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PROJECT 4: GAMES AS RESEARCH

Due by 11:59pm on Friday May, 8th

The assignment for this segment brings together everything we’ve discussed and you’ve learned through your research this semester. Because you’ll be working with others, this assignment will also provide experience in creating group-authored texts and will require some consideration as to how this dynamic affects your positions as rhetors. The written justification will allow you space to reflect upon rhetorical matters such as this, as well as to discuss initial intentions and the actual outcomes of the project.

 

Directions:

For this assignment, you will be part of a group that creates a game based on some aspect of your selected topic. The game can take any form the group decides: a board game, a card game, a videogame, a game that requires physical activity (a la “red rover”), et cetera. It should in some way address the problems or issues of the topic through its systems or rules.

 

Part of the intended goal of this assignment is for the group to identify gaps in knowledge and to fill those gaps with research. These could be gaps in knowledge of the topic itself or of how to build a game. There are many, many resources available (including me, remember), and an important aspect of this assignment is to recognize when you need more information and know how to find it. 

Your group will have time in class to work together, but you should delineate work to be completed outside of class as well. Because so much work will be done in class, attendance is vitally important to your success (and the success of your group) during this segment. This segment will conclude with a group presentation of your project.

Due to the creative and technical nature of the assignment, there are no specific guidelines that all projects must adhere to. In other words, there is no set number of levels or mechanics or hours of play required to get a good grade. Instead, I'm looking for projects the engage with the topic of research through the affordances of the genre of games. As you move throughout the process, focus on developing the ideas surrounding your design choices. 

 

In addition to the game, there are three more aspects to this assignment:

 

The progress report:

On Wednesday 4/22, your group will complete a short progress report in class. This report is designed to not only inform me of where you are in the process, but to help you look ahead to the work that is yet to be done and perhaps reassess your workflow. You will have only four more class periods after we return to complete the project. We will discuss the particulars of this genre on that day.

 

The presentation:   

In a manner decided upon by your group, you will present your final project to the class. You should inform us on the topic that the game addresses, how it does so, and who the intended audience is. You should also plan to provide a demonstration of the game.

 

The Postmortem (Reflection)

A videogame postmortem is a document composed by developers after the development of a game has finished. In it, they reflect on the process, on what went right and wrong, and what they might have done differently. For this part of the assignment, you will collaborate with your group to compose a postmortem for your game. It should explain the relationship between the game and the topic, address any discrepancies between your plans and the final results, and finally, include a statement from each group member about what they learned from the process either about the topic or the act of research itself. 

Time Commitment: ~24 hours

Project 4: Games as Scholarly Research: News
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