Saturday, July 30, 2016

Enchanted Assemblages: "Merlin Explains"

Not my Merlin, but you get the idea.

I haven't spoken explicitly on the pedagogical nature of the game yet and hope to post an explanation of the actual pedagogical philosophy soon, however, in the meantime, I wanted to talk about at least one aspect of the educational experience-- Merlin Explains.

Everyone knows who Merlin the wizard is-- he is King Arthur's trusted advisor who leads him to the the lake which bestows upon him the sword Excalibur. He is a powerful magic user and is a formidable force.

Part of this legend, of course, is his sage-like role in Arthur's adventures. So, I figured why not re-purpose this wise old man to help demystify the player's possibilities?

I intend to insert at the bottom of every significant post (i.e., every post which is embedded with a hefty amount of theoretical underpinnings which determine the course of the story), a small icon-link which reads "Merlin Explains" that when clicked on will take the player to a new window deconstructing the theory behind the options presented, why they were presented, and what deeper meaning the foundation theory indicates.

An essential part of this function will also to be a method of documentation. If I am basing some observations or theory upon scholarly research and/or engagement, then I need to be an upright academic-in-training and document my sources; otherwise, I am no better than the clickbait vultures who regurgitate information in order to make a quick buck (this would be especially erroneous since this is a Non-Profit undertaking-- I would never monetize my site; I may put up a PayPal link if people wish to donate, but I would not add advertisements to my site or market it in a way so as to expressly solicit funds outside of upkeep and the occasional generous subscriber).

So, in effect, Merlin Explains will be a subtle, out of the way mode of explanation and engagement. It will be a sly works cited page (subordinated to, of course, the project's bibliography) and a way for curious readers to dig deeper into the game's aspects in order to better understand the nuance of the game's parts as well as the logic of those parts themselves. I think it is a swell idea and hope others enjoy it as a unexpected inclusion.