Sequence and Incredible Genre Mashups

Sequence, Iridium Studios’ first game, has done some intriguing things with the mixing of separate genres. They managed, somehow, to successfully mash up a rhythm based, “push-the-arrow-when-it-scrolls-down-the-screen” game, with a traditional RPG, and stuff the whole thing with fantastic visuals, excellent music, and a hilarious and snarky cast of characters. So the question this raises is this: What else can we stick together? Don’t get me wrong, genre mixes are nothing new. In fact “what happens if we throw A at B?” is probably, I’d imagine, one of the biggest questions raised in any board room that deals with creative ideas, business or otherwise, indie or executive. The point is this: that they were able to do something new, fun, and fresh with a couple old ideas. I think that this should give everyone a little hope and inspiration for the future, both within game design, and within education.

Looking towards education, let’s see a similar idea in action. Most classes teach multiple things, or at least, work multiple skill sets, simultaneously. For example, algebra classes teach math, while also teaching logic, symbolic logic, puzzle solving, quick thinking (if they are good algebra classes that disallow calculators), and sometimes, when they try to be fun, they throw in little factoids that are relevant to nothing, to show us how relevant math is, instead of just being up front and pointing out that logic is a cross-applicable skill whether or not you will have a calculator strapped forever to your person. The fact is, classes teach us a lot of things at once. But what about cross-curricular learning? Science classes that comment on phenomena touched on in the literature that students are reading, or math classes that teach the deeper mathematical implications of the formulae being studied in chemistry or physics? At the collegiate level ,where we take classes ourselves, this is nearly an impossible feat. But, at the grade school, middle school, and perhaps even at the high school level, this becomes much more probably. Are such endeavors refreshing and successful, adding variety to a learning experience? Or are they as likely to detract from it? After all, if you hated RPGs and Rhythm games, you probably wouldn’t much care for Sequence.

So where do the dice fall? Is the old genre mash up still viable for games? And what happens when subject matter flows and blurs together in the classroom? These are questions that the future needs to answer. I, however, want answers right now, so I’m going to go play more video games and reflect on why middle school was unfortunate. Wish me luck!

Iridium studios. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.playiridium.com/

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