Syllabus: VR Storytelling

“This production-oriented course teaches students in communications fields how to tell stories interactively using 360-degree video and computer-generated scenes that subjects experience through leading virtual reality headsets. The target platforms for this course are the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard phone-based viewers.” – Syllabus

Syllabi: Teaching with & about Games

“Courses cover game development and design, but also treat games as a topic in fields such as computer science, history, media studies, and rhetoric. In other words, video games are not just an economic force (they make lots of money and so we should teach students to make them) nor are they only a psychological force (games teach people violence and so we need to study policy to limit them); they are also a cultural and creative force, and courses are cropping up that attend to games in this particular framework…This special issue of the Syllabus Journal, then, offers a multi-disciplinary approach to video game studies.” – Issue Overview

The Birth of the Chess Queen

“Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn’t until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king’s fierce warrior and protector.” – Publisher

Suffragetto

“Suffragetto is a contest of occupation between two opposing factions, The Suffragettes and The Police. The goal of the Suffragettes is to break past Police lines and enter the House of Commons. At the same time, The Suffragettes must also prevent the Police from entering Albert Hall, an oft-used meeting space of the Women’s Social and Political Union.” – Official Rules (Revised)

Digital Games as History

“This book provides the first in-depth exploration of video games as history. Chapman puts forth five basic categories of analysis for understanding historical video games: simulation and epistemology, time, space, narrative, and affordance. Through these methods of analysis he explores what these games uniquely offer as a new form of history and how they produce representations of the past.” – Publisher

Twilight Struggle

“Twilight Struggle is a two-player game simulating the 45 year dance of intrigue, prestige, and occasional flares of warfare between the USSR and the USA. The entire world is the stage on which these two titans fight. The game begins amidst the ruins of Europe as the two new superpowers scramble over the wreckage of WWII and ends in 1989, when only the United States remained standing.” – GMT Games

Archaeogaming

“Archaeogaming is a blog dedicated to the discussion of the archaeology both of and in video games (console, computer, mobile, etc.). If a game uses archaeology in some way (such as the Archaeology skill in World of Warcraft), we’ll discuss it here. If the design and function of pottery, textiles, and architecture vary between iterations of a game (e.g., Elder Scrolls), we’ll discuss it here…”

Pulling Back the Curtain

“Let’s pull back the curtain. In this essay, I recount a pedagogical experience with 60 undergraduate history majors at Carleton University where students learned to write for the web and learned how the web is written, including how algorithms (sets of rules) create the content and the experiences that we have online. I am not talking about writing essays. I am talking about making video games. Or more accurately, about learning to write history-through-algorithms.” [Excerpt from “Pulling Back the Curtain” in Web Writing: Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning]

Playing with the Past

“Game Studies is a rapidly growing area of contemporary scholarship, yet volumes in the area have tended to focus on more general issues. With Playing with the Past, game studies is taken to the next level by offering a specific and detailed analysis of one area of digital game play — the representation of history. The collection focuses on the ways in which gamers engage with, play with, recreate, subvert, reverse and direct the historical past, and what effect this has on the ways in which we go about constructing the present or imagining a future…”