MAIN QUEST: Zelda, GamerGate, and Open-world Gaming

To complete this quest:

  • Attend class regularly throughout the semester (this means having fewer than six absences).
  • Play Fortnight: Battle Royale.
  • Play Depression Quest.
  • Play Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • Earn at least 70 of the 100 points that may be earned during in-class activities. In-class activities may include reading quizzes, group work, turning in or reporting on homework assignments, or participation checks. Point values for in-class activities will not be announced beforehand and you must be present to earn points. To earn these points, you’ll need to keep up with the schedule below. (Note that the schedule is tentative and may change with the needs of the class.)

 

 

 

Week Topic What to prepare before class each Monday
(any materials that are not linked are available in Blackboard)

Jan. 7 & 9
What is gaming For Wednesday:

Read “What Exactly is a Game” in Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken.

Play the Oregon Trail Simulator.

Jan. 14 & 16
Open-access gaming Read “The Most Important Video Game on the Planet” by Brian Feldman.

Read “Fortnite’s 50 v 50 mode is teaching players how to be less selfish” by Nick Statt,

Read “I Played Fortnite and Figured Out the Universe” by Robin Sloan.

Familiarize yourself with Fortnite if you don’t already know the game.

Plan to attend an event sponsored the Women’s and Gender Office by April 8. [Hint:  this assignment will have significant MQ points attached to it. You don’t want to miss this one.]

NOTE: WGO Director Ashley Harzog Cleland will visit on Jan. 16–bring your questions!

Jan. 23 Open-source gaming Read “Gaming Goes Beyond Gaming” by James Paul Gee and Elisabeth R. Hayes in Women and Gaming.

Read “Cliches versus Women” in Adrienne Shaw’s Gaming At the Edge.

Familiarize yourself with Depression Quest if you don’t already know the game.

Jan. 28 & 30
Gaming cultures and franchises Read “What if Zelda Wasn’t a Girl?” by Chris Lawrence in Todd Harper and Megan Blythe’s Queerness in Play.

Watch “Heroes, Princesses, and Pigs, OH MY!” from Zelda Universe.

Go by the ECU Women and Gender Office in the new Student Center and pick up some literature (e.g. a brochure, business card, flyer, etc.).

Jan. 30 = Gaming Day! Come ready to play.

Feb. 4 & 6
Open-world gaming Play until you either find a sword or activate the tower in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Remember using walkthroughs is okay! (Time est. minimum: 10 min.) Read the first third of Ready Player One.
Feb. 11 & 13
Open-world gaming and culture-building Play until you enter a shrine in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. (Time est. minimum: 20 min.) Read the second third of Ready Player One.

Feb. 13 = Gaming Day! Come ready to play.

Feb. 18 & 20
Open-world gaming and culture-building Play until you can leave the Great Plateau in Zelda: Breath of the Wild. (Time est. minimum: 2 hours) Finish Ready Player One.

Feb. 20:: Visit from GAMEP.L.A.Y. event organizers Gera Miles and Dion Dail.

Feb. 25 & 27
Gender studies in gaming Read “Contextualizing Player Two” by Shira Chess in Ready Player Two.

Read “Racism, Sexism, and Gaming’s Cruel Optimism” by Lisa Nakamura (later published in Identity Matters: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Game Studies,  by Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea M. Russworm).

Midterm Check-in

Feb. 27: Visit from Zelda Universe’s Alan-Michael Skirnick

March 4 Play games for fun! Spring Break
March 11 & 13
Transmedia and queer gaming Debrief from midterm check-in; revisiting saved discussion questions.

March 13: PhD Candidate Kim Thompson and Nicole Thompson will visit to talk about what it’s like to be LGBTQ feminists who identify as gamers

March 18 & 20
Representation and identity Read “Beyond Modality” by William P. Banks.

Read “Not So Straight Shooters” by Nicholas Taylor and Shira Chess in Nicholas Taylor and Gerald Voorhees’s Masculinities in Play.

March 20 = Gaming Day! Come ready to play.

March 25 & 27
Participatory culture and digital composition Read “The Representation (or the Lack of It) of Same-Sex Relationships in Digital Games” by Yowei Kang and Kenneth C. C. Yang in Todd Harper and Megan Blythe’s Queerness in Play.

In-class: Watch Henry Jenkins TED talk

Play until you can enter Gerudo Town in Zelda: Breath of the Wild
OR
Watch this YouTube video about entering Gerudo Town

April 1 & 3
Culture-building and community knowledge-making Read “Becoming a Player” by T. L. Taylor in Kafai, Heeter, Denner, and Sun’s Beyond Barbie & Mortal Kombat.

April 1 – MQ activity for significant points

April 3 = Gaming Day! Come ready to play.

April 8 & 10
Digital composition and community knowledge-making Read “With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility” by Lena Uszkoreit in Kishonna L. Gray, Gerlad Voorhees, and Emma Vossen’s Feminism in Play.

In-class: Watch Catt Small Ted talk

Be prepared to discuss the WGO event you attended and how you connected it to this class.

April 8 – MQ activity for significant points

Part of class on April 10 will be devoted to the round robin discussion for the Digital Composition Side Quest

April 15 & 17
Difficulty settings and privilege NO CLASS MEETING MONDAY APRIL 15. INSTEAD, for attendance credit, complete this survey no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.

On Wednesday, Ms. Burroughs will lead a discussion of the assigned readings below.

April 17 – MQ activity for significant points

Read “Straight White Male” by John Scalzi.

Read “Queer Female of Color: The Highest Difficulty Setting There Is? by Lisa Nakamura (from Ada: a Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No. 1. 2012).

OPTIONAL: Read “Women’s Experiences on the Path to a Career in Game Development” by Johanna Weststar and Marie-Josée Legault in Kishonna L. Gray, Gerlad Voorhees, and Emma Vossen’s Feminism in Play.

April 22
FLEX DAY – Activities TBA

All quests must be complete before the end of class April 22.

FINAL 2-4:30 Monday April 29
We will use our finals period to troubleshoot any grade concerns and to wrap up the class.