to research it himself. The result of this has been his two books, “The Synagogue of Satan” and “In the Name of Yahweh.” His website has a page devoted to “The Jewish Genocide of the White Race” and numerous articles detailing the ways Jews are taking over the world. The whole website reeks of antisemitism, which definitely derails his credibility dealing with Rothschild conspiracies.

While Hitchcock’s writing is misguided, it connects to David Icke’s with the link of a group secretly ruling our world. On Icke’s website, he shares another opinion with Hitchcock in that they both think the mainstream media is doing a poor job informing the public about the news. One thing that’s notable is that Icke left school at age 15 to become a soccer player. In excepts from “Children of the Matrix” by Icke, there is a lot of information about reptiles who are underground ruling our world. They have bodysuits so they look like us, have bases all around the world they can travel to almost instantly, and can travel up and down our timeline at their convenience. Books like 1984 and Brave New World are supposedly ahead of their time and accurate later. The reason people imagine abductions certain ways is because everything is vibrating at certain frequencies, and when you’re being abducted and passing into another dimension, you’re vibrating at the same frequency as walls, which is why some people remember floating through walls of their houses. There are many conspiracy theorists out there that are so adamant about their position no matter what evidence is shown to them because of their “direct experience” with an abduction or an alien encounter. However, even in seemly normal instances like watching a car accident, people incorrectly see things and end up remembering something that didn’t actually happen. Psychology today has shown us that memory is very unreliable and not often an accurate representation of what happened.

Conspiracy theorists like David Icke believe that Hillary Clinton is part of a secret reptilian matrix.

Conspiracy theorists like David Icke believe that Hillary Clinton is part of a secret reptilian matrix.

One of the more interesting things I found Icke saying was that Hillary Clinton is one of those people accessing the fourth dimension. I did think it was interesting that Icke thinks there are reptilian politicians on both sides, you would think a theorist like him might only think that about someone whose views are opposite his own. But Icke is convinced, the Reptilians are around us everywhere, slowly taking over.

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Comm 2302: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

This class has not been what I expected, that is for sure. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting going in, but this class made me think in new and different ways. I think the most helpful aspect has been the focus on being aware of who the author is, and how to look at perspective in what we’re studying. The extra credit options were awesome. After finding one, I was hooked on finding more. It was also a good way to procrastinate on other work by justifying that looking for extra credit was a productive use of time. (Which it certainly was!) As far as class today, I’m hoping to wrap up postmodernism since we still haven’t exactly covered what it is.

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If Lizard People Exist, Then I must be a Monkey’s Uncle

What an amazing class, everyday with something new and always something to question. My job as a student is to envelop everything I learn but also to critique it in such a way that I understand it to the best of my ability. This class let me express this to the best of my ability and I commend the reading and also the lectures to that. I got to learn about information that will help me in my future as a student but also to criticize things that happen in everyday life. That being said, there were readings in this class that we had to research and critique and I finally have my opportunity to give how I feel about them. To their credit, some people believe that “lizard people” run the world… But let’s be honest, the likelihood of this happening is almost slim to none (“so you’re saying there is a chance?”)

that’s not what I am saying. I think that yes, there could be things in this world that are unexplained and that we need an answer to them but is lizard people one of them. So on my final blog post, I say to you Mr. Tinnitus, that lizard people do not exist. Furthermore, they do not run our world. Please go back to your bunker underneath the Denver airport, grab a coat; I’ll wake you after the ice age.

What reading did I enjoy the most, you may ask; I thought the Bernard dick reading was genius in that I never realized how intricate film can be. It changed my views on how I now watch and interpret movies. I now look for the subtleties in film, not just the big picture or the main idea. It taught me to analyze and criticize what a director wants me to interpret and also to see the alternate meanings he may have. It helped me with the video project immensely because using my movie, Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg 1998), I had an opportunity to manipulate the movie and I did, very successfully.

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I want to go to law school after my time here but before then, I want to study topics that I understand and like to learn about. There are many classes here that don’t fit what I enjoy learning about but COMM classes do not fit that criteria. It is more hands on and a chance for me to be creative and not a place where I have to learn formulas and acronyms. I would love more than anything to study abroad, but do I think I need to, no… I have had my fun in Europe and my commitment to baseball has become a bigger fixture in my life than previously anticipated. I have a chance to do something pretty special in the next few years here and I need to place all my focus in that and not as much in vouloir aller en France in the next few years. Europe will always be there, winning a National Championship will not.

I would like you to further discuss how semiotics works in our world in class on Monday. I know we went through it a ton at the beginning of the semester, but during my essay on How I Met Your Mother, I will talk deeply into what everything means in the show, from the Blue French Horn to Bro-mances and “suiting up.”

Next year, please do superheroes of the 20th & 21st century and compare it to Greek or Roman mythology. If you can create that concoction, I think that would be wonderful and I would most likely take this class again.

With allllll that being said, I would like to thank you Dr. Delwiche for the way you taught this class. With all my heart, I know you made me a better student and I am forever in your debt for that. Thank you.

You Stay Classy San Diego,
I’m Jeremy Wolf???

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