Quest 3: And Now It’s Your Turn

No bit of technology, wether hardware such as a hammer or computer chip, nor software such as a grading rubric or game, exists context free. These bits of technology are always seen through cultural lenses that inform us as to their meaning. In this Quest-Line you will be developing your skills as an Ethnographer, to help you refine how you see cultures’ influence and relationship to technology through the lens of games.

10/7 – Mission: “That’s Close-ish Enough”

Description Enough of that reading, lets design some play! (Kind of) Before diving into designing games, you need to know more about design, and specifically the design of games.
  1. Prepare for class on 10/7 by reading
    1. Norman (2002/1988) Chptrs 1,2,4
    2. Salen & Zimmerman (2004) Chptr 23
  2. Discuss these readings with fellow adventurers at the weekly gathering.

10/14 – Mission: “Fall Break”

Description  Dig deeper into the design of games, and how one approach to designing games for learning.
  1. There is no class, so spend your time reading and designing games with friends, family, and classmates.
    1. Barab (2010), Transformational Play
    2. Fullerton (2008) Chptr 1, Chptr 3
    3. Salen & Zimmerman (2004) Chptr 3, Chptr 9
Boss Battle! (Begins)  “Critique-a-saurus” (Draft encountered by 10/14 @ 11:59pm): Each adventurer is required to play and analyze at least one game in terms of the cultural and ideological aspects during the adventure. The analysis will draw on ethnographic methods introduced during the course. Individual game play will be documented by the development of a reflective and analytic quest-log entry. Potential games and instructions for reflective quest-logging will be discussed in class.

  1. This assignment will be assessed using this rubric and the criteria below.
  2. Paper is 8 pages, double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman
  3. Use APA or MLA reference style
  4. Must make use of the ideas encountered in the course thus far.
  5. Must have a section that analyzes the game in terms of one of Bogost’s ideological frames of reinforcement, contestation, or exposition. (1-2+ pages)
  6. Must include personal experience analysis (1-2+ pages)
  7. Must include cultural uptake discussion illuminating how is the game seen by other players
  8. Submit drafts as Google Docs in the shared folder. Submit final versions both as a blog post on this site, and as google doc in the shared folder. Naming conventions for these documents should be [LastName]_[GameTitle]_[draft or final].

10/21 – Mission: “When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong”

Description  Realism is not always better with games. Focusing on how games create meaning through the design of the games as systems and mechanics, put the readings of the last few quests to work.
Boss Battle! (Complete) “Critique-a-saurus” (Final encountered by 10/24 @ 11:59pm): The criteria are given in the previous week’s description. Make sure you have submitted this as described by the time indicated.
  1. Prepare for class on 10/21 by starting the Balsamiq tutorials.
    1. Balsamiq Basic Prototyping
    2. Balsamiq Interactive Prototypes
  2. After class for the week, work on a mockup of a game using Balsamiq.
  3. Share it with the class via a link to your balsamiq project in the blog.

10/28 – Mission: “Let’s Just Call It ‘Social-Physics’”

Description The last few weeks might have you believing that games are just systems of mechanics. But thinking back over the course, the idea that they are about people in contexts should challenge that. This week boyd, Garfield, and Brown introduce some ways of thinking about games, technology and design in their relationship to society and values–bet you thought we were done with that…
  1. Prepare for class on 10/28 by reading
    1. Boyd (2008)
    2. Garfield (2000)
    3. Brown (2009), Chaptr 2, Chptr 4

11/5 – Mission: “Thou Shalt Monetize Thy Neighbor”

Description  Realism is not always better with games. Focusing on how games create meaning through the design of the games as systems and mechanics, put the readings of the last few quests to work.
  1. Prepare for class on 11/5 by reading
    1. Zicherman (2011), Chptr  2, Chptr 4 
    2. Deterding Pawned (2010), Meaningful Play (2011)