Ninja Zombies: Why #gamers like to #game

Crafting an effective Writer: Tools of the trade {MSJC / Coursera} Week 5 Journal Writing 1 and Final writing Assessment

Module 1 Writing Activity

Pick one of the four topics listed in the Week 5 writing assignment and choose the topic that most appeals to you for your final, peer-reviewed paragraph. Once you’ve made your choice, start with the first step of the writing process, inventing, and try a few of the methods to develop your ideas.  If you find that the topic does not seem to be working, try developing another topic. Once you’ve developed some good ideas for your paragraph, move to the second step, organizing, and construct an outline that you can use for drafting your paragraph.

Topic #2 
Identify and describe a favorite activity or interest and provide at least four reasons why this activity or interest holds your attention and/or is enjoyable to you

cluster (mind mapping) brainstoming week 5

For the purposes of this assignment I chose the  “cluster” brainstorming technique, mentioned in the course and as always I employed an appropriate digital tool for the job, called Mindmeister. Here’s the final paragraph for Week 5′ s final assignment.


For the Unit 5 final writing assignment, you will compose a direct paragraph, one that has

  • a title;
  • a clear topic sentence;
  • a fully developed body, which includes necessary and sufficient details and examples;
  • necessary and appropriate transitions;
  • a logical conclusion; and
  • a minimum of fifteen (15) sentences.

Before you submit your paper for peer review, plan to proofread for

  • subject-verb agreement errors,
  • pronoun-antecedent agreement errors,
  • shifts in verb tense,
  • faulty parallel structure, and
  • comma, capitalization, number, word choice, and spelling errors.

You should imagine your peers in this course as your readers/audience. Because of the diverse population of students enrolled in this course, you need to be keenly aware of the need to provide details and examples that are clear and precise. Keeping in mind a living audience, rather than one you imagine, will help you convey more reliably the value of your perspective in the topic upon which you choose to write.

Ninja Zombies: Why gamers like to game

Among recent pop culture trends, gaming is considered one of people’s most favorite pastimes, myself included;  however, video games seem to signify more than a mere pastime. Choosing to spend one’s free time in front a computer or a console constitutes a highly immersive experience, though quite addictive at times, too. First of all, video games are plain fun; while an obvious argument in support of this hobby, it is also a convincing one. For instance, when a player unlocks an achievement, occasional laughter is accompanied by a feeling of self-satisfaction, marking the gaming experience as a personal accomplishment of a difficult task. Furthermore, gamers develop social skills. With the advent of social media and cloud based services they may share game content or feedback on their progress globally, as well as collaborate with people in-game around the world at the same time. On a smaller scale, people playing on a console, like Playstation or XBox, can enjoy themselves with family members at home by simply attaching a separate controller, thus creating a family shared experience. Moreover, game studies have shown that problem solving skills are being boosted throughout interactive media. Gamers, engrossed in the shooter genre, are often more capable of receiving critical decisions quickly. Similarly, strategy video game enthusiasts possess tactics and planning insights. Were you aware that frequent Angry birds players bear a large amount of mathematical and geometrical abilities? Finally, video games personally interest me since they promote vast research interests. As of late, the marketing sector seeks to incorporate game elements in customer services (gamification);  online education providers are also experimenting with gamified content to promote motivation during the learning process. For example, unlocking a badge – a sort of virtual “sticker” on-line as a reward for a task well done – was actually inspired by video games. To sum up, while the majority still frowns upon video games as “a waste of time”, as a member of the digital native generation Y, I tend to regard  them as tools for creativity, inspiration, fun and potentially employment opportunities. Food for thought: are you prepared for a Zombie Apocalypse scenario? Gamers are…


Personal #writer’s transition: From pen and paper to #digital drafting

Crafting an effective writer: Tools of the Trade {Coursera / MSJC} – Forum question

Think about the process you follow when you compose a piece of writing. Do you follow a series of steps that work for you? If so, share the steps you follow. After reading about the five step writing process detailed in this unit, do you think that your process of writing could be enhanced?



Whenever I have to jot something down quickly, I just scribble some words on paper. But when there’s an assignment, essay, article or something like that I skip the whole traditional process and fully utilize the media. It wasn’t always like that  for me, of course. I ve had serious trouble accepting e-books and the fact that clicks would take the place of flipping through pages. Still as time goes by, I am getting used to technology enhanced writing / reading.

