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Course Designer and Instructor: Anne-Marie Schleiner

[Intermediate Digital Imaging
, Winter Term 2001, UC Irvine]

Course Description:

  The course will investigate various ways that active cultural production by gamers functions as art. The course will begin with creative exercises in game character building and graphical avatar design with attention to identity, gendering and violence. Students will then be introduced to the digital folk art of game add-ons and asked to make artistic interventions in gaming culture. Avid participation in gamer fan culture often serves as a foundation for later game design in the gaming industry.

Evaluation:

 Projects:  (2 Projects 20% each)  40%
 Quizes:  (1 Quiz)  10%
 Participation:    10%
 Final Project:    40%

Software: Photoshop, Quake II or other shooter game
Hardware: PC

Syllabus:

Week1: Identity and Role Playing Games

 Reading: Sherry Turkle, "Identity in the Age of the Internet" from Life on the Screen, New York: Simon and Shuster, 1995.

 
 Day 1 [Jan 9]:

Present:

  1. Intro to Class
  2. Identity in online environments including IRC chat and MUD's
  3. Multiple Identies and Multiple Genders
  4. From table top Dungeons & Dragons to Online Graphical RPG's
  5. Tolkienesque Fantasy worlds

Activity:

  1. Assign D&D character project
 
 Day 2 [Jan 11]:

Present:

  1. movie: D&D

Activity:

  1. Play D&D Adventure

 

Week2: Identity and Role Playing Games

 Reading: Jullian Dibbell, "Samantha Among Others" in My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World,New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1998.

 
 Day 1 [[Jan 16]:

Present: Discussion Questions for Turkle Article

Activity:

  1. DISCUSS READING
  2. Play D&D Adventure

 

 
 Day 2 [Jan 18]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Critique, D&D character project DUE

Week3: Avatars and Gender Building: Monster Friendly

 Reading: Anne-Marie Schleiner, "Mutation.fem"

 
 Day 1 [Jan 23]:

Present:

  1. Show Tomb Raider on Playstation
  2. Player/avatar relations in terms of gender
  3. Lara Croft as visual fetish object of male gaze, as drag queen, as feminist role model
  4. Show female patched heroines
  5. The monster-friendliness of computer game culture
  6. Queer theory investigations of monstrous characters in horror and gothic genres

Activity:

  1. Avatar sketches.

 

 
 Day 2 [Jan 25]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Avatar sketches.

Week4: Avatars and Gender Building: Monster Friendly

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [Jan 30]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. DISCUSS READING
  2. Avatar sketches.

 

 
 Day 2 [Feb 1]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Avatar sketches.

Week5: Pixelated Blood and Shooter Games

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [Feb 6]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Critique, avatar storyboard sketches DUE

 

 
 Day 2 [Feb 8]:

Present:

  1. Julia Kristeva's abject
  2. From disgust to pleasure in digital carnage
  3. Judith Halberstam's monster skin wounds
  4. Social Aspects of Violent Shooters, LANs and Clans
  5. Links to Shooter Games
  6. Female Quake Clans
  7. How to play Quake Demo

 

Activity:Play Online Quake III--Newbies Paired with experienced Fraggers

Week6: Pixelated Blood and Shooter Games

 Reading: Amy Jo Kim, "Killers Have more Fun", and Judith Halberstam, "Bodies that Splatter: Queers and Chainsaws" in Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters, Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.

 
 Day 1 [Feb 13]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Play Online Quake III--Newbies Paired with experienced Fraggers
 
 Day 2 [Feb 15]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Play Online Quake III--Newbies Paired with experienced Fraggers

Week7: Pixelated Blood and Shooter Games

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [Feb 20]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. DISCUSS READING
  2. Play Online Quake III

 

 
 Day 2 [Feb 22]:

Present: none

Activity:

  1. Quake quiz

Week8: Artistic Interventions and the Digital Folk Art of Gamers

 Reading: "Game Patch--The Son of Scratch" by Erkki Huhtamo, Cracking the Maze online exhibit, Synworld Exhibit of Unreal Mods at Public Netbase, Axis "Gameshow" exhibit at Montevideo

 
 Day 1 [Feb 27]:

Present:

  1. Aesthetics of gaming environments in codified game genres
  2. Recent hacks of game engines by artists with fine art backgrounds
  3. Game Hacks by Gamers and by Artists as genre busters thematically and aesthetically
  4. How to Quake Skin Demo

 

Activity:

  1. Quake Skin Set (Final Project)

 

 
 Day 2 [March 1]:

Present: none

Activity

  1. Quake Skin Set.

Week9: Artistic Interventions and the Digital Folk Art of Gamers

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [March 6]:

Present: none

 

Activity:

  1. DISCUSS READING
  2. Quake Skins Set.

 

 
 Day 2 [March 8]:

Present: none

Activity

  1. Quake Skin Set.

Week10: Artistic Interventions and the Digital Folk Art of Gamers

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [March 13]:

Present: none

 

Activity:

  1. Quake skin set.

 

 
 Day 2 [March 15]:

Present: none

Activity

  1. Final Critique of Quake Skin Set

Week11: Artistic Interventions and the Digital Folk Art of Gamers

 Reading: none

 
 Day 1 [March 19-23: Final's Week]:

Present: none

 

Activity:

  1. none

 

 
 Day 2 [???]:

Present: none

Activity

  1. none