Advance work for an academic research paper that explores some aspect of game culture and theory. (What is a college research paper?)
Your presubmission report is a single word processor file, about 2-3 pages, uploaded to Turnitin.com, that includes the following, numbered sections:
- Preliminary title and thesis paragraph. (What's a thesis statement? What else should be in the thesis paragraph?)
- Specific details from one or several games that you want to focus on. If I've never played the game you select, what do I, your teacher, need to know about it?
- "Gender in in Lara Croft" (too vague.)
- "Changes in the design of Lara's body" (still pretty general)
- "Lara makes non-verbal grunts as she moves, which contributes to her presentation as an active heroine; yet once the cutscene ends, she will never carry out an independent action, which contributes to a male-centered control fantasy." (Okay, that's pretty specific.)
- Seek out academics who disagree with each other, so that you know the topic you've chosen is worth debate.
- Your goal is not to make every opinion other than your own look stupid; instead, you should engage respectfully with opinions that challenge your own. The more rational and well-supported the opinion, the more respect it deserves, even if you don't agree with it.)
- A video lecture in which you engage the class in a discussion about your chosen topic.
- A narrrated playthrough of an important event in
a game. Can you freeze-frame and zoom in on important details, and
interview the participants about why the event was significant?
- I used to joke that your presentation could include interpretive dance if you want. In Fall 2009, some students in my literature class did, in fact, dance several different potential interpretations of important scenes from the literary works. Their presentation was fantastic, because they didn't simply summarize the plot, they carefully chose two or three different but valid ways to interpret each scene, and that made the class think about which interpretation they preferred, and why. (I wish I had a video of their work! Obviously, if you choose this option, you'll need to record it and share it, at least with in the class.)
- You could design your own game, and make a video with paper cutouts on Popsicle sticks, or LEGOS, or sock puppets. The game proposal should serve the academic point you want to make, rather than demonstrate your ability to follow industry trends, or your confidence that the world is full of fools and that one day you will crush them all.