Week Ahead: 4

4 2/4 Gone Home: A Story Exploration Game
2/6 Ian Bogost “Media Microecology” and “Empathy” from How to Do Things with Videogames
2/10 Side Quest 4: Combophoto

On Tuesday, we’ll spend the bulk of the class discussing Gone Home, which you have been playing this week and liveblogging as you go. We’ll probably spend some time discussing whether Gone Home is a game or a story and whether it’s a game or a puzzle. Officially, Gone Home is classified in the genre “walking simulator,” so we’ll probably spend a bit of time thinking about what that genre entails. It would be helpful if you ask yourself before class what is the game’s purpose and audience too. We’ll also continue, hopefully wrap up, naming the podcast and establishing the other baseline rules we’ll need.

On Thursday, we’ll discuss two chapters from Ian Bogost‘s How to Do Things with Videogames. Bogost is a professor of game design on the other side of town, at Georgia Tech and also publishes very smart essays frequently in The Atlantic magazine. (We’ll most likely read a few of these essays later in the semester.)

Follow up from Thursday


In class on Thursday, we decided on some rules for the podcast:

  • Episodes will be 10-15 minutes in length
  • Each episode will focus on one game, though it’s acceptable to mention another game in order to make a comparison (perhaps another game mentioned in an earlier podcast episode)
  • Each episode will analyze the rhetorical situation of the game under consideration.
  • Each episode will use concepts and terms from the essays by Jane McGonigal, Mary Flanagan, Ian Bogost, and others that we’ve read and discussed this semester. I’ve started a Google doc in our shared folder where we can crowdsource a list of definitions and terms to explore this semester.

Any other rules we need to add?


We made a list of title suggestions and then narrowed that list down to 7. Vote below from among the finalists for your favorites by checking boxes below, or add a comment on this post and suggest another title if one has occured to you since Thursday. You can pick more than one, but don’t pick more than 3.

Podcast Title
Vote for your favorite titles


  1. Updated the poll to remove the two titles listed in comments above and added, per request in class today, You’re Just a Player as an option.

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