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 Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:26 pm

So I have a link to the first of several "public" lectures that I am putting together. The video is of two feeds - video of the front of the room and a screen grab of the slides I use. I need to edit the feeds together properly into one video, and I eventually want to go in and edit it a bit, chop out some pre-lecture material, etc., but in the meantime I can share the link with folks who are interested. If you are, just PM me. I'd welcome your thoughts.
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:42 pm

I should mention....this first one is called "The History of Video Games, Part 1: 1947-1983." It is about an hour long.
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by noiseredux Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:47 pm

dsheinem wrote:I should mention....this first one is called "The History of Video Games, Part 1: 1947-1983." It is about an hour long.


Dave, I hope it's ok I post thoughts/feedback in-thread. I felt I had a lot to say...


- Being the 47-83 era, aka: "The Foundation," obviously this was going to be the sort of primer that was filled with the brief history, factoids, pictures that any of us really fanatical about the history of the media have seen countless times. That said, You did an excellent job of laying down a strong foundation, while being brief and not overly heady, but also getting some very useful contextual stuff in there. Namely: the value of the games in today's money; the years in which television and then color television reached major household penetration; etc. Very good opening lecture - especially from a guy who has read countless books on the very subject and was just "sitting in" with the students.

- While most of those early Space Wars! etc programs are - like I said - something I've read about enough times, I was actually in awe that you found an OXO emulator. Never thought to do so and downloaded promptly. Very very interesting! Make sure you keep up with such downloadable goodies being pointed out to students. It can hugely add to any folks who are interested beyond just getting a good grade.

- Pong: I actually had no idea that Nintendo manufactured their own Pong clone system. So I learned something! (Also, just made me chuckle. My first major contact with you on the forum was trading you some weirdo Pong clone that I picked up at a yard sale. Do you recall that? It's going back some years now. We're getting old!)

- I always want to think of VCS as "the 80's" so it was a great reminder that it was really 1977. That's amazing. 1977 was the beginning of consoles as we know them. Dammit I love the VCS.

- If you're going to have to pronounce a lot of Japanese names, might want to brush up on a Romanji pronunciation guide. There's a pretty simple set of rules. Hell of a lot easier than guessing the pronunciation of English words you've never seen! :wink:

- Though I was excited that you played "Pac-Man Fever" I was thrilled that you plugged Joysticks. I was planning to make a joke that you should have them watch that for extra credit. A minute later you had the poster up. Good show! That movie is terrrrrrible. But it is hilarious and just built out of so much stereotypical cheese.

- @Anyone following this thread: we should get a Space Invaders hi-score thread going. I've been playing that game on since early 80's VCS, but never really loved it. Not like Galaga. Maybe some friendly competition would help. @DSH: Maybe you should encourage your students to do the same? Perhaps smartphone screenshots of hi-scores and an extra credit for the student who gets the semester-long hi-score?

- Gosh, some of us were really lucky growing up in this period and being around computers. I know I had friends that didn't get computers in the home until I don't know... mid-90's maybe? Late 90's in some cases. I remember playing Sesame Street games with keyboard overlays on a C64 probably before kindergarten. I remember messing with many games (even programming homebrew out of the back of magazines) on a Tandy in the mid-80's. I think when you have been around video games most of your entire life it's so easy to have a deep fascination and more importantly appreciation for them. In that sense - how lucky are these kids who grew up with 360 being their first console? This is just rambling but you see what I'm getting at? They've had computers and consoles that we wouldn't have been able to dream up as kids. Though they've missed the foundation. It's an interesting thought. An argument could be made either way.

- Cosby rules.

- LOL. You said "Click & Point Adventure games"... you suck at P&C.
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:52 pm

noiseredux wrote: You said "Click & Point Adventure games"... you suck at P&C.



I actually literally LOL'd at this. My wife, in the other room, was all like "what?"

