Friday, October 29, 2010

Week 6 Blog: Ender's Game, Chapter 7, 8

(Begins Nov 12 - Ends Nov 19)
Read Ender's Game, Chapters 7 and 8, and respond to these questions:

Chapter 7

1) Ender has finally made a friend or two among the Launchies, when suddenly he's singled out again and promoted to an “army”, where he'll train and “play” with the big kids. Before he accepts the transition, he goes off in “Free Play”, and encounters a dreamlike string of locations and events. The adults refer to “Free Play” as a mind game. What does it reveal about Ender's psychological and/or emotional state? What does it reveal about the adults who designed the game? What do games reveal about the player, versus the designer?

2) Ender is transferred to Salamander Army. What does Ender learn from the leader of Salamander Army, Bonzo, throughout the chapter?

Chapter 8

1) Compared to Salamander Army, what is different about Rat Army? What is different about how it is organized and run?

3) At the beginning of the chapter, the adults discuss the consequences of making the battle game progressively more “unfair”. As game designers, is this ever an option we should pursue? At what point does strategy break down, and become anarchy?


  1. Josh Halford

    Chapter 7
    1.) Ender is focused on finding out where the path leads. This shows that he is questioning the point of everything, the training and the fighting. Games can reveal how a player operates mentally. Depending on what goals they follow, one can tell if a player is straight to the point, an explorer, a questioner, etc.

    2.) He learns that he's a bad commander. A good commander would not need to threaten his subordinates and resort to violence to get them to comply with his orders. He learned from Bonzo's failures.

    Chapter 8
    1.) Rat Army is much more disorganized and casual than Salamander. This unexpectedly puts Ender at unease.

    2.) Unfairness depends on the degree and the context to which it is applied. The human spirit can overcome enormous obstacles with the proper motivation. That being said, what may seem unfair to most, may be just the challenge the strongest of us needs. Games, as we commonly know them in the commercial market, are created to make a profit and, therefore, to make them extremely difficult, or "unfair", would be unwise as some players only want to play on a casual basis, and not practice to the point of mastering each and every aspect. If it's too difficult to play, it becomes less fun, and if its less fun, less people buy it.

  2. Chapter 7
    They weren’t trying to make a kid’s game.
    There mental process of figuring out how to win the game.
    That Bonzo is not a leader and does not look at the bigger picture of situations.

    Chapter 8
    They are disorderly and noisy.
    Dink runs and trains his toon separate from the Rat Army.
    No it shouldn't be unfair.
    When it isn’t a game anymore, when it becomes serious and nobody is having any fun.

  3. Chapter 7

    1) Ender is constantly trying to explore, learn, and discover the boundaries.
    The player has the option to explore their surroundings, quest to learn bout the game story, fight, level professions perhaps, or (IF the game gives the option) they can hang out and talk with friends. The game play for specific players is based around what the player themself want to do. Sometimes I don't know if the designer really had a say in what goes into the game, but if they do I believe the designer tries to create an environment for the player to enjoy, whether it's challenging or purely fun. They have to think of who they're selling it to and how to keep the player coming back for more game play, or even persuading them to buy a new game/expansion.

    2) Ender figures out that Bozo isn't a good commander. Bozo doesn't look at the big picture and threatens others with violence so they to follow his orders. I don't think you should resort to fear or violence to make others obey, they should do it out of respect or compassion. (Which Bozo may lack)

    Chapter 8

    1) The Rat Army is more disorganized that the previous Army.

    3) Some games have "unfair" game play (ex. ridiculous playing mechanics just to attack) and such, but I've never seen a game that I could TRULY call unfair. Yeah, maybe the computer AI can outsmart you, maybe the challenges are tedious with no room for error, the strategies can be brain numbing, perhaps you can't save until you find that ONE check point, or there's a locked item that you actually have to pay real money in order to obtain it. But I believe as a game designer that the game shouldn't be unfair, but it should challenge the players. Sadly though, if the game is too difficult for the player or if they give up too easily they will probably say the game is "unfair" and "cheats." That is were the breaking down point is.

    -Anne Phillips

  4. Kevin Lam
    1. Enders psychological and emotional state is him getting in rages and wanting to hurt people more. Finding himself acting like his brother when he gets angry. The adults/ developers maybe wanted the players to explore every option even if it may seem like ridiculous choices. Maybe that the players are challenging the rules that are set up by the designer that want to control the player.
    2. Ender learns from Bonzo that he is a horrible leader and that his pride and power gets the best of him. He realizes Bonzo is actually very dumb and thinks in a very linear fashion.

