I have been skeptical about educational games. I’ve also been skeptical about “serious games” (I used to say I was more interested in “frivolous games” but it never seemed to catch on). I’ve also been down on narrative in games.
So it should come as no surprised that last semester I taught a course on videogame narrative where I had students play games with narratives and serious games.
It was an interesting experience not only because I was teaching something I wasn’t super into but also because I had been working on my main teaching gig so much that I barely had time to create the syllabus for this class. So for the first time in many years I was teaching a week ahead of what I was reading.
It ended up being a fun class if a bit chaotic. I’ll post my syllabus below if anyone is interested in it.
I was most proud of how I turned educational games on their head. Instead of having students play educational games I had them make games that illustrate the concepts of the course and I think it worked really well.
I’m not a programmer and I didn’t want to set any expectations of my student’s computer skills so I had them use Twine. There was a learning curve so I had them make a basic game and I also made a little tutorial twine as well as a google doc with a bunch of twine resources.
The games they made weren’t super polished. We kind of ran out of time and if I teach it again I will really try to give them more time to revise it. However, they were really creative and interesting. So here are the games my students made.
Here is the calendar and readings for the class:
Monday, August 27, 2018
cambridge intro to narrative
Adam Cadre’s Interactive Fiction Tutorial http://adamcadre.ac/if/tutorial.html
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
zork lebling1979 and Interactive Fiction how is it different
The Time Machine: A Chad, Matt & Rob Interactive Adventure!
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Narrative interactivity play and games Zimmerman
Monday, September 10, 2018
Half-Real Juul Introduction
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Half-Real Juul Chapter 2
Monday, September 17, 2018
Half-Real Juul Chapter 4
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Games Telling stories
Monday, September 24, 2018
Ludology meet narratology
We Become What We Behold https://ncase.itch.io/wbwwb
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
gamestorytelling and breaking the string costikyan
Monday, October 1, 2018
Video Games Are Better Without Stories
My Horse Prince https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-horse-prince/id1173408461 https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.usaya.prince.en
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Character Development chapter 7
Monday, October 8, 2018
Character Development chapter 14
The Future of Football 17776 https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine Excerpts2018-10-05-nohighlights.docx
Monday, October 15, 2018
Doki Doki Literature Club http://ddlc.moe/
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Character Development sections.docx
Monday, October 29, 2018
Character Development chapter 12
Her Story http://www.herstorygame.com/
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 2
Monday, November 5, 2018
interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 4
A Normal Lost Phone http://anormallostphone.com/
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
interactive storytelling for videogames lebowitz klug chapter 5
Monday, November 12, 2018
Video Game Storytelling – Evan Skolnick excerpts
80 days https://www.inklestudios.com/80days/
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
SLAY THE DRAGON chapter 2
Class Prep Activityalpha of group game due playtesting game
Back in the day I used to pirate a decent number of games but I don’t any more. It isn’t because I turned over a new leaf or stopped playing games. No, it is because I have so many free games that I can’t play them all. Between freebies that places like Humblebundle, Steam, and GoG give away from time to time and Twitch giving away games every month, I just don’t bother pirating games.
I used to either pirate a game or just wait until it was on sale but now I just play the free games or the same old games like Overwatch or even Civ V.
So maybe the solution to piracy isn’t DRM which only serves to inconvenience people who actually buy the game. Maybe the solution is just to give away so many games that you can’t play them all? I mean that might not work well for their bottom line but it has certainly has minimized my piracy…
I was taking care of some spam and thought I would post to prove I am still alive. I’m teaching at a community college and I’m trying to decide where I want to go with my professional life. I’m working on a couple things that I hope to get out in the next month or so.