Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nintendo vs. The Necktie Bunny

Grad school is supposed to be about shattering your perceptions of learning and intelligence, pushing your personal and academic limits and achieving more than you ever thought possible. For me it was like that, I guess, but it was also about sneaking video games into the equation whenever I could. I'm not talking about playing a few levels of Duke Nukem 3D or Street Fighter 4 before bed or even a few rounds of Tetris in between classes; I'm talking about fusing gaming and academics. If you've seen my "Learning Game" posts in this blog, you know that I was able to reach that goal - if I do say so myself - by doing research and citing valid sources like educational theorist James Gee.

And then there was the How-To assignment I received one afternoon for my Teaching with Technology class. I was supposed to explain how to do something using only pictures - no words of any kind except on the title card and the end card of the PowerPoint presentation. I grabbed my camera and whipped up this little number called "Setting Up a Nintendo Game."

The song playing in the background is "Super Mario Bros. Gypsy Jazz"  by Adrian Holovaty. You need to download it from as soon as possible.

The original version of this project began with me turning on a Wii, making an annoyed face, thinking for a moment and then smiling and reaching for an NES controller. Then it continued almost exactly as in the above video. I was implying that the Wii is boring and 8-bit Nintendo is more fun, or possibly that the Wii is too complicated so I went for something less difficult.

When they saw it, the entire class (all graduate students with GPAs of 3.0 or higher) had no idea why I started the project like that. They also had no clue why I would take the old cartridge out of the system before putting a new one in, but that's not important right now.

The project they all liked better was "How to Tie a Necktie." It was five frames of a guy tying a necktie onto a statue, but every frame had the same cartoon rabbit photoshopped into the picture. My classmates commented that the author must be a computer genius to grace us with such photo-wizardry. I smiled and slowly grinded my teeth into a fine powder.

Yes, it was almost a year ago. Yes, it's petty of me to make an entire blog post about an incident that has no bearing on the quality of my life. And yes, I'm still ticked off about it.

Necktie Bunny, if I ever find you hanging around my tie rack, I'm going to smite you so hard with Nintendo cartridges that you'll wish you were never copied and pasted into existence five times over.

I just don't get it.

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