Professor: Jim Brown
Teaching Assistants: Brandee Easter, Rick Ness, Becca Tarsa
Meeting Place: 3250 Helen C. White

Lecture Meeting Time
Monday, 12:05pm-12:55pm

Lab Meeting Times
Section 301: Monday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Becca Tarsa)
Section 302: Monday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Becca Tarsa)
Section 303: Monday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Rick Ness)
Section 304: Wednesday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Rick Ness)
Section 305: Wednesday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Becca Tarsa)
Section 306: Wednesday, 1:20pm-2:10pm (Rick Ness)

Jim's Office: 6187E Helen C. White
Jim's Office Hours: M/W, 1:15pm-2:30pm [Make an Appointment]
Jim's Email: brownjr[at]wisc[dot]edu

Brandee's Office Hours: R 12:30pm-2:30pm
Office Hours Location: 7153 Helen C. White
Brandee's Email: bdeaster[at]wisc[dot]edu

Becca's Office Hours: W, 2:10pm-3:30pm
Office Hours Location: 3251 Helen C. White
Becca's Email: tarsa[at]wisc[dot]edu

Rick's Office Hours: M, 2:10pm-3:30pm
Office Hours Location: 3251 Helen C. White
Rick's Email: rness2[at]wisc[dot]edu

Course Website:

Course Objectives

  • Learn strategies for conducting close analysis of videogames and literature
  • Develop effective writing and design processes
  • Collaborate with others on writing and design projects

Required Texts, Games, and Equipment

Available at Rainbow Bookstore

  • Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  • First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan

Available at Amazon:

Available at various websites for various platforms:

Available at various websites and stores:

  • USB Flash Drive (at least 16GB)

Course Work
All course work will be uploaded to Learn@UW, and TAs will inform you of the proper procedures for doing so. The grade breakdown for work in this class is as follows (see the Assignments page for details):

  • 15% Attendance
  • 10% Livetweeting lectures
  • 10% Storify of one day's Lecture Tweets
  • 20% Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments Entry
  • 25% OASIS Twine Game (Group Project)
  • 20% Videogame Storify (Group Project)

Success in this class will require regular attendance. With adequate notice, absences resulting from religious observances and university-endorsed extracurricular activities will be excused. TAs will take attendance at the beginning of both lecture and lab meetings. You are required to attend class daily, arrive on time, do assigned reading and writing, and participate in all in-class work. Please save absences for when you are sick or have a personal emergency. If you find that an unavoidable problem prevents you from attending class or from arriving on time, please discuss the problem with your TA.

If you are more than 5 minutes late for class, you will be considered absent. If there is something keeping you from getting to class on time (i.e., you have a long trek across campus right before our class), please let your TA know during the first week of class.

Computers, Smartphones, etc.
Please feel free to use your computer or any other device during class, provided that your use of it is related to what we are working on in class. Please silence cell phones during class.

Late Assignments
Due dates for assignments are posted on the course schedule. TAs will not accept late work, and anything submitted after the deadline will receive a grade of zero.

Intellectual Property
All writing and design involves some level of appropriation - we cite the work of others and in some cases we even imitate that work. However, copying and pasting existing texts, having another student complete an assignment for you, or any other violations of UW's academic misconduct policy will result in a failing grade. If you have questions about the University of Wisconsin's Academic Misconduct policy, please see the Student Assistance and Judicial Affairs website.

Technology Policy
We will use technology frequently in this class. Although we are assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use a keyboard and mouse, and how to use the Web and check email, our use of technology will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help. If you are familiar with the technology we are using, please lend a helping hand to your classmates.

Course Website and Email
You should check your email daily. Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website will also have important information about assignments and policies. Pay close attention to the course calendar as we move through the semester. We reserve the right to move things around if necessary.

Contacting Instructors
If you have questions, you should first contact the TA assigned to your Lab section either in person or via email. If your TA cannot answer the question, s/he will contact Brandee or Jim for help. Emails to Jim, Brandee, Becca, or Rick must come from your email address. They must include a title explaining the email, a salutation (for example, "Dear Jim"), a clear explanation of what the email is about, and a signature.

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