    1.Rat army is alot less strict with the commander. This army is just as bad as well in performing as soldiers but the only difference is the one platoon. Ender joins the platoon led by Dink who actually is smart and is more of a commander than anyone else we've seen in the book.
    2. I wouldn't say its something to pursue but more of an option. You cant have unfair situations to make this less stagnant and more challenging especially in this situation where everything is too linear and in the box. I think strategy can become anarchy when ever someone pleases. Whether it is effective for a long enough time is the thing. I think if a game were to be unfair and there was no option for winning would be the point of choosing anarchy against the rules of the game.

  5. David Short.

    Chapter 7
    1.) Ender's main focus was to find out where the path leads. This means that he was questioning training and the fighting.

    2.) He learns that he's not very good at commanding. He shouldn't threaten his subordinates to follow his orders.

    Chapter 8
    1.) The Rat army doesn't seem to have their act together, compared to Salamander.

    2.) Strategy breaks down when different players are not being fair and are taking advantage of an unbalance in the system.

  6. Chapter 7

    1 Ender was more targeting the main path of the game. It reveals that he gets enraged at certain points.

    2) Ender realizes he is not the greatest leader.

    Chapter 8

    1) The rat army isn't all that together very unorganized vs the salamander army.

    3) No i believe games should always be balanced, if the game becomes unfair it causes people to get irritated and lose interest. it will become anarchy once the game is so unfair that everyone i just doing anything they can to balance it out and there's no strategy to the game just all out trying to not lose and find and edge.

  7. Ender's main focus was to find out where the path leads.

    He learns that he's not very good at commanding. He shouldn't threaten his subordinates to follow his orders.

    The Rat army doesn't seem to have their act together, compared to Salamander.

    Strategy breaks down when different players are not being fair and are taking advantage of an unbalance in the system

  8. chapter 7
    1. Ender is trying to find where the path leads
    2. He finds bonzo isnt a very good leader and more importantly learns what to do and not to do in other words he is learning from Bonzo's mistakes

    chapter 8
    1. salamander is more strict while rat is more unorganized and is dependent on on group of people
    2. no because the players would lose interest if the game was too hard. therefore the profits would plunge.


  9. Ender travels through free play or the mind game until he gets to a door the is labeled "The End of the World." Ender has been trying to figure out where the paths leads. Which basically is the end of the game.

    Ender finds out that Bonzo is horrible at leaing the salamanders.Bonzo seeing Ender as a threat.

    The rat army is a lot more laid back than the salamander army.

    no, but sometimes unfair games become very popular. An example is a game called super mario a** h@** which the player gets to play through an original mario game with extra unfair surprises.

  10. Ender is going through that path trying to find out where it leads.

    Ender realizes that Bozo is not good at commanding. He uses violence to make people obey him.

    The rat army isn't as organized or strict as the salamander army.

    I think that games should become progressively more challenging but it should never become just outright unfair. At this point the game is no longer enjoyable. Many old nintendo games were just plain unfair over the years this trend has become less frequent.

  11. 1) The game shows that Ender is a determined individual with unparalleled intelligence that obviously has some hang ups about his brother and family issues in general, extending to the authority figures a the battle school. The adults are possibly brilliant, more than likely anti-social.

    2) (As everyone stated above), he is simply not convinced that Bonzo's methods are the best bet. Violence and fear over true respect.

    3) Rat army is a mad house, "The Nose" barely commands his teams, allowing single running by hit subordinates with little oversight.

    4) Progressive difficulty is, in my opinion, under-utilized in the gaming industry right now. A solid single player campaign with progressive difficulty has been replaced by almost totally story driven games with linear difficulty that focus on online multi-player for the hook and skill test. Simply put, social difficulties are trumping the difficulties of the program itself.

  12. 1)Ender constantly feels like the world is working against him, which is why he falls through all of the interactive objects with which all of the other children play. He also feels targeted and isolated by the other children, which is why they turn into wolf-creatures during the game.
    2)He learns how to NOT lead a team; fear and threats are not the way to lead a team, and being stubborn and unwilling to learn from subordinates is bound to lead to failure.
    3)Rat army is a lot more relaxed, less organized, and the leader is more of a goofball than a dictator. Rose is, however, more willing to learn from Ender, which is why Ender found it more enjoyable.
    4)I think one should make a game more difficult and the player base becomes more experienced with the game, but to make it completely unfair is wrong. Strategy vs. anarchy is simply the insurance that certain rules will always stay in place, and that players will be informed when the game changes.