With the aid of a Course Development Grant from the Office of Undergraduate Studies, this past year I had the chance to develop a new course at the University of Pittsburgh, ENGLIT 1002 Critical Game Studies. As I may not likely get to teach this course anytime soon, I thought I would share the syllabus.
The course’s reading includes Tom Bissel’s Extra Lives (2010), Alexander R. Galloway’s Gaming (2006), Jesper Juul’s The Art of Failure (2013), McKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory (2007), and many interesting critical essays on play, narratology v. ludology, gender, empire, countergaming, and other related concerns. The majority of games on the syllabus are quite recent, and indie games in particular dominate, including (but not limited to): Between (2008), Braid (2008), Depression Quest (2013), Goat Simulator (2014), Papers, Please (2014), Sunset (2015), and The Stanley Parable (2013).
It has been a very busy past few months, and my links have suffered. But spring break has provided some lovely, unencumbered time, so here are many, many links (futilely) attempting to catch up with what’s been happening in the world. (In the interest of space, I’ve also passed over some of the more visible recent stories.)
Nuclear and Environmental
Paul Krugman, “Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial.”
Democracy Now, “Naomi Klein on Paris Summit: Leaders’ Inaction on Climate Crisis Is ‘Violence” Against the Planet.”
Adrienne LaFrance, “The Chilling Regularity of Mass Extinctions.”
Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism.
Sebastian Anthony, “Scientists Discover an Ocean 400 Miles Beneath Our Feet that Could Fill Our Oceans Three Times Over.”
Kylie Mohr, “Apocalypse Chow: We Tried Televangelist Jim Bakker’s ‘Survival Food.'”
Alex Trembath, “Are You and Upwinger or a Downwinger?”
Eric Bradner, “Newly Released Documents Reveal US Cold War Nuclear Target List.”