Thanks for the mountain of feedback. Condensing 35+ years into 60 minutes was tough, but I tried to hit the high points. I do remember buying that Pong console - this was the first time since I parted with it (some years ago) - that I wish I stil had it.

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

by Erik_Twice Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:51 pm

I stopped watching the video for dinner and when I came back it started to stop and crash every couple of seconds but I still have some comments.

- Like Noise I really liked that you mentioned the costs of the consoles in modern dollars and the reminders of what kind of electronics were being introduced at the time. (That said, you didn't answer the student's question after you told him to wait :lol:)

I think you missed a good opportunity to mention that most classic video games companies were already involved in the arcade bussiness, making pinball or other electronic games back in the 60s or 70s. Sega is a great example but I wonder, would your students recognize most of those game companies?

I'm curious at what kind of involvement they have with the medium. I'm surrounded by very involved gamers so this is interesting to me.

- Lol Bushnell :lol:

- Lol Pac-Man Fever :lol:

- That news clip was very interesting. While the bannings are misguided it is indeed true that many arcades were money-laundering schemes connected to drug cartels back then.

An age restriction of 18 years was also enforced in other countries like in the UK so the ideas weren't exactly farfetched.

- Lol Playboy editor warning against vices. :lol:

I know it was a respectable magazine back then but c'mon, it's still funny.

- That woman was so full of bullshit I don't know how she can breathe

Even though this looks like old news, there's still a lot of opposition towards arcades in the US. There was a very cool arcade in Los Angeles that was forced to close a couple years ago because of this way of thinking. It was a huge loss because they had a lot of Japanese imports and musical games.

The video stopped working by the time you reach why 1980 was an important year so I don't know how the class ends.

Overall, very cool, I liked it. :)
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:12 pm

General_Norris wrote:
I think you missed a good opportunity to mention that most classic video games companies were already involved in the arcade bussiness, making pinball or other electronic games back in the 60s or 70s. Sega is a great example but I wonder, would your students recognize most of those game companies?


I don't know how many of them would recognize the older companies. I decided not to talk about pinball, etc. primarily because of time constraints.

The video stopped working by the time you reach why 1980 was an important year so I don't know how the class ends.


it ended with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, as is customary for all my lectures.

Overall, very cool, I liked it. :)


Thanks, glad you did. Not sure why you had the video issue, though. Maybe try it again some other time...
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:55 pm

Hey folks.

I now have the unedited lecture "Video Game History, Part 2: 1983-1995" available via PM. It's about an hour long and covers the crash and then major developments in the 8 and 16 bit eras.
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by Stark Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:03 pm

dsheinem wrote:
The video stopped working by the time you reach why 1980 was an important year so I don't know how the class ends.

It ended with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, as is customary for all my lectures.

Yeah, but did you tear your robes?
dsheinem wrote:Hey folks.

I now have the unedited lecture "Video Game History, Part 2: 1983-1995" available via PM. It's about an hour long and covers the crash and then major developments in the 8 and 16 bit eras.

Is the lecture video or notes? I'm confused
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dsheinem
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Re: My course: "The Art, History, and Culture of Video Games

by dsheinem Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:05 pm

Stark wrote:
dsheinem wrote:
The video stopped working by the time you reach why 1980 was an important year so I don't know how the class ends.

It ended with a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, as is customary for all my lectures.

Yeah, but did you tear your robes?
dsheinem wrote:Hey folks.

I now have the unedited lecture "Video Game History, Part 2: 1983-1995" available via PM. It's about an hour long and covers the crash and then major developments in the 8 and 16 bit eras.

Is the lecture video or notes? I'm confused


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

by dsheinem Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:26 am

haven't seen any feedback on that last video :lol:

some updates...

Next week is the midterm exam. I've copied/pasted the Midterm Review sheet into a spoiler below so you can see what's been covered to the midway point. In the second spoiler, I've also copied/pasted their end-of-semester research paper assignment.