The stages of writing: 


I ‘ve always started with listing as a brainstorming technique. I like keeping things linear, I am also obsessed with structure – well at least I try to keep it that way. To do so, I usually benefit from a note taking app on my desktop – this is really useful if you re using mobile phones as well – if you see something of interest, note it down on your cell, maybe take a picture. Visuals are great when it comes to supporting your writing. You may even consider writing based on something you saw and captured your attention.

Freewriting usually works too.

Audience and purpose: 

Contemplate what it is you are actually writing about and maybe imagine your average reader (he could take the imaginary form of a tiny avatar for fun’s sake). Post your drafts on a blog and ask for feedback. At first you might get one or two hits, but don’t be discouraged. Once the Internet embraces your presence, you will gradually enrich this process and at the end of the day get your own audience. Most of all, drafting will become a dynamic process.


The crucial think about writing for academia is evidence and that takes a lot of time. Most of the time I prefer to digitally highlight some important ideas from an article / text (bibliography). Bookmarking webpages also works when surfing Internet’s  vast ocean of information.

If it’s creative inspiration I ‘m after, I place a small footnote on short stories or novel pages, concerning what I liked or didn’t like, again using digital note taking tools.

Drafting and Revising:

For me it’s both happening at the same time. I write something, I decide I don’t like it, I write something else instead. I think the most basic point here is: RETURN to your work. I ‘ve personally spent hours on end on a single article. Writer’s block? Maybe. I would probably go with fatigue. Take a rest, press SAVE and then come back to drafting / revising after a day or two. It will still be there but you will start fresh. And that always works wonders for you, trust me.

Editing /  Punctuation  / Spelling: 

Check. This takes seconds. Just open spell checker and maybe a polishing tool on the web. Typos be gone! If you had received any feedback from readers or peers – or your Mom – incorporate it wisely.

Retrieved 12th June 2013 from:


You can’t really tell if your personal writing process will stay intact forever. I have to admit that as technology advances maybe the current tools I am using will be rendered obsolete in a couple of years. Still, since it is a matter of personal taste, I wouldn’t worry about “formalities” such as writing stages though. Can you really cage creativity?




Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade {MSJC / Coursera} week 4 – Written Assignment

Describe a natural object or scene in nature. Use at least one each of the clauses and phrases you studied in the unit. Also, be sure that you include one each of the four sentence types in your description.  Using your knowledge from Unit 3, use action verbs and active voice, keep your verbs in the same tense, and maintain correct subject-verb agreement. Your description should consist of 9 or more sentences (up to 12).

Sentence types. Retrieved 30 May 2013 from

Exhausted from trekking the narrow, swirling path along the creek while climbing steep rocks in-between, you are finally there. Raise your eyes and observe the fortitude of nature, for a picture’s worth a thousand words. At first, a cool breeze intrudes your sense of smell, which ought to be the odour of mossy boulders. The back of your hand touches the icy, emerald-green waters of the pond, testing the temperature. Having configured your limitations, you urge yourself to take a dive right then and there.  Plunging bravely within, its frigid pureness startles your lungs, even though you seem to like it after the initial shock. To reach the minuscule waterfall, your swim stroke rate picks up; you ‘ve always wanted to bathe under nature’s showerhead, just like in the movies. Torrents of water are hurled down your head, the sensation of which lies beyond words.  You swim back to the lake bank, bearing a radiant smile.  During the time you remain seated, you attempt to capture the small details of the iconic landscape. Examine what lies within the small clearing with care: the low-lying lichen that adorns the hollow rocks, the amber orange leaves that float by the lake side,  all remnants of autumns past. Ascending cliffs intewind with lime green tree branches and they cause you to wonder how on Earth they grew roots up there.

[The scene being described is located on the island of Samothraki, Greece – you can see it here -> ]

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade – Week 4: Journals 1 & 2 / writing assignment{Coursera / MSJC}

For the purposes of this writing assignment, I chose a scene from the first instalment of the “Hobbit”, called “An unexpected journey” (2012),

by Peter Jackson, based on the J. R. R. Tolkien novel.

