The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:15 pm

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

by Luke Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:46 pm

That last 10% was added later.



Says I.
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:49 pm

Luke wrote:That last 10% was added later.



Says I.



Last edited by dsheinem on Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:44 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Luke
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by Luke Sun Aug 18, 2013 8:08 pm

Okay.

Hmm.

Okay! I got one!

Way to create a confusing grading system.

"But Doctor Dave, I scored an 80% on the 15% of the course, 90% on 10% of the course, a 40% on the group course cause those guys were dicks, 50% on the rest, but 0% on extra credit, which sucks as anything times 0 equals zero".

See. There. One hole in your system. (no, but yes).

My end of all end grad teachers had the best grading system ever:

5% Midterm
5% Final
10% Group project
80% Do I think you are worth a shit?

Doctor Roy Simmerly is his name, and teaching is/was his game. The guy was "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" and he didn't care either way. The guy changed my life as his mantra was basically "Money doesn't matter and you don't matter until you make yourself matter". Yes, we've wined and dined since, but he's like me; "what have you done for me lately?" is what is on his mind. Working for him must be like working for me, something I woulnd't wish on most people;


Blah blah blah...Kick ass Dave and keep us updated with your class.
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:33 am

First week is in the books. Thought I'd share some initial thoughts...

-The class is entirely male. I've never taught a class without any women in it before, and it is a little odd.

-When asked on the first day to name their top 3-5 favorite games, the vast majority of the students mentioned games that were from the current console generation. This is not surprising, since the current console generation began when they were about 10. Otherwise, they listed stuff like Super Smash Bros (GCN), Mario Kart (N64), Pokemon (GBA), or other mostly Nintendo IPs.

-Almost all of them have a 360 regularly accessible, a few had PS3s. The vast majority of them are setting up a Steam account for the first time for this class.

-In our first class discussion, they did a good job of being able to articulate a list of ways to evaluate games, drawing largely from terminology that one might see in a typical review. One goal in the class is to move them past this, and to consider how one might evaluate games using criteria that aren't intended to inform purchase decisions.

-I explained some of the early roots of Game Studies (e.g. the ludology vs narratology debate) and they took notes.

Here's some selected excerpts from a handout I gave them this week that folks here might find of interest.

How to Play and Read About Games for This Course
As with any other college course, for this class you are being asked to spend several hours a week engaged in materials related to course content that, collectively, will provide you with a foundation of knowledge that you need to succeed in the course. It is expected that you will be methodical and thoughtful in your time with these materials before class so that you may bring interesting questions and personal experiences to bear on classroom discussions, lectures, and graded assignments in the course.

Unlike most other college courses, you are being asked to spend time outside of the classroom playing video games. What follows is a set of guidelines for how to do so in a meaningful way.

Playing Video Games
• You are only expected to spend about 10-15 minutes with each of the required games listed on the syllabus. You are welcome to spend more time with them, but the goal is to get a “feel” for how each game plays, what it is like to move around in each world, to try to achieve a few objectives, etc. The goal is not to “beat” or “master” any of the games so much as it is to “sample” them. Don’t expect to like every game.
• Set aside a morning or afternoon early in the semester to download/install/acquire all the required games. Use the chart attached to the syllabus.
• If played at all, any of the “recommended games” should only be played after all “required games” and assigned readings for the next class have been completed.
• Some games will be easier to control with a keyboard and mouse (not a touchpad), and some will be easier to control with a gamepad. Some games will support several gameplay options. It is not required that you purchase these accessories, but doing so may make the experience less frustrating. (Tip: searching Amazon for “PC Gamepad” returns multiple USB-based, twinstick gamepads for under $10)
• When you play, consider the following questions:
o How easy is the game to play? Does it offer useful instruction? Does it need to?
o What does this game look like? What kinds of aesthetic decisions do you think were made in its creation and why?
o How is the game designed? How are levels, stages, waves, areas, worlds, etc. conceptualized?
o How important are conceptions of “time” and/or “space” to the experience?
o How well does the game tie into the reading(s) for the week or to the topic of the week? Why do you think this game was listed as “required”?
o Jot down thoughts and questions to bring to class!
• Ask for help! If you can’t find a copy of the game for some reason, if you can’t install it or get it to play, always ask for help! You can email or tweet the professor, contact the mentors, ask a classmate who has had success, or troubleshoot online. When it comes to finding games and getting them to run, Google is your friend. As a last resort, at least watch online videos of gameplay.

Reading about Video Games
• You are expected to do all the required readings. Reading pop quizzes will test you on your basic familiarity, not on your depth of understanding.
• You shouldn’t expect to necessarily play every game you read about, but you should plan to pause your reading when necessary to look up screenshots, short videos, or websites about the games that are central to particular course readings.
• Pause your reading to look up words you don’t know, especially if it is used more than once.
• Highlight information, make notes in the margins, make notes on another sheet of paper, or find some way to go back to the reading later and quickly find points of special interest to you. This will be immensely helpful for exams and other projects.
• Jot down thoughts and questions to bring to class!


This week we talk about early video game history (a lecture by me, which I plan to record and hopefully share) and have a discussion about basic game design. Good times.
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noiseredux
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by noiseredux Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:50 am

dsheinem wrote:-The class is entirely male.


that's really surprising. Weird.



Unlike most other college courses, you are being asked to spend time outside of the classroom playing video games. What follows is a set of guidelines for how to do so in a meaningful way.

The goal is not to “beat” or “master” any of the games so much as it is to “sample” them.


Beating and Mastering Games is next semester with Luke.

(Tip: searching Amazon for “PC Gamepad” returns multiple USB-based, twinstick gamepads for under $10)


You said they almost all have 360's. If they happen to have a wired controller, they're already all set. If not they could also just track down the USB receiver, though that might cost more than just a PC gamepad.
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Gunstar Green
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by Gunstar Green Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:00 am

that's really surprising. Weird.


My girlfriend said the same thing, then a minute later after thinking about it she said, "honestly I wouldn't want to risk being the only girl in a class about video games either."

It's a depressing point but I'm not sure I can disagree with it.

She added that it's not just because of the other students but that she also hated being the, or one of the, only girls in a class because professors would constantly be looking for the female perspective on things even if she had nothing meaningful to add to the discussion. I'm not saying Dave would single out a student like this of course, but some professors apparently did.

Anyway, the favorite games they named really drives home how incredibly long this generation has been trucking along. I'm very interested to hear about how the rest of the class goes.
Last edited by Gunstar Green on Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by samsonlonghair Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:06 am

noiseredux wrote:
dsh wrote:The goal is not to “beat” or “master” any of the games so much as it is to “sample” them.


Beating and Mastering Games is next semester with Luke.

A class full of males without a single female? Yep, sounds like there will be a lot of "beating and mastering" going on.
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Luke
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by Luke Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:19 am

noiseredux wrote:Beating and Mastering Games is next semester with Luke.


My first lecture will be "The importance of collecting all the Chaos emeralds" followed by "Why you accomplished nothing by using the Game Genie", and then "Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right NO NO!"
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by Ivo Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:37 am

Luke wrote:(...)"Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right Chu Chu Chu"


Thank you, Ulala!
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