I've recorded two additional "lectures" - one on "Video Games in Japan" and one on "Video Games as Interactive Fiction". These are much more "conversational" lectures that feature a lot more student input and, frankly, required less prep and formalization than what went into the video game history lectures. They were meant to stoke thoughts about research projects more than to simply convey information, so they reflect that. As always, let me know if you want a link.

Midterm Review:

The midterm exam comprises 15% of the course grade (150 points). The midterm will consist of 25 multiple choice and matching questions (4 points each) and 5 short answer questions (10 points each). There will be no essay questions.

You are responsible for knowing the significance of the following:


People:
Ralph Baer
Nolan Bushnell
Steve Cartwright
Alexander Douglas
Ron Gilbert
Thomas Goldsmith & Estle Ray Mann
William Higginbotham
Stuart Hall
Johan Huizinga
Shigeru Miyamoto
Tomohiro Nishikado
Vladimir Propp
David Rosen & Marty Bromley
Steve Russell

Video Games and Video Game hardware:
Bishojo Games
Computer Space
Death Race
Doom
E.T.
Mortal Kombat
Night Trap
Pong
Space Invaders
Tennis for Two
Zork
Atari VCS
Magnavox Odyseey
Nintendo Entertainment System
PDP-1
Sega Genesis/CD/32X


Know something about:
Bushnell’s Law
“Catchiness” vs .“Addicting”
Dates and differences between first and second “golden age” of the arcade
Five causes for the video game industry crash of 1983
Five ways to research the Japanese Game industry
Four characteristics of the eight-bit era
Four ways to research Japanese Gamer Culture
How games might foster civic learning
Narratology vs. Ludology (basic perspectives)
Nintendo’s entry into the video game industry (pre-NES)
Nintendo’s launch strategies for the NES
Procedural Rhetoric
Sega’s early history
Shaw’s Four Approaches to studying Gaming Culture
Three characteristics of the sixteen-bit era
Three reasons why 1980 was a significant year in the game industry
What to look for when analyzing narrative in video games


Term Paper Project:

Individual Project Assignment


Worth: 35% of course grade
Due: As assigned below

This assignment has three parts, each of which is discussed below.

1). Proposal (50 points): You will bring to class and hand in a 1-2 page proposal for a paper that you would like to research and write. You can choose to study and write about anything related to the “Art, History, and Culture of Video Games” and are strongly encouraged to use the various course topics, readings, and conversations as jumping off points for pursuing more in depth research. In this proposal you should explain the topic of the paper, discuss what you hope to discover in your research and then write about, and what your strategy will be for finding sources. At the end of the proposal you should list four primary sources (no dictionaries, encyclopedias, wikis, etc.) that you have already found and plan to draw on in the final paper. Mark one source with an asterisk that you see as a “model” for your own paper.
Due: in class on Tuesday, October 22nd

2). Annotated Bibliography (100 points): You will hand in (on BOLT) a document that provides a list of 10-13 sources with annotated summaries for each that you plan to cite when you write the final paper. The sources should be cited in MLA format and at least half of them must appear (somewhere) in print. As part of the summary for each source, you should explain its specific expected use in the final paper. Consult the sample annotated bibliography on BOLT for an example of what your bibliography should look like.
Due: on BOLT on Friday, November 15th

3). Final Paper (200 points): Your final paper should be 10-13 pages in length (Times New Roman, double spaced, default MS Word margins) and include a title page and works cited page(s) (neither of which count towards the page requirement). The paper should have an introduction with a clearly stated thesis, a preview of the paper’s main ideas, and a transition to the body. The body should be broken into discrete sections, each of which presents a claim or a series of claims that, collectively, reinforce the thesis and lead to the final section of the paper, the conclusion. You must cite at least 8 sources in the paper, at least half of which must have been published as print materials.
Due: on BOLT on Friday, December 6th

**You are strongly encouraged to meet with the professor or mentors, submit drafts for review, ask questions, come to office hours, and otherwise make use of course resources at every step of the project! **
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