For this coming week, I’ve asked you to bury yourself in the gameplay, aesthetics, and mechanics of a game of your choice so that you can speak about it, with authority, on Tuesday. You may object, “I don’t know how to ‘investigate the mechanics’ or ‘assess the gameplay’ of a game.” But of course, you do, and that is one of our most important points thus far: Games are socio-cultural contrivances, created and consumed by people as a form of play. In the digital, we must all become game designers in one fashion or another, whether we like it or not. (What’s more, as masters students in an interdisciplinary program, you should relish opportunities to scrutinize new and unfamiliar things. It is what you do.)
A propos of which: There are many of us who have not yet volunteered to offer observations about others’ presentations, offered presentations of their own, or otherwise taken part in class discussion. I appreciate that getting started can feel like an impossible challenge, but it is a necessary one, if we are to make progress. As the syllabus makes clear, your active participation is key to our success (and key to your course performance). The activities this week are intended to give you a chance to find your voice.
The following brand-new board/card games will be in the Studio on Friday AM, and will remain there until Tuesday. Please don’t remove them from the Studio unless you check with me, first.
Rouge Flamme (bicycle racing boardgame)
Ascension (fantasy-themed deckbuilding game)
Cards Against Humanity (profane party-style card game)
The Metagame (less profane party-style card game)
Twilight Struggle (Cold War-era political strategy game)
Plus one more TBD.
Digital games are fine for analysis too, of course. In either case I remind you that I’ve asked you to tell me what game you’re analyzing. Since it is possible that I will object to your choice, the sooner you tell me, the better.
Finally: Note that half an hour of work on this assignment is unacceptable. Game play is part of the expectation of this course: It is unavoidable. When you talk about your game on Tuesday, the time you’ve spent with the game(s) will be obvious. I fully expect you to spend five hours or more playing through your game. On top of that, I would hope that you would do a bit of basic research about your game, discover what others think of it, look for articles related to it, and so forth.