Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together. Link here to Perusall.

Instructions for joining on the Week 1: Getting Situated page.

Writing together

We will our work in a Currents Community to share and respond to ideas.

Instructions for joining on the Week 1: Getting Situated page.

Make Cycle 7: “The Game’s Afoot”

Make Cycle 7: “The Game’s Afoot”

Dec 2-16

In a nutshell:

  • By Friday, Dec 11: game ideas and reflection on process in Currents
  • By Wednesday, Dec 16: survey (link here)


I’m inviting you to spend the rest of our time together in a final Make cycle that I hope will be playful. Recently, our English Department Chair, Dr. Peter Kittle, was awarded a small grant to develop an interactive game for the English Department. Dr. Kittle, Dr. Corey Sparks, and I have been leading the effort to design the game. We are interested in the way games work in our culture to support community. If you think about it for a moment, we play a lot of games. We’ve most likely all played something: Monopoly or Scrabble or soccer or checkers or Lotería! or hide and seek. Many of us play video games, even game on a range of apps on our phones. Why? Why are people willing to play golf, for example (not me, but some people do. ;-))? The easiest way to put a small ball in a hole is to pick it up and place it there: why golf clubs and sand traps? You might take a few minutes to think about games you play: how are they structured? What do you like about them? What do games do for community building?

Our hope is that game design can do two things for English: 1) introduce students to the ideas, practices, ways of working in the English Department; and 2) build community among students and faculty beyond the classroom. Dr. Corey Sparks’ ENGL315 course will also be working on prototypes for the game. And, thank you to Dr. Sparks, who created the assignment here that I was able to modify for our class.

We will situate our brainstorming and game development in English Studies disciplinary knowledge more broadly and in Literacy Studies more narrowly. In other words, I invite you to make some cards, make a prototype game idea, or develop ideas for quests that draw from your knowledge in all your English and/or in our class in particular. I hope this work serves as a kind of reflection for our course: how can you take what you’ve learned and turn it into a game or a task for newcomers to English?

Support for this work (examples and readings):

  • Jane McGonigal’s 5 minute talk on role playing games: “Jane the Concussion Slayer”

What to do:

For this activity, create a prototype game card or set of cards, share an idea for a game you can imagine, or develop some quests for new English majors that would introduce them to the department and ideas in English. You can create cards or game pieces if helpful and take pictures to add to Currents. You can create art for the quests if that makes sense. Write a short (a few paragraphs) reflection and share your game ideas (and any relevant images) in Currents. The game prototype might be hand drawn or designed in a digital platform you like; it might directly address some concept, reading, or activity from our course relevant to literacy studies; it might address something from English studies more broadly, including literature, literacy, composition, rhetoric, linguistics, poetry, or fiction.

In the reflection, you might do one or more of the following: narrate your creative process in crafting the prototype; engage with one or more concepts from our readings (what about a quest that worked with the idea of Sponsors, for example?); touch on a text or concept from another English course; discuss how your prototype would foster community and/or appeal to English majors at Chico State.

Due: Friday, Dec 11 in Currents (25 points: you make a game and write a reflection and I’ll give you the points. ;-) )

Survey & Reflection: by Wednesday, Dec 16 (Final’s week)

20 points

Link for survey here

In lieu of my original plan for a reflection assignment, I’ve decided that we could accomplish a lot of what I’d like to learn from you about our course in a survey. This survey will include a portion where you talk about ideas for revision of the ethnography based on my feedback. So, instead of revising the essays themselves, I’ll ask you to talk through what you’d revise if you had more time. I think we can honor your thinking and your efforts by thinking through revision without a need to do the actual revision: you did lovely work with the data.