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Blog Post #5: Reflection on Mantrap

[I know I’m late posting this, so your response will not be due until Monday at 5pm!]

To focus your reflection on our gameplay of Billy Budd, I would like you to write a post of the usual length that reckons with the following three questions (you can either write three responses or weave the three questions into a single mini-essay):

  1. How did your reading of the text change by virtue of looking at it through a single “window”** (i.e., the POV of your character or persona)? What did you learn about the novel by playing this role rather than simply reading the text?
  2. What are the pleasures and frustrations of “playing” a novel, rather than reading it? What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you deal with them?
  3. If you were to play again, what would you do differently? Would you pick another role? What moves would you change? What different moves might you make?

**Henry James famous likened the novel genre to a “house of fiction” that “has in short not one window, but a million — a number of possible windows not to be reckoned, rather; every one of which has been pierced, or is still pierceable, in its vast front, by the need of the individual vision and by the pressure of the individual will.”

Billy Budd, Gamified

Our next unit will focus on Billy Budd reimagined via the Ivanhoe concept we’ll be discussing tomorrow. I’ve invited you to a site I’ve created to host our game and created an initial game to serve as a sandbox. Check out the documentation, which is aimed at instructors more than students, but has useful descriptions of how to set up roles, make moves, add to others’ moves, comment on moves, etc.

I’ll keep adding stuff to the site, and we’ll start a fresh game next week, once we start hacking out who is going to play what role. I’ll also share some guidelines re: evaluation, expectations, tutorials, etc. And we’ll meet in the library on Tuesday next week (as well as for two additional sessions in subsequent weeks), so you’ll have access to a computer, tech support (well, me), and support for research (one or two librarians will join us and help you locate good sources for your roles).