4. Course Objectives
Your objectives for this course are to
- explore definitions of important concepts such as game and fun
- learn about the origins and historical development of video games,
- expose yourself to a broad range of games,
- gain experience recognizing and interpreting basic game elements (goal, risk, fiction, emotional engagement, rules, outcome, values, consequences, close playing, etc.),
- develop an awareness of the complex cultural context within which games exist (children's culture, geek culture, women's issues, political issues, economic issues, aesthetic issues, etc.),
- and ultimately, to discern the core cultural values represented in a particular game.
- play several games on the syllabus, read several books (both popular and scholarly) and additional shorter articles as assigned,
- complete quizzes and exercises to ensure that you are keeping up with the readings and to evaluate your progress,
- participate regularly in class web-based discussions, and
- write a formal research paper (minimum 10 pages).
At the end of this course, you should be able to
- Demonstrate competence in the critical reading of complex cultural texts (including games, cultural responses to games, and the academic study of games)
- Engage intellectually and respectfully with your peers
- Write a college-level paper that appropriately uses primary and secondary sources to defend a non-obvious claim (without minimizing or neglecting opposing or alternative views)
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