Assignments (undergrad)

All grades for undergraduates will be posted on Blackboard.

blog posts (8 @ 5% each for 40%): You will post eight times to the course website. Each post will be no more than 500 words in length (please use word count).

Four of the posts can be devoted to either of the following:

  • reviews of assigned readings for dates you’ll sign up for on the first day of class
  • using assigned readings to analyze games that you’ve played

The four remaining posts must be 500 word responses to blog posts by other students in the class.

Before you post, please read the commenting policy at the Fembot Project which is what we’ll adhere to on our own blog. I’d like to model rigorous, collegial, and productive discussions on the course website and in order to do that, we all need to understand what the rules are.

game demo (10%): In groups of three, and with the assistance of UO librarians, you will be responsible for demonstrating a videogame in class and providing a brief presentation on the history and production of that game. Game demos will be no more than 20 minutes in length. You will sign up for game demos on the second day of class.

draft bibliography (10%): Videogames aren’t just about fun. They’re also about scholarship and good scholarship requires research. Without a strong bibliography, you’ll spend a lot of time spinning your research wheels, wondering, “How do I know that” or “Where did I read that bit of information?” Your draft bibliography (due week 5) for your extended blog post should be comprehensive, building on resources you will use for your blog posts and responses. You are strongly encouraged to use Endnote, Zotero, or Mendeley as you build your bibliography. It must be formatted using The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. This assignment is weighted heavily to encourage you to start your research early. Credit will be given primarily for content (the breadth, depth, and creativity of your research).

extended blog post (2,500 words) (30%): In teams of two, you will create a final post for the course site. This final post should be an extended piece of writing — not an essay intended for my eyes alone (e.g. you should incorporate visual elements into it and think about it as something that other people will be looking at online). In it, you could offer a meditation on videogames as an art form, using some of the readings we’ll read for the course, as well as sources you’ve developed for your bibliography. You could criticize a genre of games. You could write about the political potential of games. You could write about the rich world of fan-related activities. You could write about all the productive (or non-productive) time people spend playing games. You could compare and contrast the experience of playing a board game with the experience of playing an online version. The main requirement is that you use assigned readings and bibliographic sources to produce an original contribution to how we’re thinking about games and gaming in 2013, grounded in research and cognizant of the fact that what distinguishes scholarly writing from fan writing is the former’s grounding in research.

These final posts must be posted on the website by 5 pm, March 17, 2013.

Participation (10%): Participation grades will be evaluated on the basis of two things:

1. Participation in class discussion (as well as preparation, which is evident in the level and quality of participation – this is a reminder to do the readings)

2. Participation on the website beyond the assigned contributions. Here I’m looking for evidence that you’ve read each others’ posts, responded in a manner that demonstrates that you’ve put some thought into your response, added links and ideas to the website, and generally helped contribute content.

The participation grade is a cumulative grade, meaning that a number of posts in the last two weeks of class won’t count for as much as consistent posts across the quarter.


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