Gamecast: Candy Crush and Habituation

This podcast episode, by Jasmine and Graciela, details the game Super Smash Bro. Brawl. The episode goes into explaining the features of the game as well comparing and contrasting the game to other fighting games. Why do people keep playing this game continually? We turn to Ian Bogost’s chapter on Habituation and how the certain aspects of the game pull players back in for more to answer that question.


The indie band The Decemberists has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a board game called Illimat that they helped to design, along with Portland game designer Keith Baker and publisher Twogether Studios.

The band began to design the game by accident in 2009, as part of the production of a music video for the album The Hazards of Love. They were doing what most bands do in preparation for such an event: trying out new hairstyles, inviting people to be in their band, and participating in photoshoots. They were searching about for something to do in a photoshoot when they decided to pretend to be a secret society that met in out-of-the-way places to play a strange, inscrutable board game. They tasked Carson Ellis (Colin Meloy’s wife and a renowned illustrator and artist in her own right) and photog Autumn DeWilde to make a game board for a prop. Then once they had the game board they got into games more while on their various tours and decided they should make a real game to go along with their board.

Here’s another video, of Chris Funk from the band playing through the game on an episode of One Shot:

Perhaps something in all of this sparks some podcast episode ideas or raises questions for you about games and gaming?

Unpacking Manuel’s Revisions

By sometime Thursday 10/6 publish the revised version of your Unpacking Manuel’s analysts as a page on your site. Included underneath that page should be at least two subpages — the draft that you completed on 9/22 and the research process write-up that you completed at the same time.

Once your revised page is up, publish a post on your blog that reflects on what you learned from drafting and revising. That post should include a link to the new final version of your essay. It should also include one or more links to the learning outcomes that you’ve addressed over the course of this assignment (notice that each learning outcome is its own individual post, with its own unique permalink).

Gamecast: Cytus and Music

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In this episode of Gamecast, Cindy and Niky discuss the game Cytus, analyzing its plot and mechanics. We also raise the very important question: does playing a music game help a person learn a real instrument? We hope you enjoy!

Gamecast: Don’t Starve and Reverence

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Listen in to our conversation about the survival game Don’t Starve. While Don’t Starve certainly might come across as a leisure game with its cute style and cynical mini monologues, there is much more to it. The game tests your creativity and forces you to think outside the box about where to find resources. You have to think again about how one person can affect the world and the impact of your actions. To check out how all of it is presented within the game and how it ties to Ian Bogost, click play!

Week Ahead: 7

7 10/4 The Stanley Parable
Develop rubric for Unpacking Manuel’s
Discuss first two podcast episodes
10/6 The Beginner’s Guide
Begin literacy narrative assignment
10/7 Podcast episodes 3 & 4 due

I’ve updated the schedule some, partly to correct my mistake on fall break next week and also to stretch out discussion time for the games this week.

Come to class having played through Stanley Parable — there is a free demo available on Steam that gives you enough sense of the game for our class discussion but it is a classic independent game so I encourage you to buy the full version and play it. We will also spend time in class developing the rubric that I will use to grade your final revisions of the Manuel’s Tavern assignments. I’m waiting for the recording of the podcast intro before I publish the first two episodes — expect them to go up on Monday. I’ll embed them in posts here. Listen to them before class on Tuesday and we’ll discuss those too.

For Thursday, we’ll discuss Davey Wreden’s follow-up to Stanley Parable, Beginner’s Guide. I’ll also give you the assignment for the literacy narrative assignment and you’ll start working on that.


Podcast Graphic


I put together the above playlist graphic for Gamecast, based on the graphic I made last year and this tweet from the Firewatch photobooth at Pax West earlier this month:

If there are suggestions for revision or objections, leave a comment on this post and let me know.

Firewatch: The Feature Film

I had not seen this article when we talked yesterday about what it would take to adapt Firewatch into a film:

Good Universe is teaming with independent video game developer and publishing company Campo Santo to develop content for both video games and feature films.

The companies will create a home for talent to develop projects that can bridge both the video game and feature film worlds. Their first project with be a film adaptation of Campo Santo’s first video game, Firewatch.

Work Cited

Ford, Rebecca. “Good Universe, Campo Santo Team Up for Video Game, Movie Slate.” Hollywood Reporter. 26 Sept. 2016.

Week Ahead: 6

6 9/25


Peer review on Manuel’s Tavern Due
9/27 Firewatch Day 2

Bogost HTDTWV “Art” (redux) & “Empathy”

9/29 Freshman Year
9/30 Podcast episodes 1 & 2 due

This weekend, you should read the Unpacking Manuel’s project by one of the classmate that I assigned to you and provide feedback to them. Instructions for the feedback here.

Also, sign up for an individual conference with me here if you haven’t already. We’ll meet for 30 minutes sometime this week to discuss revisions of your Unpacking Manuel’s draft. Currently, conferences are scheduled to run from Monday through Thursday, but I might add times on Friday too, if necessary.

By class on Tuesday, finish Firewatch if you haven’t already and check out some of the resources I posted for that day’s discussion, especially Duncan Fyfe’s essay “The End of Firewatch.”

Thursday’s game, Freshman Year, is web-based so there is no need to download and install anything. Be aware that the game depicts scenarios that may be distressing to people who have experienced abuse, so pay attention to your own reactions as you play the game.

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