#NetNarr Game On!

Welcome Back

We are back #NetNarr! …and we are building some momentum now that we have moved on to the game phase of the #NetNarr experience. I have enjoyed getting back into the swing of things this week, and opening up a thoughtful discussion.  We kicked off our game unit with an informal poll of what kind of gamers we might be?

Our 1st week discussing Video Games

We have also thought about why it might be an important undertaking to study games, and we have considered who might be studying games, and for what reasons.  As Espen Aarseth has claimed, “2001 Can be seen as the Year One of Computer Games Studies as an emerging, viable, international, academic field.”  This week we have also looked at the the concept of play (nod to Ian Bogost); everyday game discourse; and we have taken a brief glimpse at the game industry (looking into the value chain of game development, revenue trends, and currents that are shaping game development (from the AAA enterprise to diverse indie game contexts).  In addition, we began a consideration of what makes a game?, and we have looked at many theoretical approaches to this question.  In addition, we took a look at early video game history.  This timeline/infographic is particularly helpful in pin-pointing formative moments in the history of the video game. I am including here the slides from my lectures on March 6th and March 8th here.

Peer Game Showcase

I am most excited to hear from all of you, and we have launched the Peer Game Showcase that will last for the month of March (up through our Easter Break).  Kudos to Patrick (#NetNarr student and game developer) who kicked off our peer presentations with a glimpse into the game developer world.  So many thoughtful insights.  I especially enjoyed his discussion of ludo-narrative dissonance, which I imagine is a significant challenge when designing a great game in a team context.

Patrick has been very kind in arranging a #NetNarr field trip, set for April 3rd.  (On that date, I will be in California giving a talk at Berkeley Center for New Media at UC Berkeley).  It is wonderful that you will all have the opportunity that day to visit the game development studio Rain Games here in Bergen (with Patrick as host).  Rain Games AS is a Norwegian independent video game developer forged from a cooperative community of local artists and programmers.  I can’t think of more intriguing field trip to add to our game phase of the course, and my only regret is that I won’t be able to visit with all of you that day.  That said, I will make a separate visit for sure.  Since there are so many of you in class, not everyone can attend this outing, so by first-come-first-serve basis, please sign up here if you are interested in attending that day during class time that day (3/4).

Some Reminders

Some reminders for keeping up with our #NetNarr journey:

-This week you should be completing your 5th blog by Sunday.  As always, your reflection should pick up on some aspect of this week’s material.

-For next week, we will be continuing our discussion of game history, and thinking about game aesthetics and culture (covering Understanding Video Games, Chps 5 & 6).

-Remember to participate in our active #Netnarr backchannel on twitter.  There have been some pretty exciting spin-off activities there and plenty of resources shared.  Not too mention…the #ddas that are always clever and fun to check out and share out!

We will continue our Peer Game Showcase this coming week, hearing some thoughts on specifics games from Thomas, Daniel, Eirik on Tuesday March 13th, and Elias & Rikke on Thursday March 15th.  Really looking forward to this!

Oh…and the week after next we have a special #NetNarr date ;)!

God helg…  See you Tuesday 😉





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