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Critical Theory & Pedagogy Presentation (20%) -- For the presentation, you will read the texts assigned for your week. Then, with the guidance of the instructor, you will select one key text to summarize and to generate a short lecture or activity, which provides a critical question or two to inspire discussion. This exercise asks you to think about online teaching, how to teach theoretical texts, and to demonstrate creative pedagogically practices. Presentations are 10-15 minutes, require a substantive discussion thread posted to Blackboard, and should engage multimodal pedagogy.

Precis Papers (20%) -- The majority of the writing you will do for this class is in the form of short, analytical precis papers. These single-spaced, one-page writings serve as close readings of, analytical summaries of, and articulations of the main arguments and ideas of one of the week's theoretical texts. These responses are not personal reactions or applications of theory and will be graded on clarity, focus, coherence, and your ability to formulate concise detail. You will be required to generate a précis paper approximately every other week for a total of 7.

Project Proposal Memo (10%) -- 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. Your proposal and conference must be completed at least 4 weeks prior to the end of the semester.

Final Paper/Project (20%) -- You will complete a Final Project that integrates what you have read, explored, and written about in your papers and discussion threads, that draws on specific terms, concepts, or issues from our discussions, and that articulates the critical value of video game studies. 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. Ideally, you will develop a project with the goal of publication (for a short-form journal or website), presentation at a conference (including abstract for submission), or production (such as a Twine game).
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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

What is Close Reading?

How to Write a Summary

Claims, Claims, Claims

Introductions & Conclusions

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing

MLA Citation and Bibliographic Format

Revision Check-List


Course readings are available via the course Blackboard or online.

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.

Adams, Rachel, Benjamin Reiss, and David Serlin. “Disability.” Keywords for Disability Studies. Eds. Rachel Adams, Benjamin Reiss and David Serlin. New York: New York University Press, 2015.

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

Bierre, Kevin, Jonathan Chetwynd, Barrie Ellis, D. Michelle Hinn, Stephanie Ludi, and Thomas Westin. “Game Not Over: Accessibility Issues in Video Games.” Research Gate. 2018.

Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames. MIT Press, 2010.

Brown, "The Trouble with Gender in Larp." Analog Game Studies. 5.4 (13 Sep. 2015).

Chang, Alenda Y. "Games as Environmental Texts." Qui Parle. 19.2 (2011): 57-84.

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.

Clark, Naomi & Merritt Kopas. "Queering Human-Game Relations." First Person Scholar. 18 Feb. 2015.

Condis, Megan Amber. "Playing the Game of Literature: Ready Player One, the Ludic Novel, and the Geeky 'Canon' of White Masculinity." Journal of Modern Literature. 39.2 (Winter 2016): 1-19.

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

D'Anastasio, Cecilia. "Why Video Games Can't Teach You Empathy." Motherboard. 15 May 2015.

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.

Fernbach, Amanda. "The Fetishization of Masculinity in Science Fiction: The Cyborg and the Console Cowboy." Source: Science Fiction Studies. 27.2 (July 2000): 234-255.

Flanagan, Mary. Critical Play. MIT Press, 2013.

Flood, Joe. "Playing Assassin's Creed 3 on the Pine Ridge Rez." Killscreen. 28 Nov. 2012.

Frasca, Gonzalo. "Ludologists Love Stories, Too: Notes from a Debate That Never Took Place." DiGRA '03 - Proceedings of the 2003 DiGRA International Conference: Level Up. Vol. 2 (2003): 92-99.

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

Georgiou, Myria. "Identity." Keywords for Media Studies. Eds. Laurie Ouellette and Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 94-98.

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. Ace, 2000.

Graham, Roy. "Finding Your Way as a Queer LARPer." Killscreen. 20 Apr. 2015.

Gray, Herman. "Race." Keywords for Media Studies. Eds. Laurie Ouellette and Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 161-165.

Gray, Kishonna L., Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live. Routledge, 2014.

Gray, Kishonna L. and David J. Leonard. Wokegaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice. University of Washington Press, 2018.

Gray, Kishonna L., Gerald Voorhees, and Emily Vossen. Feminism in Play. Palgrave, 2018.

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

Hamilton, Kirk. "BioWare Put A Lot Of Work Into Dragon Age's Trans Character." Kotaku. 4 Dec. 2014.

Henderson, Lisa. "Representation." Keywords for Media Studies. Eds. Laurie Ouellette and Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 172-176.

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.

Jones, Steven E. The Meaning of Video Games. Routledge, 2008.

Leaver, Tama. "Interactivity." Keywords for Media Studies. Eds. Laurie Ouellette and Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 108-110.

Malkowski, Jennifer and Treaandrea M. Russworm, Eds. Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games. Indiana University Press, 2017.

Martin, James S., Christian A. Vaccaro, D. Alex Heckert, and Robert Heasley. "Epic Glory and Manhood Acts in Fantasy Role-Playing." The Journal of Men's Studies. 23.3 (Oct. 2015): 293–314.

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.

McPherson, Tara. "Digital." Keywords for American Cultural Studies. Eds. Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler. New York: New York University Press, 2014.

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.

---. "Queer Female of Color: The Highest Difficulty Setting There Is? Gaming Rhetoric as Gender Capital." Ada. No. 1 (2012).

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.

Parkin, Simon. "Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest." The New Yorker. 9 Sep. 2014.

Payne, Matthew Thomas. "Play." Keywords for Media Studies. Eds. Laurie Ouellette and Jonathan Gray. New York: New York University Press, 2017. 138-140.

Phillips, Amanda. "Game Studies for Great Justice." The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. Ed. Jentery Sayers. Routledge, 2018. 117-127.

Prensky, Marc. "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants." On the Horizon. 9.5 (October 2001): 1-6.

Pow, Whitney. "Reaching Toward Home: Software Interface as Queer Orientation in the Video Game Curtain." The Velvet Light Trap. 81 (Spring 2018): 43-56.

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.

Ruberg, Bonnie and Adrienne Shaw, Eds. Queer Game Studies. University of Minnesota Press, 2017.

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

Salter, Anastasia. "Building Interactive Stories." The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities. Ed. Jentery Sayers. Routledge, 2018. 462-471.

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.

Sicart, Miguel. The Ethics of Computer Games. MIT Press, 2011.

---. "Queering the Controller." Analog Game Studies. 5.4 (31 Jul. 2017).

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.

Stark, Lizzie. "Race in Larp: Some Initial Musings." Leaving Mundania. 30 Jan. 2014.

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

Taylor, Nicholas and Gerald Voorhees. Masculinities in Play. Palgrave, 2018.

Toureille, Claire. “This New Video Game Helps You Understand What It's Like to Have Gender Dysphoria." Pink News. 14 May 2018.

Upkins, Dennis R. "Going Medieval." Nerds of Color. 11 Feb. 2016.


Here are all of the games and other media:

Anthropy, Anna. Dys4ia. 2012.

Border Crossing. 2006.

Case, Nicky. Coming Out Simulator. 2014.

Chen, Genova. flOw. 2006.

Curtain. 2014.

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

Depression Quest. 2013.

Digital Nation. Dir. Rachel Dretzin. Frontline, 2010.

"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.

Papers, Please. 2013.

Pink White or Blue. 2018.

Queer Power. Molleindustria. 2004.

QWOP. 2008.

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

That Dragon, Cancer. 2016.

Unmanned. Molleindustria. 2012.

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