Gaming Collaborative Proposal (Raven & Anthony)

For the proposal assignment, Anthony and I have decided to collaborate utilizing prompts 8 & 9 to envision a gaming based project partly inspired by our upcoming Ivanhoe project. It will attempt to address the intersections of online spaces, education, representation, and equity/accessibility through digital tools in learning spaces.

This work will attempt to challenge the Digital Humanities to further the importance of expanded representation of perspectives of marginalized voices outside of the traditional westernized cannon of scholarly essay writing. Excluding race and intersections of gender, culture, ableism, disability and sexuality from public discussions through erasure and acceptance of larger discourses of colorblindness contribute to problematic understandings of video games as a cultural medium, and their significance in contemporary social, political, economic and cultural organization.

In reference to the Ivanhoe readings “Play”, and “Ivanhoe:Education in a New Key”| Romantic Circles, I’m interested in drawing from Amanda Phillips’ syllabus and her critical work in finding the connections between written and game based narrative expressions. I’m also intrigued by point 5 of the second text explaining the significance of resisting the traditional assumptions of self-identity of a particular text or cultural work through re-thinking the field of “texuality” and its interdisciplinary possibilities in how we can work with source material. (Ivanhoe, 2) We will also be looking at Kishonna Gray’s “Race, Gender, and Deviance in Xbox Live:Theoretical Perspectives from the Virtual Margins” & “Live in Your World, Play in Ours’: Race, Video Games, and Consuming the Other” by David Leonard as a contextual approach to understanding the cultural approaches to avoid and utilize in our own gaming project.

Specifically, I want to focus on the power of identity and aims to provide a perspective of what is possible in using games to expand the pedagogical scope of interactive mediums as a tool for learning and re-creating the standards of knowledge production in higher education. To do this Anthony and I will be referencing small-scale games made via Twine and Unity which explores various perspectives/themes that can spark inquiry in imagining how games can be a tool for individualized expression. For the purposes of my side of the proposal I will be emphasizing the gaming content, and related source material and Anthony (see his blog proposal) will be referencing DH pedagogical practices that can be theorized into game-building strategies to structure equality and dismantle power-dynamics in traditional classroom settings. Our larger goal being to also create a Twine game reflecting some of our own experiences as Latin(x), students in college settings and how game creation can be a cathartic experience in our own education.

Games: Homebound,  College Admissions Simulator, & Everything’s Fine

College Admissions Simulator


Everything’s Fine

I wanted to use these three games as a positive examples of some student projects that  can be easily incorporated into a Cyborgian classroom. These in particular were created by students at an Amherst College course titled “Video Games and the Boundaries of Narrative”with Marisa Parham I took last semester. The first is a group collaboration I was involved in, the College Simulator is intended to allow the player to think critically about the desensitizing process involved in the college admissions process. In thinking of the differences between inclusivity and equity, the categorization of students based on class, race, gender, and economic standing greatly blurs the lines of how colleges interpret and sell the “diverse” college experience. I enjoy sharing this game with students because it allows them to think outside their own experience, and into an aspect of a perspective which has systematically determined and shaped the lives of many students of colors attempting to center an institution which has historically excluded them from being included into higher education. Alternatively, Everything’s Fine explores the usage of “Mechanics as Metaphors” which portrays the immersive experience of a 1st generation college student managing their mental health and cultural expectations of leaving home to pursue a college education.  

One thought on “Gaming Collaborative Proposal (Raven & Anthony)

  1. I’m really excited to see you dig into the topic of play as a pedagogical mode, and specifically one that can explore issues of identity and cultural difference. You nicely articulate a wide range of objects to analyze and secondary literature that will contextualize them. I’m still not totally clear on the final product you plan to submit. Are you writing an essay that examines existing games, or designing a game that is in dialogue with the examples you’ve designed recently in other courses? After reading Anthony’s proposal, it seems like you’re interested in game design, but there’s a lot of energy devoted to describing the secondary literature and the broader contexts of games/pedagogy/negotiating difference. I’m very enthusiastic about the topic, broadly speaking, but want to make sure that y’all are on a path to something doable in the timeframe that is clearly articulated so you don’t get stuck or overwhelmed by the breadth of issues you’re taking on. Perhaps we can continue the discussion via email sometime prior to Thursday?

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