• A Gathering, with and without Avatars: exploring the feminist play of learning with games
Week of 22 October:
“A Gathering, with and without Avatars” is inspired by the Feminists in Games Workshop which takes place in British Columbia. For A Gathering you will create either • a paper (with enough handouts for each member of the class) or • a poster (and document it with digital pics): which one determined by lot early in the semester. You may work on these individually or with a partner.
With the help of three books (McGonigal, Reed, Flanagan) you will “Grow a Game,” and discuss its feminist implications. • Identify a theme from the book that most captures your imagination, interconnect it with ideas from the other two, • make your game, and • share in either poster or written analysis why it matters for feminist learning. ALWAYS make a point of connecting projects to class readings, activities, and discussions. ALWAYS use a standard model for citation and bibliography, even on posters. NOTICE how useful the website Not Your Mama’s Gamer will be here!
Tuesday of Gathering week, we will meet during class time to share our projects, displaying posters and handouts on the walls of our room, walk and talk one-on-one with each other, share questions, observations, excitements! On that Thursday, we will continue to work with the energy generated by the first day of the con, collectively coming up with reflective analysis and more ideas for what comes next!
Full credit for each set of con assignments requires: • having begun work several weeks ahead of time, • writing and postering in several drafts, • displaying paper & handout or poster during first day of con and • actively participating both days of the con, • turning in electronic copies of poster pics or paper and handout to Katie’s gmail account by class time Thursday of the week of the con (you are allowed to revise anything between the two classes, but what you bring in on Tuesday should still be like a final version and complete), • and documenting each piece of the assignment as completed in your logbook, which must be turned in electronically with everything else by the evening of Friday of the week of the con for credit. If for any reason whatsoever you miss any piece of this, you will need to document that in your logbook, with explanations, and perhaps notes of any discussions you have with Katie about it all. If you miss either day of the con, you will need to arrange with three fellow students your own little mini-con, where you all meet together outside class to share your work and discuss it, and you write a two-page report on your meeting and discussion.
• Gaia: Worlding and feminist action
Week of 19 November:
|Gaia Union: peer to peer worlding: click image|
With the help of Nardi, Pearce & Artemesia, or Taylor, you will analyze feminist processes of play, worlding and games as activist actions. You will either begin from • the most urgent feminist issue you care about, exploring gaming and/or virtual world practices that might speak to it; or you will begin from • your own most valued game or virtual world, and analyze its possibilities for the feminist values you most care to embody. ALWAYS make a point of connecting projects to class readings, activities, and discussions. ALWAYS use a standard model for citation and bibliography, even on posters. NOTICE how useful the website Not Your Mama’s Gamer will be here! You may also want to use the web to follow-up or look in greater detail at the kinds of worldings feminisms explore today and ways all of these are promoted in popular and scholarly media.
Remix additions: flip cameras at WMST: Papers and posters may include a range of media creativities, in addition to their analytic aspects. Media fandoms are known for creative work: drawing, mashups, remix, vids, machinima, and more. Any of these may be ADDED to a project if you like. Women’s Studies now has a library of flip cameras for video projects, and you can check one out for a week at a time on a first come, first served basis. Notice that these techno-crafty things are enhancements to the basic project, not a substitute for one, or the only platform! They must be accompanied by a paper or poster no matter what. This is an opportunity to enjoy media learning in alternative forms, but these additions are entirely at your own discretion and pleasure!
Exploring these topics and themes as if at a con means that by attending and listening we will all benefit from the hard work of everyone. Notice that both sorts of projects in both cons should be begun several weeks ahead of their due dates. Not only do you need this time to do any additional research or reading, but to get good grades you need to • write papers in at least three drafts, and • plan out posters carefully to demonstrate both the results of your research and also how you got to those results.
Obviously attending class faithfully and taking good notes will make all this work a lot easier. Lecture materials are displayed on the class website, to be reviewed at any time. In college courses ALWAYS use your projects to demonstrate how you uniquely put together, or synthesize, class readings, mini-lectures and discussion. Make a point of displaying that you are doing all the reading and attending all the classes. Doing this clearly and carefully will demonstrate that this is your own work, and ensure your credit for honesty and for real engagement with the course.