Download the PDF version of the course policies and syllabus.

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Plog, or Play Log -- a short, about 250 words or so, critical response to one of the week's games or texts to be kept as a running log of your interactions and experiences and thoughts during the quarter. Each week, a play log thread will be introduced on the course message board. Everyone must respond to the week's games, readings, and plog prompt.

Game Play Presentation & Critical Questions -- a 3 to 5 minute oral presentation on one of the week's games or readings. For the presentation, you must generate a critical question to get the class discussion going for the day. Everyone must sign-up for at least one presentation. Presenters are then required to generate a 1-page handout for everyone in the class and post their day's question to the class blog with the subject line: "[date] PRESENTATION: [topic or idea]."

Critical Response Papers -- Everyone must complete at least 6 of the 10 possible short response papers; the response paper for Week 1 is required of all students. All response papers are due the following Monday at the start of class (i.e. Week 1's CR is due at the start of Week 2).

Virtual Worlds & Video Games Critical Review -- a 500 or so word analytical review of a game or text you would think could be or should be included in our class. Critical Reviews are to be posted to the class blog.


In addition to the Critical Response Papers, if you are seeking W Credit for the class, you be required to complete a final major paper called the Keyword Major Paper (see below). In total, you must produce a minimum of 10-15 pages of formal, revised writing and earn a minimum of a 2.0 on the Major Paper to get W-Credit.

Keyword Major Paper -- for W-Credit, you will be required to write a formal paper, 4-6 pages in length, that engage one of the “keywords” for video game studies. Using the Keywords for American Cultural Studies as a model, you will select a keyword relevant to our class (e.g. avatar, virtual, game, race, gender, nation) and write an academic, analytical definition of the term drawing on the course’s readings and further research.

Keyword Major Paper Proposal Memo -- this assignment is to help you concisely articulate your keyword definition and your writing plan for the major paper.
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Information Sheets

The following are handouts, informational sheets, and readings that will be assigned or used over the course of the quarter. Each student will recieve a copy of each as a handout in class during the appropriate week. If you miss a sheet, feel free to print out a new copy.

ENGL207 Student Info Sheet & Release Form

Lister & Wells' "Seeing Beyond Belief" Quotes

Ed's Top Ten List of "Ways to Survive University"

Ed's Top Ten Rules of Writing

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

MLA Citation and Bibliographic Format


All of the short readings for class are available via the Course Reader (for sale at Ave Copy, 4141 Univ. Way @ 42nd), and some are available through the university’s online course reserves (, or directly from the web. There are three other required texts, which are available at the UW Bookstore (or through any reputable bookstore, many of which can be found at used bookstores). Consult the course syllabus for the week each reading will be covered in class. The following is a full bibliographical list of the class readings:

Bogost, Ian. "Preface" & "Procedural Rhetoric." Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Video Games. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. vii-64.

Burgett, Bruce and Glenn Hendler, Eds. Keywords for American Cultural Studies. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game. New York: Tor, 1991.

Dibbell, Julian. "A Rape in Cyberspace." My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. New York: Henry Holt, 1998. 11-30.      (Also available via Dibbell's website

Galloway, Alexander. Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.

Haraway, Donna. "A Cyborg Manifesto." Simians, Cyborgs, and Women. New York: Routledge, 1991. 149-181.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

Jenkins, Henry. "Art Form for the Digital Age." Technology Review. 103:5 (Sept 2000): 117-119.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

Lister, Martin and Liz Wells. "Seeing Beyond Belief: Cultural Studies as an Approach to Analysing the Visual." Reading Contexts. Ed. Gail Stygall. New York: Thomson Wadsworth, 2005. 431-479.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

McHugh, Maureen F. “A Coney Island of the Mind.” Isaac Asimov’s Cyberdreams. Eds. Gardner Dozois and Sheila Williams. New York: Ace Books, 1984. 83-89.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

McHugh, Maureen F. “Virtual Love.” Nebula Awards 30. Ed. Pamela Sargent. New York: Harcourt Brace and Co., 1996. 99-110.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

Montfort, Nick. "The Pleasure of the Text Adventure." Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. 1-35.

Montfort, Nick. "Adventure and Its Ancestors." Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. 65-93.

Nakamura, Lisa. "Cyberrace." PMLA. 123.5 (2008): 1673-1682.

Nakamura, Lisa. "Introduction" & "Cybertyping." Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet. New York: Routledge, 2002. xi-30.      (Also available via UW e-reserve).

Sardar, Ziauddin. Introducing Cultural Studies. Thriplow, Royston, UK: Icon/Totem Books, 2005.

Williams, Raymond. "Introduction." Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. 11-29.

Williams, Raymond. "Culture." Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. 87-93.

Williams, Raymond. "Introduction." Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, 1983. 183-188.
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