Schedule

Text Abbreviations:

  • JHGDM: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media
  • JHGLTC: The Johns Hopkins Guide to Literary Theory & Criticism (SJSU Database)

Note: Do not use Wikipedia as a source for defining “game studies” or “game theory”; the definitions are still in contention by the Wikipedia crowd/editors. We’ll rely on JHGDM.

Office Hours:

  • Tues/Thur, 12-1pm, FO 220

Note: Syllabus subject to change

Date

Keywords

Reading Due

Assignment Due

Thur 8/25

Introductions: You, Me and a Different Kind of Course

  • Establish gaming expertise; organize tables/room
  • Assess laptop access for individual students
  • Discuss using Canvas for grades
  • Establish WordPress account – credit/no credit
  • Fill in Blog Roll
  • Create About bio page – credit/no credit
  • Create your first blog post: post an original image of something unusual from House of Leaves – credit/no credit (tag: HoL)

Tues 8/30

Reading as Play?

 What is our class game? (will continue this discussion later; recommend a game!)

Thur 9/1

What is a “novel?” How does House of Leaves break the rules of a physical novel? Readings

  • House of Leaves, Forward, Introduction, Chps 1-2

Discussion

Information

  • Identifying your edition: full color, 2-color, black & white, incomplete (see Blog Roll)
  • Blog Post (in-class): What is a novel? – credit/no credit (tag: novel)
  • Establish your partner & declare an article for the Critical Review Presentation, by Friday, 2pm

Tues 9/6

Narrative & Narratology Discuss again

Readings

  • Blog post (in-class): What is “narratology?” Summarize the JHGLTC article; bullet points are acceptable – c/nc (tag: narrative)
  • Blog Post (due Wed 5pm): Take a photo of the beginnings of your hand-drawn map of House of Leaves; post it to your blog by end of class. See our blavatar as an example – c/nc (tag: HoL map)
Thur 9/8 Elements of Fiction, Digital Fiction, Interactive Fiction, Interactive Narrative Discuss

Readings

Discussion (some moved from 9/6)

  • Blog Post (in-class): How does interactive fiction, interactive narrative, and digital fiction differ from fiction (defined by our “How to Read Fiction” pdf? Make a list; use page number references from today’s readings – c/nc (tag: narrative)
  • Blog Post (due by due Monday, 5pm; 400-500 words, for points): How does House of Leaves break the rules of a print novel? Use the Discussion references and cite from the last 2 weeks to discuss/compare to the formal aspects of a “novel” and “narrative.” Incoporate the JHGDM articles. See the Writing Tips for MLA style citation and formal writing (tag: HoL)
Tues 9/13 Fiction as Play Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chps 6-10

Discussion

Thur 9/15  (Catch up Day)  What is our class game?

Information

Tues 9/20 Plot, Quest, and Networked Writing Watch in-class:

Readings:

[moved to Thursday]

  • Blog Post (in-class):  Are you aware as a player how you replicate or subvert representations of power in the 21st century? – c/nc (tag: power)
Thur 9/22 Readers, Players, Users Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chps. 11-15

moved from Tuesday

  • “Nonlinear Writing,” Ensslin JHGDM
  • “Narrativity,” Thon, JHGDM
  • “Plot Types and Interactivity,” Ryan, JHGDM
  • “Quest Narrative,” Tronstad, JHGDM

Video (watch prior to class)

  • Critical Reviews of Game Studies article
  • Blog Post (in-class): Provide 3 key points from your team’s assigned JHGDM readings for today – c/nc (tag: narrative)
  • House of Leaves map chps 11-15 due Monday, 7am; post image to your blog (tag: HoL map)
Tues 9/27 Game Genres: Action, Adventure, Strategy, Process-Oriented

REMINDER: Prof. Nick Taylor Salon, Steinbeck Center, 12-1pm

Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chp. 16
  • “Game Genres,” Rauscher, JHGDM
  • “Game History,” Lowood, JHGDM

Game

Discussion

Thur 9/29 No Class Meeting Video & work on blog post

Work on blog post about simulation

Decide class game in comments by 5pm TODAY! (see blog post & add your comments) — purchase & play before 10/18 — DECISION: BASTION (purchase on Steam, $14.99)

Blog Post by 5pm for points: Provide a 500-word summary of Get Lamp (tag: gaming)

Tues 10/4 Game Theory: Players, Strategies, Payoffs Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chps 17-20
  • “Game Theory,” Ross, JHGDM
  • Genre Trouble,” Aarseth

Games

Discussion

  • Blog Post (due by 12pm, for points): How is House of Leaves similar to a “simulation” according to Aarseth’s theories instead of a narrative? Use evidence from HoL and Aarseth to discuss; you may also use the 3 core concepts from “Game Theory” (300-500 words) (tag: HoL)
Thur 10/6  No class meeting Work on House of Leaves map for chps 16-20

Play Bastion with partner for parallel play

House of Leaves map chps 16-20 due Friday, 5pm; post image to your blog (tag: HoL map)

Blog Post (during class meeting time but on your own with a partner) due 5pm today: Parallel play Bastion with partner; post about your partner’s play & link to your partner’s blog: what is the purpose? what is the intended outcome? what are the rules? describe what happens. – c/nc (tag: play)

Tues 10/11 Harris out sick  
Thur 10/13 Harris out sick
Tues 10/18 Games as Art; Players Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chps. 21-23, Index & Appendices
  • “Games as Art/Literature,” Ciccoricco, JHGDM
  • “Games as Stories,” Ciccoricco, JHGDM
  • “Independent and Art Games,” Pearce, JHGDM

