January 8, 2010 Archives

Watch lecture videos. Post response to each on your own blog; post a link from the course page, back to your online response.

From within Turnitin.com, complete the "PR 1 (NGJ Proposal Review)" activity. (You will be asked to read several of your peers' NGJ proposals, and answer questions.)

Turnitin.com will not accept submissions of this assignment past 3pm on Janary 8. At 4pm, you will be able to read what your peers had to say about your proposal.)

Assigned Text:

Case Study: Zork

There are some minor inaccuracies in this clip, but it's a good presentation of the generally accepted (though not always correct) story of Zork.

A short trailer for a documentary due out in March 2010

Researcher and interactive fiction author Nick Montfort introduces interactive fiction.

Listen to (or read) sections 1 and 2 of this site. Skim sections 3 and 4, noting especially the "Adventureland Bear" anecdote in section 3, and the predictions that Adams and I made in section 4.

Assigned Text:

Koster, 110-139

Chapters 7-9. Complete the brief, timed, open-book comphrehension quiz on GriffinGate. (Forthcoming.)

Your reflective presentation on your contributions to the online discussion.

By 4pm, post a link from here to your online portfolio (even if your portfolio isn't quite finished yet).

If you have been keeping up with your blogging, this assignment will simply involve collecting and reflecting.  If there are gaps in your blogging, this is your chance to catch up.

What is your portfolio?

It begins with a richly-linked blog entry that introduces your reader to blog entries that you have created, and discussions from your peers' blogs in which you have participated, as part of a reflective statement on your progress so far.

Examples of portfolios from previous classes have included a no-nonsense list and a more personal essay. Either format is fine, but however you present your work, it's important to me that you specify where each of your posts falls amongst the categories listed below. The same post can count for more than one category, but if you keep re-using the same handful of posts that's probably a sign you can do a little better next time.

Assigned Text:

Adventure Gameplay Video

Watch these videos over the weekend, and try out Colossal Cave Adventure for yourself. (Note -- this online version is not exactly the same as the one we're playing in the video, so some of the commands that work for us in the video won't work on this version. But the link includes a walkthrough that will get you into the cave. if you get stuck, Google is your friend.)

Assigned Text:

9:05 Gameplay Video

Watch these videos (3 parts) today or over the weekend.

The course is one third over. Imagine that!

Next week, we will finish up the unit on text games, and I'll post a more comprehensive treatment of the history of video games. We will finish Koster, and read all of Laurel, and start working on academic research. Because academic articles typically take a year to write, and books take two or three years, scholars are always publishing on older games. So we will continue to look at some of the classics, too.

Did you notice that Raph Koster left comments on Matt's and Susan's blogs? The world of game studies is pretty small, so it's not unusual to bump into some of the key figures now and then.

I've posted the "9:05" videos on the course blog, and while they're not actually uploading yet, in another window on my computer, the "Adventure" videos are about 90% finished with a final export. (I'll still have to split that file up into 10-minute sections and upload them to YouTube... but that should be done a little later tonight.)

I'm looking forward to evaluating your portfolios.  The blogging seems to be going very well, but I am open to the idea of using GriffinGate, or a chatroom; and you may, if you wish, upload a video or audio instead of a written response, if you feel all the typing gets in the way of the ideas you might be able to contribute to the class.

I am not posting any new discussion question for today.  (I suggest you use the time to think about your New Games Journalism essay.)

Look on the course calendar for all the assignments that are due Monday... remember, the assignments, including readings, are supposed to be finished by 10am.

As always, I am happy to respond to questions and comments.  I hope you all have a pleasant weekend.

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