Week ahead: 3

3 1/28 The Landlord’s Game” 99% Invisible podcast

What exactly is a game?” from Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal

  1/30 Play Depression Quest

Introduction to Critical Play” from Critical play: Radical Game Design by Mary Flanagan

Decide on Character name

Create WordPress site

  2/1   Side Quest 1: Avatar

In class on Monday we’ll discuss the definition of games that Jane McGonigal lays out and how it is similar to and different from the definition we came up with in class ourselves last week. We’ll also spend some time discussing the 99% Invisible podcast episode on Monopoly, both with regard to how it fits into our definitions but more importantly with how they go about analyzing this game as a rhetorical act itself. We will also spend a significant amount of time establishing some of the fundamental blocks for this class moving forward — devising your characters and building your own websites so you can publish your work.

Try to come to class on Wednesday having created your WordPress site. You will also come to class having played Depression Quest on your own. It’s a game (though some might call it more a piece of interactive fiction, so perhaps one point of discussion will be whether DQ even fits within our definition of a game) “where you play as someone living with depression. You are given a series of everyday life events and have to attempt to manage your illness, relationships, job, and possible treatment. This game aims to show other sufferers of depression that they are not alone in their feelings, and to illustrate to people who may not understand the illness the depths of what it can do to people.” We’ll discuss the rhetorical situation of the game and how effective this medium is for achieving its authors’ purposes. We will also discuss Mary Flanagan’s chapter, which is still another attempt at defining games, but is also an introduction to the concept of playing games critically. Hopefully, we will also begin to establish the groundwork for our own podcast series during this class period.


  1. The character I have chosen is Mario because I practically grew up playing that game and i believe most of the kids of my generation have also had the same experience. Mario, according to me, is sort of a leader of accepts challenges at every stage of the game and tries to combat those difficulties using different strategies. This is what I think of life in general. Hence, i chose Mario as my character.

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