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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:28 am
by dsheinem
So just a few updates...

At the end of last month we took our field trip to the Art of Video Games exhibit which is now touring the country. It is currently in Syracuse, NY. We were there for the opening and heard a lecture by Chris Melissinos, the curator.

The students are working on a variety of interesting topics for their semester paper. Topics range from an overview of contemporary research surrounding game violence to an analysis of how modding communities have developed over time to how athletes incorporate gaming into training and learning, etc. There's a nice set of ideas for papers that I'm excited to eventually read!

Yesterday I gave a lecture on gaming history from (roughly) 1995-2005. As always, let me know if you want the link.

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:03 pm
by Erik_Twice
You surely love putting those ridiculous advertisments and songs, don't you? :lol:

I thought it was a really good lecture, you not only dodged the hundreds of typical pitfalls but pointed them and covered them well. Couldn't have done better, really.

What I do wonder is how your students react to these lectures. What do they think of Atari or Sega? Have they ever heard you rave about Toaplan? What do they think of old games as games, beyond their historicity?

What kind of questions do they normally ask in class? I really wonder what they think.

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:40 pm
by dsheinem
General_Norris wrote:You surely love putting those ridiculous advertisments and songs, don't you? :lol:


Of course! It is important to introduce entertainment and humor into a lecture about video games.

I thought it was a really good lecture, you not only dodged the hundreds of typical pitfalls but pointed them and covered them well. Couldn't have done better, really.


Thanks! You (like me) are generally happy to be critical about everything, so this is high praise :lol:

What I do wonder is how your students react to these lectures. What do they think of Atari or Sega? Have they ever heard you rave about Toaplan? What do they think of old games as games, beyond their historicity?

What kind of questions do they normally ask in class? I really wonder what they think.


It's a really, really wide range of verbal and nonverbal responses. Some students seem very engaged and ask lots of questions and have lots of examples, others act like they'd rather be listening to a lecture about almost anything else.

On the first day of class I emphasized that the game business is regularly larger in total revenue than the music or movie industry in any particular year, and that only a portion of those jobs are directly related to programming games. I explained that there are plenty of paths into the industry, and that a working knowledge of its history and current practices is an important foundation. In other words, I think I "incentivized" the course even for those students who see college as a place to primarily learn skills to make money in business (yuck), but I sometimes wonder if some of them feel like a class in games is something other than what they thought it might be or not a topic worthy of spending time on.

On a related note, here was a really interesting article on the subject I read before planning my class. I am certainly seeing some of these things happen, despite being aware that they may: http://gamestudies.org/0802/articles/zagal_bruckman

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:47 pm
by BoneSnapDeez
Do you ever bring old consoles/games/hardware into class?

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:51 pm
by dsheinem
BoneSnapDeez wrote:Do you ever bring old consoles/games/hardware into class?


Yup, regularly. They've also have 4 extra credit game nights with consoles and games across history.

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:05 am
by Erik_Twice
dsheinem wrote:Thanks! You (like me) are generally happy to be critical about everything, so this is high praise :lol:

Indeed, indeed! :lol:

On a related note, here was a really interesting article on the subject I read before planning my class. I am certainly seeing some of these things happen, despite being aware that they may: http://gamestudies.org/0802/articles/zagal_bruckman

Wow, that was certainly interesting! It seems most of those issues are present in gaming culture as a whole, certainly I've heard the same "I already know everything about games" myself.

There's a lot to discuss in this article, do you think we could make a new thread to talk about it?

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:11 am
by dsheinem
General_Norris wrote:
There's a lot to discuss in this article, do you think we could make a new thread to talk about it?


I don't see why not.

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:10 pm
by dsheinem
Today's lecture was on "The Economics of Video Games". Hit me up via PM if you think you might want to watch the video.

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:42 am
by dsheinem
Yesterday I set up an Ikaruga and MvC competition in the classroom for a half an hour as a way to introduce a lecture on "Competitive Gaming Culture". Good stuff!

By far the highlight of the day, though...

I posted this late morning yesterday while in process of preparing for the class because social media:

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tweet1.JPG (23.04 KiB) Viewed 759 times


Found this in my inbox this morning when I woke up:

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day.JPG (26.41 KiB) Viewed 759 times


I sent him a follow up explaining how thrilled I was he took the time to notice and reply to that tweet - his email has already made my day! :)

Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

Posted: Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:12 am
by Erik_Twice
That's cool! :D