Tag Archive: Video Games


Borderlands 2

Recently I’ve been trying to give a little time to actually playing some of the games I’ve bought, and so I’ve been catching up with Borderlands 2.
borderlands2

I’ve currently completed the main campaign, and am now working through some of the downloadable content. I really enjoyed the first game, and Borderlands 2 is more of the same so if you liked the first game you can’t go very far wrong.

Borderlands 2 begins with a choice of character class. Normally I would have stuck with the soldier character that I used in the first Borderlands, who has a deployable turret specialism. However, taking a leaf, quite literally out of Raph Koster’s short but insightful book “A theory of fun” this time I chose to play as a Siren. Koster argues that we should diversify our choice of player characters in order to take ourselves outside of our comfort zone and learn something new. I think I did learn something, which was that my choice didn’t really seem to matter very much. I have experimented briefly with other classes, and in the end the type of character you end up playing depends more on how you allocate your skill points that the character you choose in the first place! Many of the characters can be moulded to suit different play styles.

Borderlands 2 also offers you the opportunity to change your skill points at any time (for a fee). This is nice, because it means I can still experiment with new characters without needing to start over, and I can still learn something about playing using different styles for the cost of a few in game coins.

If you’re a fan of Borderlands then I heartily recommend Borderlands 2 for more of the same – just remember to change it up once in a while!

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TeenTech 2013

Last Thursday I was running a session for Teentech and now, on Monday I’ve just about recovered from it all! Teentech is an event for schools that is held at various locations around the UK to raise teenager’s awareness and interest in careers with STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). In Hull the event is held at KC Stadium, which is a fantastic venue.

teentech

I was running a session that began with a short talk (that got increasingly shorter) about the games industry followed by an activity to create a character for a top trumps game. Each character was then judged on the quality of the narrative and artwork that the students had produced. Over the summer all of the characters that were created will be drawn up by Platform Expos and Spooky Elephant artist Lewis Jackson to create a playable game.

This was a different type of session to the ones I’m used to and I learnt a lot during the three times I ran it. Although in hindsight there is a lot I would do differently I think the session went well, and could even be regarded as a success. Each school group created a character, with artwork, statistics and a backstory. They were fabulously inventive, which I loved, and some of the artwork, created in just seven minutes was really amazing! Two groups of runners up will receive 6 tickets to Platform Expos in November and the overall winners will get 12 tickets, and an amazing trophy to take back to their school.

Congratulations to staff and students from Winterton!

Congratulations to staff and students from Winterton!

I’d like to thank everyone for their support, from the organizers and staff from teentech to the guys from platform studios who helped me out to the students and staff who attended to David who wrote the demonstration of the game and worked through the judges results to find the winners. Your efforts were all appreciated.

I’ve also had lots of lovely feedback from the schools that did the activity, and met some students who expressed not only and interest in studying programming, but studying programming at Hull. I look forward to seeing you again in about five years time!