Emily Friedman deposited 4160EA: TECH LITERACY AND CULTURE How Games Tell Stories (Fall 2021) on Humanities Commons 2 years ago
Syllabus for a upper-level English course focused on roleplaying games. Features active learning classroom, contract grading, and student-led midsemester readings. (This was the document students received on the first day, and has already changed. You can follow my “campaign diary” recapping discussions at https://aub.ie/TRPGcourserecaps
We are quickly approaching the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, the 10th anniversaries of Twitch and Itch.io, and the ninth generation of video game consoles. The most successful TV/film Kickstarter of all time funded the animated series for D&D livestream Critical Role. Game Studies has existed as an interdisciplinary field for over three decades, withs its own subfields and debates.
This course will explore games as storytelling devices. We’ll read academic articles, games journalism, and video reviews, and think about what makes for successful writing about games. We’ll think about the new narrative frames introduced by actual plays and livestreaming. We’ll think about games as transmedia phenomena, influencing and being influenced by television, film, comic books, and many other genres and modes. We’ll examine representation in games: both what is depicted and who creates them. And of course, share a lot of games, big and small, with one another.
Students will gain knowledge of the field of narratology (the study of the structure of stories) and how it related to ludology (the study of actions and events in games). In an active-learning classroom and in collaboration with the new RBD Library Innovation Commons, students will apply what they learn in practice as both makers and critics. No prior technical experience or console/specific platform is required.