Critical play journal 3 – Silent Valley

The three games I played for this week’s critical journal was Silent Valley, Locked Door, and Old Fisherman Hut. My favorite game out of the three was Silent Valley. I believe Silent Valley follows all the 13 rules because the answers are simple, and the same time each puzzle took me about five minutes (even though some were more challenging than others), and the overall game challenged me without stressing me out. It made me think outside the box, such as you had to look at the directions of the birds to find out one of the answers. This game shows how to think critically and look at the problem from a unique perspective. This game may seem like a small game with no purpose, but it gives us skills that we can use in other parts of our lives. As authors, Carlos Borrego, Cristina Fernández, Ian Blanes, Sergi Robles explains in “Room escape at class: Escape games activities to facilitate the motivation and learning in computer science”, “To present the results and discuss their application and implementation in the rest of the courses of the Engineering School.” (2017, pp. 164) This quote illustrates my point that puzzle games and escape room games have an unknown factor to them. Another important aspect I had in the game is the “Aha” moment when figuring out that some small clues would end up helping you find the answer to one of the puzzles in Silent Valley.

Something I did to enhance my experience is playing the game with another person. This strategy helped me get through parts of the game that I do not think I could have done on my own. When two minds come together, they get a better perspective on how to solve the problem.  As author Scott Nicholson states in “Creating Engaging Escape Rooms for the Classroom, Childhood Education”, “The cooperative, team-based aspect of escape games is a key aspect of what makes Breakout EDU a powerful tool for the classroom. “In the coming years, I see tools like Breakout EDU playing a greater role in the teaching and learning process,” explains Sanders.” (2018, pp. 47) This quote illustrates my point about how working together with other people can help to conquer a problem. I believe teamwork should have been something Errol talked about in his article 13 Rules for Escape Room Puzzle Design because you may not need other people to play escape room puzzles, but I find it an essential aspect of them. Teamwork can make a significant difference when solving a problem.

Overall, this game shows many rules that Errol talks about in his article and how there is a bigger picture when playing an escape room puzzle. There are a lot of skills one can obtain by playing these games. Even at older ages, it still can help critical thinking, creativity, and other critical problem-solving skills. In an Atlantic article author, Zara Stone states in “Why Teachers Are Asking Students to Escape From the Classroom”, “ They specialize in using game design to demonstrate practical applications of mathematics, technology, and communication skills, and the computer game Minecraft seemed a natural fit for building a virtual escape room. They decided to combine the digital space with real-life physical props to encourage lateral thinking.) (2016, pp.1). This quote explains how I feel about escape room puzzle games because they give people of all ages the chance to think differently when trying to solve a problem. I personally believe they should use these games in classrooms more because I am a straight forward-thinking person, and I think playing these games can help me think more creatively in all fields of study and daily life.

Game: https://www.365escape.com/Silent-Valley.html

Works Cited

Borrego, C., Fernández, C., Blanes, I., & Robles, S. (2017). Room escape at class: Escape games activities to facilitate the motivation and learning in computer science. Retrieved June 21, 2020, from http://www.jotse.org/index.php/jotse/article/view/247

Errol (2019, September 04). 13 Rules for Escape Room Puzzle Design. Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://thecodex.ca/13-rules-for-escape-room-puzzle-design/

Scott Nicholson (2018) Creating Engaging Escape Rooms for the Classroom, Childhood Education, 94:1, 44-49, DOI: 10.1080/00094056.2018.1420363

Stone, Z. (2016, July 28). Why Teachers Are Asking Students to Escape From the Classroom. Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/07/the-rise-of-educational-escape-rooms/493316/

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