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IMS 445, August 29th
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IMS 445, August 29th


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  • 1. TODAY 1. Icebreaker 2. Syllabus– any questions? 3. Reminders of things you need to do 4. Fantasy Football and a Game of Tweets 5. Major assignment 1: Skill Set Portfolio 6. Discussion and activity: Ludology and Narratology 7. Homework
  • 2. Every day for the first few weeks, we will do an icebreaker to start class and help us to get to know each other. Today’s question is an easy one: who is your favorite video game character and why?
  • 3. Syllabus You should have read over the syllabus and all of the course activities for today. So this is just a slide to hold the screen while I ask if you have questions and we address them. So… any questions? Don’t be shy!
  • 4. Reminders. For this week, you need to: 1)Play Pacman, Donkey Kong, and one other game 2)Write your Google+ post about playing those games 3)Write your two Tumblr posts 4)Set your fantasy football draft order
  • 5. Skill Set Portfolio I want to now discuss your skill set portfolio assignment. I’m going to alt-tab over to the website and display the assignment while we talk about it. Alt-tab time!
  • 6. For today, I had you read an article by Gonzolo Frasca. For those of you with a game studies background, the material was probably review, but if you are new to it, one of the key things you need to know about the landscape of game theory (at least as relates to video games) is the split between narratology and ludology.
  • 7. Narratology A narrative perspective of gaming expects a narrative structure (linear, story-based) akin to a novel. Think of a game like Final Fantasy 7, where there are characters with developed stories, cut- scenes, and while there is some flexibility in some cases, there is an actual narrative arc. The game begins and ends because of a story.
  • 8. Ludology embraces games as rule-sets. A ludus has a set of rules, and that defines how the game works. For example, you cannot move a knight on a chess board diagonally because the ludus has already dictated that it moves in that “L” shape.
  • 9. Activity Pair up, or form groups of 3. In your groups, I want you to construct four paragraph-or-less definitions. In your words: 1) A game, from the perspective of a narratologist 2) A game, from the perspective of a ludologist 3) A game, if we make them compromise and work together 4) A game, in your group’s words Email me your responses: alexanp3
  • 10. With our remaining time, are there any questions? Remember your play activity, your tumblrs, and the fantasy football stuff.
  • 11. Homework For next week, read: “The Game, the player, the world” by Jesper Juul and “Good Games, Good Learning” by James Paul Gee Start work on your skill portfolios. See you Tuesday!