Games Discussion

  • Discuss Collaborative Presentations (instructions & selecting teams – by 10/18, 5pm)
  • Blog Post: Based on your team’s typology of player (from “Games as Stories” 227), identify 5 games that typify your player typology. In your post, identify your typology of player, find and include links to (or embed videos of) play-through of each of these games. The videos should highlight your type of player  (tag: players)
  • Blog Post or discussion (in-class): Bastion game play:  Is it art? storytelling? simulation? (refer to today’s readings) – c/nc (tag: gaming)
  • House of Leaves map chps 21-23 due Tues, 5pm; post image to your blog. In that same blog post, add what type of reader/player would be interested in your HoL maps: killers, achievers, explorers, socializers (tag: HoL map)
Thur 10/20 Gaming & Politics or Gaming for Change General Reference

Readings

  • House of Leaves, Chps. 21-23, Index & Appendices (keep bringing the book)
  • “Online Game Communities,” Pearce, JHGDM
  • “Race and Ethnicity,” Knight, JHGDM
  • #GamerGate101,” Losh, virtualpolitik (10/17/14)

Videos (watch prior to class)

Games Discussion

  • Discuss House of Leaves Project — due NEXT WEEK
  • Blog Post by 12pm: What grade have you earned in participation so far? (see assignments page) Why? – c/nc (tag: participation)
Tues 10/25 Forking & Branching Narratives + Physiology and Gaming

Student Recommendations

  • Bartle’s Taxonomy (video by Extra Credit) (Luke)
  • Dungeons & Dragons for construction of narrative (Josh)

Readings

Video (watch prior to class)

Games Discussion

Recommended Games?

  • Critical Reviews of Game Studies article
  • Blog Post (in-class): a) Is Bastion a branching or forking narrative similar to either of Borges’ short stories? or is it a serial narrative? Why? How? b) Does Bastion engage your brain? Why? How?   – c/nc (tag: forking)
Thur 10/27  No class meeting Finalize your House of Leaves project House of Leaves
Project
due by Monday, 5pm (altered due date)
Add your map links by 12pm: Spreadsheet for Public Links to your Maps
Tues 11/1 House of Leaves
IF Demos
IF Demos
Thur 11/3 Playing & Gaming Collaborative Presentations: How to Play a Game
  • Audience: take notes about demos in preparation for your blog post
Tues 11/8 No Class Meeting — GO VOTE!
[Harris is reviewing another CSU English Dept today]
Thurs 11/10 Playing & Gaming
Collaborative Presentations: How to Play a Game
  • Audience: take notes about demos in preparation for your blog post
Tues 11/15 Playing & Gaming Collaborative Presentations: How to Play a Game
  • Audience: take notes about demos in preparation for your blog post
  • Blog Post (due 11/22, 12pm for points) reviews of 6 games based on the presentations (don’t write about your own game); each review should be 200-300 words; formal writing (check our Writing Tips/Style Guide)
Thur 11/17 Playing & Gaming: Team Build
  • Collaborative Presentation (Journey): How to Play a Game (contd due to construction noise)
  • Play with Twine in preparation for Team Build
  • Establish your Teams (work w/new people – a requirement)
  • Objective of Team Build: learn how to brainstorm about game construction (this is separate from the final project)
  • Output: storyboard + individual blog post (due 12/6)
  • Teams: this is a job; you must show up to get the points; you can be fired by your team
Tues 11/22 Elements of a Game & Team Building Readings

  • Revisit “Game History,” “Game Genres,” “Game Theory,” “NPC,” and “Role Playing Games”

Video (watch prior to class)

Team Building

  • Establish company name: Teams
  • Play with Twine (or other platform) in preparation for Team Build
  • Deal with HR issues (email to missing teammates by 5pm w/cc to Dr. Harris)
  • Discuss best practices for team function The 6 People You Need in Your Corner
  • Summarize a JHGDM article as a team & present as refresher for Team Build
  • Notes on what to consider when building your game
  • 2016-11-22-14-21-51
  • Blog Post (due 12pm for points) reviews of 6 games based on the presentations (don’t write about your own game); each review should be 200-300 words; use formal writing & adhere to our Style Guidelines (tag: reviews)
  • Critical Reviews of Game Studies article
Thur 11/24 Happy Thanksgiving!
Tues 11/29 Lab Day — in class Work on Team Build (meet in Sweeney 229)  Blog Post on Team Build (due by 12/6, 12pm, for points) Include the team’s storyboard at the outset of your individual blog post (using Twine or other platform or ink/pencil, create a storyboard for this game); individually craft a description (200 words) and a rationale for this game (300-400 words only); include links to your team members’ blog posts; formal Writing Tips apply (tag: build)
Thur 12/1 Final Project Game Design & Brainstorming for Final Project — Project Pitch next week!

Tues 12/6

Final Project & Team Build Game Design & Brainstorming for Final Project — Project Pitch on Thursday!

Voluntary Presentation of your Team Build (just for fun!)

  • Blog Post on Team Build (due by 12pm, for points) Include the team’s storyboard at the outset of your individual blog post (using Twine, create a storyboard for this game); individually craft a description (200 words) and a rationale for this game (300-400 words only); include links to your team members’ blog posts; formal Writing Tips apply (tag: build)

Thur 12/8

Final Project Game Design Pitch for Final Project

Structured as presentation to a Venture Capital board following the criteria written on the board (see below)

2016-12-08-13-54-56

  • Final Project Pitch due by 12pm
  • Blog Post on participation due by 12pm, max of 400 words (or use another media format that clearly articulates your participation grade) – c/nc (tag: participation)

Final Exam Day: Friday, December 16, 12:15pm-2:30pm (no meeting)

Final Project & Pecha Kucha Presentation due 12/19 @ 7:30am