[amended from Mark Sample]
As a field, videogame studies is in a rapid evolution. While only a handful of scholars, researchers, and designers were thinking about the social, economic, and political meaning of videogames a few years ago, a multitude of approaches have since come to the fore. This proliferation has resulted in a lively, ongoing conversation about videogames in a growing array of academic journals. The following assignment provides an opportunity to explore this conversation and to read deeper a single article that you find compelling or engaging.
1. Browse various journals and find that one article you think is worth a deeper, more attentive read. Here are some of the best sources for videogame criticism:
- Game Studies
- Games and Culture
- Well Played 1.0
- Digital Games Research Association
- Electronic Book Review
Check out different issues and volumes of these journals in order to get a sense of the breadth and depth of their coverage, the kinds of issues they tackle, and the disciplinary approaches they adopt. In time, hone in on a single article, one that resonates with you, one you find worth reading and sharing.
2. Read your chosen, primary article with care and thoroughness. Then, prepare a response of at least 500 words which addresses these questions:
- What is the context of the journal or publication? Who publishes it? Who is the primary audience?
- What particular scholarly conversation or debate is the article intervening in? That is, what previous findings or theories is this article attempting to refute, refine, or broaden? How do you know?
- What is the central claim or question of the article?
- What’s at stake in the article? Why is the finding important and what are its implications?
- What is your response to the article’s argument? Do you find it persuasive, unpersuasive, interesting, uninteresting? What part of the article seems the least convincing and what part makes the strongest case?
- What methodological approach does the researcher take? What kind of disciplines does he or she draw from (sociology, psychology, film studies, literary analysis, art history, and so on)? Can you imagine another approach to the same issues and questions?
- What questions come to mind as you read the article?
- How does the article’s claims give you traction for your own interests? Are there ways to play off, build upon, or refute the argument?
Be sure to include a full citation for the article at the beginning of your paper (including the URL). Your response is due as a Pen.io page by Tuesday, January 17, 2012.