Monday, 22 Dec 2014


History of Video Games (PBS)

Over the past 30 years, video games have become an integral part of our culture, and the video game industry has become a multi-billion dollar behemoth. Follow the journey of video games from university laboratories to our living rooms.

Explore the three sections on the History of Video Games page (timeline, best & worst all-time, and nostalgia).

Make an important connection between something you learned on this page, and something else you have learned in this course. (There is no specific “correct answer” to this prompt. This is your opportunity to show me and your peers what you’re interested in.)


Koster (Chapters 5 & 6)

Rather than write a sentence or two summarizing the key points about each chapter, demonstrate your ability to make substantial connections between what you learn from this reading, what you have learned elsewhere in the course, and your own experience with games.

Demonstrate your ability to use evidence (in the form of quoted passages from the assigned readings) to support a definite, non-obvious position on a complex issue that arises from the readings.

As with all the readings I’m assigning, I am not looking for any specific “correct answer.” Instead, I want you to demonstrate your ability to read and engage with a text at the college level.


Koster (Chapters 7 & 8)

See the instructions for chapters 5 & 6.

Tuesday, 23 Dec 2014


Koster (Chapters 9 & 10)

Demonstrate your ability to respond, on a college level, to ideas from the book.


Koster (Chapters 11 & 12)

Same deal.


Koster (Epilogue & Afterword)


Impact of Gaming (PBS)

Of the eight brief essays on this page, choose two to focus on, via a brief academic paragraph (about 200 words) that demonstrates your ability to quote from a source.

Now that we have had some time to get used to discussing readings via weblog, I’m going to raise the bar a little, and provide a model that I’d like you to use for writing that emphasizes you ability to engage meaningfully with details you find from other sources. You don’t need to follow this exact formula, and of course you don’t have to agree with the point I am making, but this is an example of an argument that uses online sources efficiently.

Here is how I want you to cite your quotes.

While Eakes claims that “Violent video games are an ideal environment in which to learn violence,” Jenkins observes that the argument that video games teach violence only works if “we assume that [players] unwittingly apply what they learn in a fantasy environment to real world spaces.” I will use an insight from a preteen’s online review of the educational game “Times Attack” to argue that [make your point here].

Note that I am not asking you to fill space with this sort of filler:

If I were asked to respond meaningfully to two essays from the PBS website “The Video Game Revolution,” the essays I would pick would be “Do You Know What Games Your Kids Are Playing” by Pamela Eakes of Mothers Against Violence, and “Eight Myths about Video Games Debunked” by MIT professor Henry Jenkins. The reason I picked these essays is because there are many interesting connections that can be made between the essays and my own experiences. For example, one such connection would be…

Just get right to your point, and use hyperlinks to cite your authors efficiently.

For a quick reminder of how to create a hyperlink, watch from about 16:40 in the Setting Up Your WordPress Blog video.


Participation Portfolio 1

This assignment asks for you to sort through and categorize your posts, explaining why you put each post in each category.


If you have blogged for me before, note that I’ve added new components to the portfolio — adding a “Riskiness” category and a “Conclusion” section, and I’ve also tweaked the definitions of “Discussion” and “Intertextuality.”

Now that we have all had the chance to try out the blogs, and now that we have had the chance to read some interesting stuff, we are ready to move on to the next step: your online participation portfolio. Read More »

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