Archive for the ‘Art History of Videogames’ Category

Next Monday, we will discuss the history of games and where art games fall within this timeline. But first, you’ll need an overview of the history of games. That will come through Game On: The Unauthorized History of Video Games, a program broadcast by MSNBC. It’s not perfect, and has quite a few errors and omissions, but it’s by no means terrible and is one of the most concise histories available (there is also plenty of historical footage, and is worth watching for that alone!). The complete video is about an hour and a half long. For educational viewing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tOOhITaGNs – Part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncgEo_yTi1Y – Part 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEMZ3X_wAO0 – Part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Is02AkCuLx8 – Part 4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7idfiqO8Ubw – Part 5
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2IDq8dd6ss – Part 6
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GD-MWa2W1M – Part 7
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oSxscsP7Xg  – Part 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waUk4Ydx8Es – Part 9


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There are two categories of readings for this class. The vast majority of your readings will be free to play (links listed in your syllabus), but there are some you will have to purchase. All of the games are available online, and with the exception of A Slow Year, can be purchased and downloaded immediately (allow 3-5 business days to receive A Slow Year).

*You can also get The Path, The Graveyard, and Fatale (which we won’t be covering) in the Tale of Tales Complete Pack ($21.97). You are not required to purchase the full version of The Graveyard.

**For $2 more, you can grab Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and Portal in The Orange Box for 19.99.

***Alpha version of the final build. The game will probably not be completed by the time we get to it, but you will be able to play the final version and any updates as they are created.

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Here is your first assignment! You will be reading two opposing points surrounding the art and games debate.

Thomas, David. (2009). “Games are Not Art.” Crispy Gamerhttp://www.crispygamer.com/features/2009-09-30/games-are-not-art.aspx

Ebert, Roger. (2010). “Okay Kids, Play on My Lawn.” Sun Timeshttp://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/07/okay_kids_play_on_my_lawn.html

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Welcome to AH3000: Art History of Videogames! This is the beginning of the fall 2011 semester.

Flyer for the Art History of Games Conference, February 2010

This is the second time this course has been offered at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, and one of the few times a course of its kind has been offered anywhere in the world. The Fall 2010 course was very successful, and I am excited to be offering this class again! I look forward to working with you for the rest of the year!

Below is a PDF of the course syllabus, should you lose yours or need one for your records (the links are also easier to access). Updates and daily course activities and assignments will be posted here, so keep your eyes peeled for more information!

AH 3000 – Art History of Videogames 11.8.21

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I’d like to thank everyone for the great semester! We had a great class, and I was glad to see everyone so interested in the material! Due to the positive feedback, I will be offering the course again next Fall, along with Introduction to Game Design.

Remember that your papers are due on Monday when we will be here for finals during our regular hours from 10:50-12:05. Make sure you bring in your paper! I cannot accept any late papers (excepting of course major interfering circumstances), so make sure to be here! After that, you can stick around and play Katamari or Shadow of the Colossus or head out to work on your next final…

If you would like your paper back, bring me a self-addressed manila envelope with proper postage affixed. Otherwise, I will send you feedback through your e-mail, so attach the appropriate e-mail address to your paper.

Beyond this, thank you again, and have a GREAT vacation!

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Next week is our final week of classes! You have one more set of readings. We will be looking at Brenda Brathwaite’s Train, a game about the Holocaust. Second to Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, Train is the most controversial game we will look at this semester. Unfortunately, there is only one copy of this game, and it is at an exhibit in California, so we can’t play it. However, there is a fantastic lecture by Brenda about Train that was conducted at the GDC and is available for free viewing. Brenda received a well-deserved standing ovation.

I also had the opportunity to play Train at the Art History of Games conference in Atlanta back in February and wrote an extensive analysis of the game on my other blog that can give you a sense of what it is like to play the game and how it works. Michael Samyn also has a comment at the end of the blog that is worth reading.

Incidentally, lectures from the Art History of Games conference are also available on YouTube, courtesy of Georgia Tech, including Brenda’s talk on One Falls for Each of Us.

Dec 6 – Train

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Your final paper will be about a topic of your choosing.

Submit a paper proposal regarding what you want your thesis and paper topic to be. You will apply critical game studies and materials learned within this class towards games we studied. You should submit your proposal by November 29.

Additional requirements:

  • Minimum length: 6-10 full pages, double-spaced.
  • Includes citations in APA format, using models from the syllabus.
  • Within the paper, discuss at least one art game covered on the syllabus.
  • This paper is worth 30% of your grade.

Though the paper is due at the end of the semester, the sooner you get your idea approved, the more time you will have to work on it!

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