When I started playing Kingdom Rush, I went through the tutorials and tried to comprehend the purpose of the game and tips to help me start out. None of it made sense to me since I had never heard of this game before, let alone played it before. I tried to play a few rounds and failed, so I Googled, “Kingdom Rush help” and found this source: Kingdom Rush Strategy. This site helped me to decide where to set my defenses and what to set them as at each location. Nothing hindered me while starting to play. All of the ‘new enemy’ information, ‘tips,’ the strategy site, and other pop up hints helped me continue on in the game.
I leveled up eventually. I felt very accomplished when I leveled up because it took so long for me to do so. It took a few times of me failing before succeeding. Leveling up in the classroom can also feel very accomplished by students. Especially for some of my special education students, it might take days, weeks, or months to ‘get’ a concept or skill. Once they finally get it, it’s like they go up a level and it is such a good feeling for both them and me as a teacher.
While playing this game, I learned that it is easy to give up hope and to give up completely at a task. If it weren’t for the required time limit, I probably would have given up at level one. I definitely got frustrated. Some of the rounds seemed to take forever and I thought I had done well enough to level up, but finally got to the end and I had failed that level. I think I would have rather it stopped me right away when it knew I failed the level instead of letting me continue through that round before telling me that I had failed. When I got frustrated, I would take a break and look at the strategy site again. When I started back up again, I would make changes and keep playing.
Some good learning experiences from playing Kingdom Rush were trying again after failing, trying something new, and gaining little successes along the way. Like I mentioned before, if it weren’t for the required time, I probably would not have tried as many times as I did after failing, but it was a good learning experience to not give up. I tried something new and out of my comfort zone and for a few hours was able to put myself in the shoes of my students who get frustrated at something in school. The little successes and awards along the way were nice little ‘cheerleaders’ to keep me going throughout each of the levels.
I never got in The Flow. I’m not very interested in any type of video games, so that hindered my ability to get into The Flow.
This experience can related to my students’ learning experiences because some content is not very interesting to them. Even though it is not interesting, we, as teachers, expect them to not only master the content, but enjoy the learning of the content. After going through this experience, I realized that it’s not always fair to expect that of students. Certain students will enjoy learning certain things and although they might master the content, they still might not enjoy learning about it. It’s unfair to expect them to be all in 100% of the time with every lesson. Hopefully, each student can find enjoyment in learning about something, but do not need to ‘like’ learning about everything that is taught. Especially if a student does not find enjoyment in learning about a specific subject or lesson, that student might have difficulty in trying and trying again to succeed in mastering that lesson, just like me and this game.
Playing Kingdom Rush and going through this module has affected me as a teacher. It has reminded me to keep in mind all students’ thoughts, interests, and learning preferences. Even though it won’t change what is being taught, it will change how it will be taught. Students might struggle learning a specific subject or lesson due to lack of interest. As a teacher, if I can encourage them to keep going until they succeed and show them signs along the way that they are doing well (just like the game), it will help them learn that subject or lesson.