West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door. There is a small mailbox here.
> open mailbox
Opening the small mailbox reveals a course description.
> take course description
You have a course description.
> read course description.
As products of a complicated network of social, economic, and technological forces, games are dense objects, deeply layered with multiple meanings and hidden histories that reveal much about our cultural values, hopes and anxieties, and assumptions about the world. In this class, we’ll play games, read and write about games, discuss games, design games, and create and build our own games. In the process, we’ll explore how systems analysis, probability theory, pattern recognition, and procedural rhetoric have become indispensable tools for understanding contemporary culture.
The writing you do in this class will include not only words on paper but also oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal communication. You will write to explore concepts like genre, rhetoric, academic discourse, and critical thinking, while further developing and honing your own methods and styles of writing. As a class, we will create, design, and publish a podcast series about games -- each student will be responsible for producing an episode and assistant producing another. You will also work in groups to develop a game concept and deliver a Kickstarter-style proposal and game pitch. There are also weekly “low-stakes” sketch assignments to encourage your exploration of different methods and techniques, along with some larger analytical writing assignments. All of these course assignments include a variety of formal and informal genres, all of them incorporating multiple modes of communication (Written, Aural, Nonverbal, Digital, and Visual).