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Game Play Presentation (10%) -- You will be a required to sign up for an oral presentation in small groups. For your presentation, generate a brief close playing demonstration and a critical and analytical question to get class discussion started for the day. Create a short single-spaced handout for the whole class. Presentations are 10 minutes and should include media.

Plogs (10%) -- You will be required to keep a weekly "plog" or "play log" about the games that you play and the texts that you read. Plog entries will be short reactions, responses, meditations, and provocations that engage the game and your play on a critical, analytical, or theoretical level. Plogs will be posted each week to the class blog.

Critical Response Papers (30%) -- You will complete a number short, critical, analytical response papers. These single-spaced, one-page writings serve as close readings of, analyses of, and articulations of the texts and connections you see, read, and talk about in class. These responses are more than just summaries or personal reactions and will be graded on clarity, focus, coherence, critique, and your ability to concisely formulate arguments. You will be required to generate a response paper approximately every other week for a minimum total of 6. Response papers are turned in via the class Blackboard.

Project Proposal & Final Project (40%)

As part of your Final Project research and writing process, you must generate a 1-page research proposal in business memo format. You will also arrange for a conference with me to go over your proposal. Proposals will be graded for clarity, detail, completion, and manuscript format and will contribute toward your Final Project grade. Your proposal and conference must be completed at least 4 weeks prior to the end of the semester.

Then, by the end of the semester, you will complete a Final Project that integrates what you have read, explored, and written about in your Response Papers, that draws on specific terms, concepts, or issues from the class, and that articulates the critical value of virtual worlds and video games. The project asks you to make connections and to create an argument across different kinds of evidence and added research. Your final project can be a traditional research paper, a media production (which includes a substantive analytical component), or a hybrid of the two.
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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.

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

What is Close Reading?


Course texts are available via the Ohio University online bookstore (or through any reputable bookseller). Shorter readings are available via the course Blackboard. The required texts for this class are:

• Gibson, William. Neuromancer.
• Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game.
• Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One.

Consult the course syllabus for the week's required reading. The following is a full bibliographical list of the class readings:

Akil, Omari. "Warning: Pokemon GO is a Death Sentence If You Are a Black Man.” Medium. 7 Jul. 2016. 14 Sept. 2016.

Barlow, John Perry. "A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace." Electronic Frontier Foundation. 8 Feb. 1996. 26 Mar. 2010.

Chang, Edmond Y. "Close Playing, a Meditation on Teaching (with) Video Games." ED(MOND)CHANG(ED)AGOGY. 11 Nov. 2010. 5 Jan. 2016.

---. "Love is in the Air: Queer (Im)Possibility and Straightwashing in FrontierVille and World of Warcraft." QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. 2.2 (Summer 2015): 6-31.

Chen, Jenova. "Flow in Games." Communications of the ACM. 50.4 (April 2007): 31-34.

Collins, Sean T. "Anita Sarkeesian on GamerGate: 'We Have a Problem and We're Going to Fix This.'" 17 Oct. 2014. 5 Jan. 2016.

Consalvo, Mia. "There is No Magic Circle." Games and Culture. 4.4 (2009): 408-417.

Dewey, Caitlin. "The Only Guide to Gamergate You Will Ever Need to Read." The Washington Post. 14 Oct. 2014. 5 Jan. 2016.

Dibbell, Julian. "The Life of the Chinese Gold Farmer." The New York Times. 17 Jun. 2007. 10 Feb. 2012.

---. "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

Evans, Sarah Beth and Elyse Janish. "#INeedDiverseGames: How the Queer Backlash to GamerGate Enables Nonbinary Coalition." QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. 2.2 (Summer 2015): 125-150.

Ferguson, Robert A. "Race." Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Eds. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York: NYU Press, 2007. 191-196.

Halberstam, Judith. "Gender." Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Eds. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York: NYU Press, 2007. 116-120.

Higgin, Tanner. "Blackless Fantasy: The Disappearance of Race in Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games." Games and Culture. 4.1 (Jan. 2009): 3-26.

