tl;dr Version of the Course Outline
English 506 | CSPT 500/600 at UVic
lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Territories
Taught by Jentery Sayers (he / him)
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The point of this seminar is for you to document and narrate your experience playing a game or interactive fiction using a methodology of your own design. We’ll call it a “player story.” It doesn’t need to be high-tech.
You don’t need to purchase anything for this course, but you will need a game or fiction to play. Everything else is in UVic Libraries or the course reader. (See me for a copy.) I’ve kept the reading to 75 pages or less per week to help you gradually develop your own player stories and conduct research throughout the term. We’ll also dedicate most of November and all of December to your player stories.
- Sept. 8: Read Flanagan and Salter. We’ll introduce ourselves and review some games terminology.
- Sept. 15: Read Consalvo, Fickle, McPherson, and O’Bonsawin.
- Sept. 22: Read Booth et al., Chang, LaPensée et al., and Ruberg. Respond to Prompt 1 (250-300 words; describe a type of play, or a context for play, to research this term).
- Sept. 29: Read Gray and Taylor. Respond to Prompt 2 (250-300 words; describe a type of game or interactive fiction to research this term). Submit early work in progress (Prompts 1 and 2; 10% of your final mark).
- Oct. 6: Read Nguyen and Oberg. Respond to Prompt 3 (300-500 words plus documentation; play a game or fiction, use three approaches to document your play experience, and then describe each approach using examples).
- Oct. 13: Workshop day. Play Mangia. Read Polansky and Walker. Respond to Prompt 4 (300-500 words; pick a game or fiction to study this term, describe it, and explain why you selected it).
- Oct. 20: Read Chess and Phillips. Start working on your player story.
- Oct. 27: Read Jagoda and Nakamura. Respond to Prompt 5 (500-750 words or 7-10 minutes of audio / video; critically engage any secondary source you’ve read in this seminar).
- Nov. 3: Read Edwards and Patterson. Submit mid-term work in progress (Prompts 3, 4, and 5; 20% of your final mark).
- Nov. 10: Nothing. It’s Reading Break.
- Nov. 17: Gather player story material to share during seminar. Respond to Prompt 6 (500-750 words or 7-10 minutes of audio / video; outline the methodology you’ve in mind for your player story).
- Nov. 24: Workshop day. Continue working on your player story. Respond to Prompt 7 (250-300 words; write an abstract for your player story).
- Dec. 1: Workshop day. Respond to Prompt 8 (present player story material during seminar). Draft a revisions statement (300-500 words; outline significant revisions you’d make to your responses to Prompts 1-7; you have until Dec. 8 if you need it; 10% of your final mark). Submit late-term work in progress (Prompts 6, 7, and 8; 25% of your final mark).
- Dec. 15: Submit your player story (35% of your final mark).
Read the complete prompts in the schedule, where you’ll find further reading, too. See the “Related Materials” section for more resources and be sure to review the policies at some point.
I suggest dedicating to this seminar 5 to 8 hours of study each week, plus 3 hours for the weekly seminar meetings. If you need an extra week to submit something without penalty, then see me for the “no questions asked” form. The late penalty after one week is three points per working day.
With your permission, I may record audio of our sessions and circulate it via Brightspace. You’ll have the option to limit personal information shared in the recording.
The best way to communicate with me is by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or during office hours, which are Thursday, 12:30 - 2:30pm. I respond to email between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.