Bilbo reading the Deed of Contract – retrieved from


Module 1 Writing Activity

In your writing journal, begin to practice building sentences with adjective and adverbial clauses. As in Unit 3, you may find it helpful to be observing a scene while you compose sentences. Using the lists associated with each of these types of clauses, write at least three (3) sentences including adjective clauses and three (3) sentences including adverbial clauses. Underline the adjective and adverbial clauses. Consider their function in both as a modifier and an aspect of your writing style

Adjective clauses:

  1. Bilbo Baggins is seen standing inside his little house, which is situated in the fictional Middle – Earth region known as the “Shire”.
  2. Bilbo, whose nephew is named Frodo, is a Hobbit.
  3. Hobbits are human-like creatures that are distinctive for their disproportionately huge feet compared to their rather short bodies.

Adverbial clauses

  1. Bilbo is given a Deed of Contract to sign, once he has finished reading all the terms.
  2. The dwarves basically want Bilbo to accompany them through a perilous journey, so that they may recapture their homeland, Erebor.
  3. Although the wise wizard Gandalf has taken an interest to help the dwarves along with Bilbo, the Hobbit feels reluctant to join their cause.



Module 2 Writing Activity

In your journal, continue your sentence practice with noun and verb phrases. Write at least one of each of the noun phrases discussed in the unit (prepositional phrase, absolute phrase, and appositive phrase) and at least two of each of the verb phrases (infinitive phrase and participial phrase). You will, therefore, write at least seven sentences for this journal activity. As in the first assignment, underline the phrase in each sentence and consider its function in both as a modifier and an aspect of your writing style.


Noun phrases:

  1. Erebor means “Lonely Mountain” in Sindarin, which is one of the languages spoken by the Elves of Middle-Earth. (prepositional phrases)
  2. Driven away from their homeland by the foul dragon Smaug, the Durin’s folk clan of Dwarves find themselves once again in exile; they were previously forced out of their initial habitat, namely the Misty Mountains area, by Orcs. (absolute phrase)
  3. Thorin II Oakenshield,  son of Thrór, King Under the Mountainis determined to reclaim the dwarven treasure and his family’s heirlooms from the dragon. (appositive phrases)

Verb phrases:

  1. To venture into Erebor, our company of heroes must also face dangerous trolls and orcs before encountering the beast. (infinitive phrase)
  2. To fathom Bilbo’s hesitation, we need to be reminded that Hobbits are hardly used to embarking on adventures. (infinitive phrase)
  3. Accompanied by 12 other dwarves of his clan –  Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori – Thorin Oakenshield is sceptical whether Bilbo can actually prove himself as a valuable asset for their cause. (participial clause)
  4. Having intruded his house’s kitchen uninvited,  the dwarves’ huge appetite and rioting nature startles Bilbo even further. (participial clause)

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade – Week 3: Journals 1 & 2 / writing assignment{Coursera / MSJC}

Well, for the purposes of these assignments, I chose a scene from World of Warcraft (mmo rpg). It seems that every writing MOOC gives me the opportunity to talk about this game and …oh well…..I like it!!! I needed to use an array of  subjects and verbs this time, so here goes…

[this screenshot was taken from my PC during the Cataclysm expansion last year and it pays tribute to silliness and old times in the game  – it’s a mammoth parade!!!!]

Module 1 Writing Activity

Observe a scene, preferably in a crowded, busy, or public place. List the activities that you see occurring and the actors (those doing the activity). Write 5-6 sentences that use your observation list and underline the subjects of your sentences. Write a few sentences experimenting with using different types of pronouns from the tables in Unit 3.  You will want to keep all of these sentences at hand as you do the writing activities for this unit. 


Sentences [subjects are highlighted]:

  1. This is a narrow, cobblestone street in Dalaran.
  2. Everybody is riding either a Wooly Mammoth or a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth.
  3. The riders have formed a  line as they parade within the city.
  4. Keeping the line tight seems tricky, but everyone is eager to join.
  5.  Avatar names as well as guild names are displayed above each player’s head in blue or green.
  6.  Can you notice that pint of ale on the sign? To rest while in the game simply walk into an inn for food, drink and a warm bed.

