University of Toronto, Mississauga **We aren't endorsed by this school
CCT 395
Oct 20, 2023
Uploaded by SuperTiger3830 on coursehero.com
Institute Office: Room 3014, CCT Building Telephone: 905-569-4489 CCT395H5F LEC0101 Topics in Communication, Culture, Information & Technology Course Outline - Summer 2023 Class Location & Time Wed, 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM IB 370 Fri, 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM IB 370 Instructor James Ashby Office Location CC4005 Office Hours Thursdays, 2-4 p.m. (via Zoom) E-mail Address [email protected] Course Web Site https://q.utoronto.ca Course Description An in-depth examination of selected topics in communication, culture and information technology. Topics vary from year to year, and the content in any given year depends upon the instructor. The contact hours for this course may vary in terms of contact type (L, S, T, P) from year to year, but will be between 24-36 contact hours in total. See the UTM Timetable. Prerequisite: A minimum of 8.0 credits. (SSc) Distribution Requirement: SSc It is your responsibility to ensure that the prerequisites for course have been met. Students without the prerequisites can be removed at any time. No waivers will be granted. Goals and Learning Objectives Topic: Video Game Criticism Critical approaches from literary, dramatic, semiotic, and cultural contexts, informed by the emerging canons of game criticism and game studies, will be applied to video games as both aesthetic creations and everyday objects. We will look at games from multiple perspectives-as players, as scholars, and, potentially at least, as developers. We will learn to discuss games across a range of registers, from that of the popular podcast to that of the peer-reviewed journal. Games will be considered from many angles, including genres and subgenres, platforms, computational frameworks, mechanics, gameplay affordances and constraints, narratives, ludology, and the ways in which meaning is created. Ian Bogost, in How to Talk about Videogames , captures much of the spirit of video game criticism when he writes, "Like a toaster, a game is both appliance and hearth, both instrument and aesthetic, both gadget and fetish. It's preposterous to do game criticism, like it's preposterous to do toaster criticism" (p. xii). To succeed in this course, you must be ready to do the "preposterous." By the end of this course, students will gain greater insight into their own critical thinking and writing skills. learn to challenge their assumptions about games and game criticism. explore, evaluate, and apply various theoretical concepts and critical methods from diverse fields in the context of game criticism. consider how game creation and game criticism are co-determining. demonstrate a greater understanding of how writing style and target audience can change, depending on the medium or publication type for which one is writing. CCT395H5F - Ashby, James 2023-05-06 09:33:31 Page 1 of 9
Type Description Due Date Weight Quiz Reading Quiz #1 2023-05-17 5% Quiz Reading Quiz #2 2023-05-24 5% Quiz Reading Quiz #3 2023-05-31 5% Quiz Reading Quiz #4 2023-06-07 5% Quiz Reading Quiz #5 2023-06-14 5% Assignment Critique #1: Podcast 2023-05-26 15% Assignment Critique #2: Extended Analysis 2023-06-09 20% Assignment Group Project (Pt. I): Journal Design 2023-06-14 20% Presentations Group Project (Pt. II): Pitch Presentation 2023-06-16 10% Class Participation Participation On-going 10% Total 100% Required Materials All of the required readings for this course will be posted as PDF files or links on our Quercus site, under the "Modules" tab. Assessment and Grading Policies You should receive at least one significant mark (15%) before the last day you can drop a course without academic penalty. Requirements and Criteria Reading Quizzes (5 x 5% = 25% of final grade) During the term, there will be five short in-class reading quizzes testing your knowledge of the readings covered in each unit (approximately 2 weeks of reading per unit). The purpose of these quizzes is to ensure you have read and understood the material. I will be dropping your lowest quiz mark when calculating your final grade! IMPORTANT: Unexcused absences during a quiz will result in a grade of 0. If you have a legitimate reason for being absent during a quiz day, see the information below regarding Special Consideration Requests. Dates: May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14 Length: 15 minutes each Critique #1: Podcast (15%) You will produce a podcast (approximately five minutes in length) during which you will critique a game published within the last five years. You should follow the MDA (Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics) approach when doing so. We will be covering this approach in class! You should be primarily concerned with demonstrating convincingly that you played the game with due attentiveness, thoroughness, and informedness. That said, you should also consider the technical aspects: recording quality; copyright-cleared sound effects, clips, and music; editing; and so on. You must also submit your show notes . Due: May 26 Length: 5 minutes (podcasts up to 30 seconds shorter or up to 1 minute longer will still be evaluated) Critique #2: Extended Analysis (20%) For this assignment, you should begin with a close analysis of a different game released within the last 5 years, structuring it around a particular critical framework. According to the criteria emphasized by that framework, is this game an example of good or bad design? How would you improve it? From there, your critique should broaden into an interrogation of a larger issue in games and game criticism. For some examples, have a look at Ian Bogost's How to Talk about Videogames . Your critique should be related to CCT395H5F - Ashby, James 2023-05-06 09:33:31 Page 2 of 9
one of the larger themes of the course. Due: June 9 Length: 1000-1250 words (double-spaced, excluding the reference list) Format : Must be submitted in APA style. Group Project (Pt. I): Journal Design (20%) In groups of four to five, you will produce the outline of the inaugural issue of a publication devoted to game criticism. The outline must be submitted as either a PDF file or a functional website. Although you are not expected to create a complete issue, it must have the following components: 1. A title and logo 2. A detailed "About" section, including a mission statement, submissions policy, links section (social media sites, allied publications, and so on), and any additional information that you think is relevant 3. An editorial 4. A critique 5. An interview 6. Some multimedia content: images, video clips, audio commentary, and so forth You are expected to follow a feed-forward approach and have a middle-state publication in mind. We will discuss both of these terms in class, but you can also find out more about them here: http://www.firstpersonscholar.com/feed-forward-scholarship/ . This is a group grade. It is therefore essential that all group members contribute equally to the journal. You are each expected to be a reliable, accessible team member at all times. If you are concerned that a member of your group is not fulfilling their group obligations for this assignment, please reach out to the Instructor as soon as possible. Due: June 14 Group Project (Pt. II): Pitch Presentation (10%) Publications, like games, may seem promising on paper (or on a screen), but they generally need funding to give them wings. Each group will imagine that the rest of the class comprises representatives of potential funding bodies and will therefore have ten minutes to convince them that their journal will contribute something novel and worthwhile to the conversation surrounding games. Each group will have to address their mission statement, target audience, format choices, and proposed budget. Again, this is a group grade, so each group member is expected to contribute to the presentation (in terms of both preparation and delivery) and to have a chance to speak. Please remember to leave a little time for questions. You will need to e-mail the Instructor any presentation materials by 11:59 p.m. on June 15. You will also need to post a handout (1-2 pages) on Quercus by 6 p.m. on June 15. Due: June 16 (in class) Length: 10 minutes Participation (10%) The success of this course depends on active student participation. Absences will only be excused after a Special Consideration Request (explained below) has been submitted and approved. In addition to regular attendance, students must also actively participate in class discussions and activities. The lectures will rely in part on student contributions when discussing readings and course concepts. Failure to participate regularly or to complete readings and assignments will result in deductions from your participation grade. Students will receive weekly participation points based on attendance, engagement in discussions, and participation in in-class activities. Students must demonstrate their ability to articulate well-reasoned and well-supported analysis of the reading material assigned each week and respond meaningfully and considerately to the ideas of their classmates. Students are expected to attend each class in its entirety. Due: Ongoing CCT395H5F - Ashby, James 2023-05-06 09:33:31 Page 3 of 9
Page1of 9
Uploaded by SuperTiger3830 on coursehero.com