The Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments

Due Date: 2/28 at noon

In D.B. Weiss' Lucky Wander Boy, Adam Pennyman is working to create what he calls The Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments, a collection of videogame reviews that analyze old games such as Pac-Man and Micro-Surgeon. The reviews are written in a very particular style, and D.B. Weiss seems to want to show us that Pennyman takes these games and their cultural implications very seriously (perhaps too seriously). Your task during this 750-1000 word paper (3-4 pages, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman) is to write your own entry for The Catalogue of Obsolete Entertainments, imitating Pennyman's style.

You will choose which game to write about, but it must be a game that could conceivably be in Pennyman's catalog. Our cutoff date for Adam's "classical" period is any game made up to and including 1983 (the year of the videogame crash). This means that you can't write about a contemporary videogame and that you'll have to do some research on older games. In addition, you can't write about any of the games that Pennyman writes about in Lucky Wander Boy. In addition to finding a game to review, you'll need to play that game (using any number of emulators online for old game systems) and conduct some research on it.

Your entry into the Catalogue should mimic Pennyman's style in terms of both how the review looks (providing technical specifications at the beginning, etc.) and his writing style. In class, we'll discuss some strategies for imitation.

This paper will represent 20% of your grade. When grading these papers, your TAs will be asking the following questions:

  • Have you chosen an appropriate game?
  • Does your catalogue entry demonstrate that you've researched and played the game?
  • Does your entry look like those composed by Pennyman? Is is formatted similarly?
  • Have you effectively imitated Pennyman's style and approach to reviewing games?
  • Is your entry generally well written and free of grammatical errors?

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