Module 2 Writing Activity

In your journal, continue your observation list of the scene you observed for Unit 3, Journal Assignment 1 by noting several vivid action verbs. Revise some of your sentences using action verbs and/or write 2-3 new sentences with action verbs. Try not to use any of the forms of “to be” (is, are, was, etc.).  Underline the action verbs in your sentences. Again, you will want to keep all of these sentences at hand as you do the peer-reviewed writing at the end of the unit.


1st sentence revised:  The viewer immerses himself  in the digital,  narrow, cobblestone streets of Dalaran.

4th sentence revised: Maintaining the line tight insinuates a certain amount of effort, but everyone yearns to join the fun.

Written Assignment: Drawing from your observation notes and sentences from Journal Writing Assignments 1 and 2, write a description of the scene you have observed. Use action verbs and active voice in your sentences. Also, keep your verbs in the same tense and maintain correct subject-verb agreement. Your description should consist of 8 or more sentences.

Imagine you reside in Azeroth, dear viewer. Immerse yourself in the digital, narrow, cobblestone streets of  Dalaran, among a cheerful crowd. “What is going on?” you ponder when there they surface in the distance, all of a sudden: the Mammoth riders! It appears, each and everyone of them is riding either a Wooly Mammoth or a Traveler’s Tundra Mammoth and the riders have formed a  line as they parade within the city. Maintaining the line tight insinuates a certain amount of effort. You yearn to join these Northrend heroes but these mounts are hard to come by, so you confine yourself to applauding in awe.   Avatar names as well as guild names are displayed above each player’s head in blue or green while their march progresses. Head a couple of steps further and you will notice a pint of ale on a sign. Simply walk into this  inn for food, drink and a warm bed, should you care to rest for a minute; the mammoth riders have faded away in the horizon by now. It’s time for you to commence your questing for the day.

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade – Week 2: Writing Assessment {Coursera / MSJC}

Choose two of the sentences listed below to expand by adding logical additional parts of speech (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases). Your sentence should be at least twelve to fifteen words.

  • The children play.
  • The woman walks.
  • The sharks swim.
  • The flowers bloom.
  • The wind blows.
  • The computer hums.

Expansion attempts: 

The group of great, white sharks swim ominously closer to the diver in circles, while he is trying to capture a decent photo of them, alas in vain.

For days I rove about the soulless plains but, all I seem to be able to listen to, is the cold, northern wind that blows incessantly, humming through the frigid landscape of what was once a city of humans, long before the “Others” arrived in their spaceships, bringing an end to the age of Men on planet Earth. 

ps. That was the most fun and challenging assignment I had so far in a course!

Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade – Week 2: Journal entries 1 & 2 {Coursera / MSJC}

Module 1 Writing Activity

In your journal, write down a list of at least five to ten nouns and five to ten adjectives as you observe a scene at home, work, or in your community.

For the purposes of this assignment I chose a scene from my community, my town called Alexandroupolis situated in Northern Greece.

Nouns [10]: 

  • sea
  • lighthouse
  •  cafés
  • seagull
  • street
  • cars
  • amusement park
  • square
  • fountain
  • street lamps

Adjectives [10]:

  • bustling
  • bright
  • towering
  • local
  • colorful
  • flying
  • seaside
  • cozy
  • luminous
  • azure (blue)

Module 2 Writing Activity

In your journal, continue your list of nouns and adjectives by adding in five to ten verbs and adverbs. Then, write a couple of sentences using your list of nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.

Verbs [10]:

  •  teem with
  • glow
  • are located
  • squawk
  • discern
  • marvel
  • stretch
  • stroll
  • draw one’s gaze
  • is/are

Adverbs [10]:

  • brightly
  • casually
  • noisily
  • enough
  • typically
  • almost
  • soon
  • virtually
  • surely
  • there

Sentences [8]:

How can you not  marvel at the azure blue sea that stretches beyond the horizon?

A flying seagull squawks noisily up ahead in the distance.

If you look close enough, you could almost discern a small fountain next to the  towering lighthouse.

The bustling street is teeming with cars parked across the lane.

On the left our gaze is drawn by a colorful wheel; an amusement park is surely somewhere over there.

People in the square are casually strolling around or drinking refreshments at the local cafés.

Typically, seaside cafés are located virtually everywhere in Greece; cozy tables of four accomodating groups of friends or family reunions discussing hours on end while sipping “frape”.

As nightfall time closes in,  luminous street lamps will start glowing brightly.