---. "How I Use Leeroy Jenkins to Teach Race in Videogames." Gaming the System. 17 Sep. 2009.

Losh, Liz. "#gamergate101." VirtualPolitik. 17 Oct. 2014. 5 Jan. 2016.

McGonigal, Jane. "Introduction." Reality is Broken: How Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. New York: The Penguin Press, 2011. 1-15.

McHugh, Maureen. "Virtual Love.”

Nakamura, Lisa. "Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game: The Racialization of Labor in World of Warcraft." Critical Studies in Media Communication. 26.2 (June 2009): 128-144.

---. "'It's a Nigger in Here! Kill the Nigger!': User-Generated Media Campaigns Against Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia in Digital Games." The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies: Media Studies Futures. Ed. Kelly Gates. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing, 2013. 1-15.

Narcisse, Evan. "The Natural: The Trouble Portraying Blackness in Video Games.” Kotaku. 14 Oct. 2015. 14 Sep. 2016.

Nardi, Bonnie A. "Gender." My Life as a Night Elf Priest. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2010. 152-175.

Orland, Kyle. "What Depression Quest Taught Me About Dealing with Mental Illness." Ars Technica. 21 Aug. 2014. 14 Aug. 2016.

Ruberg, Bonnie. "No Fun: The Queer Potential of Video Games that Annoy, Anger, Disappoint, Sadden, and Hurt." QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. 2.2 (Summer 2015): 108-124.

Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman. "The Immersive Fallacy." Rules of Play. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004. 449-456.

Shaw, Adrienne. "Circles, Charmed and Magic: Queering Game Studies." QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking. 2.2 (Summer 2015): 64-97.

---. "Introduction: Cliches versus Women: Moving beyond Sexy Sidekicks and Damsels in Distress." Gaming at the Margins: Sexuality and Gender at the Margins of Gamer Culture. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. 1-11.

Sisler, Vit. "Digital Arabs: Representation in Video Games." European Journal of Cultural Studies. 11.2 (2008): 203-219.

Somerville, Siobhan B. "Queer." Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Eds. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York: NYU Press, 2007. 187-191.

Stabile, Carol. "'I Will Own You': Accountability in Massively Multiplayer Online Games." Television and New Media. 15.1 (2014): 43-57.

Steinkuehler, Constance. "The Mangle of Play." Games and Culture. 1.3 (Jul. 2006): 199-213.

Trammel, Aaron and Emma Leigh Waldron. "Playing for Intimacy: Love, Lust, and Desire in the Pursuit of Embodied Design." Rated M for Mature: Sex and Sexuality in Video Games. Eds. Matthew Wysocki and Evan Lauteria. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015. 177-193.

Media & Games

America's Army. 2002.

Anthropy, Anna. Dys4ia. 2012.

Queer Power. Molleindustria. 2004.

Border Crossing. 2006.

Case, Nicky. Coming Out Simulator. 2014.

Chen, Genova. flOw. 2006.

Darkon. Dir. Andrew Neel and Luke Meyer. DVD. PorchLight Entertainment, 2007.

Depression Quest. 2013.

"Ethnic Cleansing (PC, 2002) Gameplay." 25 Jun. 2012.

Gone Home 2013.

"How to Log on to LambdaMOO." 5 Jan. 1999. 5 Jan. 2016.

ImmorTall. 2010.

Jackson, Shelley. "My Body." Electronic Literature Collection: Volume One. October 2006.

"Leeroy Jenkins HD." 27 Feb. 2014.

QWOP. 2008.

Rohrer, Jason. Gravitation. 2008.

Second Skin. Dir. Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza. DVD. Pure West Films, 2008.

SuperColumbineMassacre RPG. 2005.

Unmanned. Molleindustria. 2012.

World of Warcraft. Blizzard Entertainment. 2004.

"World of Warcraft All Race Dances." 9 Jan. 2014.

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