Week 2 Games to Play (Play by the start of week 3)

In the first week our game case studies included Crayon Physics (basic)and NES Games.I made mention of role playing card games like Magic, The Gathering to add to your references. We also looked at some examples of costume play ("cosplay") as a play activity and a cultural artifact. I exposed a few Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) to you as hybrid play and theater. If you want to know more about ARGs, visit Jane Mcgonigle's Avant Game. Her slogan reads "game design for the real world and game theory for real life." That should give you a sense for what she is pursuing. We also played, YHTBTR and the educational card game to remind us of the relationship between rules and engagement.

In week 2 we use role playing to begin our history of games. Extending what Zimmerman and Huizingha claim about the ritual of play, I'd like us to investigate a kind of lineage in role playing games. In class we play the historical genre of adventure, which embodies one dimension of the role playing experience. Adventure games were once one of the most popular game types, but their popularity fell precipitously by the late 90’s.   Contemporary role playing games do clearly owe some of their character to Adventure games, but it will serve us well to examine what made these games so engaging. 

Doom ScreenshotGames to Play this Week:

By the end of the week we move away from role playing and toward a contextualization of the historical trends.  The weekly game experience will be I Wanna Be the Guy, a 2007 game which relies heavily on your experience with historical 8-bit games (e.g. NES Games). This game can only be played on a PC, so please buddy up with a PC owner or use the in class solution. You will also play Doom, which may be played on Mac OS X but would be much easier to play on a Windows PC. Please follow the link to learn about your many options for playing the game. The first person shooter (FPS) game type will be important to future discussions, as we move from wand wielding fantasy role play to gun toting fantasy role play.





last revised: 8/31/09