What issues are coming up as we continue to work through Juul's book?
Leslie said she was surprised that Juul spent so much time examining games as stories. I found that noteworthy, since Juul is strongly identified with the ludological position (games-as-rules), as opposed to the narratological (games-as-stories). It might be worthwhile to visit this brief introduction to gaming scholarship, which I wrote as the preface to my notes for a conference on video game criticism that I attended in 2004.
The eight or ten pages of references in the back of Half Real should be enough to dispel the idea that video game scholarship is still scarce, though I recognize fully that in a compressed course like this, it's crucial to find a thesis that you can actually examine based on the limited information that you can actually get your hands on. Much good games research is available onine, but so are a lot of fan sites and shallow game reviews.
You may have noted that Jesper Juul is writing in a mode that differs greatly from both Brenda Laurel and Ralph Koster. How would you characterize Juul's mode? How do his goals, as an author, differ from the goals of Laurel and Koster?