Course Requirements:

Weekly Attendance/participation – 20%

Mini-Exams (x3) – 30% @ 10% each

Reading Response – 20% [Click HERE for the writing prompt]

Course Paper – 30%

Attendance/participation: Students are expected to attend both classes every week and participate in course discussions in an engaged and informed manner. Absences will be excused only in instances of certifiable serious injury, grave illness, or death – and certain acts of God (flood, fire, pestilence, etc.)

Mini-Exams: Combining multiple choice, true/false, and short-answer identification items, these three in-class assessments are designed to test students’ knowledge comprehension of information contained in weekly reading, viewing, and browsing assignments. Each mini-exam is worth 10% of the course grade.

Reading Response: During the semester students will be required to read David Kushner’s Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture. The book will serve as the basis for a short, 4-5 page (1,200 – 1,500 word) essay written in response to a question provided by your instructor. The question prompt is available HERE.

Course Paper: The final assignment for the semester involves the production of a critical essay focusing on a single video game title or a topic relating to the broader history of video games.

Essays about specific game titles are expected to address the historical, technological, and cultural contexts in which the game was developed; its reception by gaming critics and the broader public (when applicable); and an evaluation of its broader contribution to the development/history of gaming as a whole (to include comparison with one or more other games within its particular sub-genre). In addition to a short, narrative overview of the game, the critical analysis should describe its mechanics, noteworthy aspects of play, and the player’s overall gaming experience. (i.e. pick a game you have played or want to play for this assignment).

With the exception of Doom, you are free to select any game from any era – subject to the instructor’s approval.

Parameters: Your papers must be 8-10 pages in length, typed, double-spaced in 11-12 pt. typeface. Pages must be numbered. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling should be correct. Clumsy composition, poor grammar, and sloppy presentation will affect your grade negatively. Remember that a proper paper has an introduction and a conclusion.

Your final project is expected to build upon the information presented in course assignments, meetings, and on-line discussions with additional, appropriate resources gathered on your own. At a minimum, your final project should draw upon 1 or 2 books/monographs (where applicable) and 5-7 article-length sources (including on-line items) not appearing in the Course Schedule. These should be listed on a “Works Referenced” page attached to your essay. Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style in formatting your reference works.

Final Course Papers must be submitted to your instructor as Word .doc files through MyMav before the start of class on 7 August