Adaptations Posts & Presentations (pdf)
Adaptations Presentation & Post 1000 words due
November 2, 2010
Visualization Post & Post 500 words due
November 4, 2010
Over the next two weeks, we will
discuss play, rules, critical apparatus, and gaming. Prof. James
Morgan should be able to help us establish what it is to play,
and then also play using New Media. For this set of
presentations and forum posts, you will create your own game.
Choose a work of literature that you
find moving, satisfying, or well-written and describe the rules
of a game version of its stories, characters, or themes. You may
find that considering how to adapt a work of literature for a
game is very different from speculating about making a film
adaptation, although you may have to think about what characters
would look like or how the writer's prose could be condensed
into script format.
You do not have to design a videogame
in which the action is represented digitally on a computer
screen: you may choose to adapt the book as a board game, card
game, physical game, alternative reality game, etc. But the game
does need to have rules and a way to keep score or register
winning and losing. It should also be a good game, which you
would find engaging to play that invites participation.
You may chose to focus on the
instructive rather than entertaining aspects of the work of
literature and consider how best to persuade players how to
eliminate the evils that the author is portraying, such as
slavery in Huckleberry Finn or Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Or you may want to use the game to encourage players to see
possible counternarratives or ideological issues that the writer
conceals, such as the place of English imperialism and
colonialism in the works of Jane Austen or Daniel Defoe.
Whatever you do, you should choose the
genre of your game very carefully to suit the aims of your
adaptation. You could design a story-based adventure game with
levels and a clear objective, such as the independent game
Samorost (where you can try out a partial version
online). Or a game that is much more about atmosphere and visual
setting, such as the independent game
Cloud, or even about a soundscape. Perhaps you imagine a
game in which one player tries out different combinations in
order to figure out the rules, such as the casual game
Grow Cube. Or perhaps you want to choose a massively
multiplayer online role-playing game in which there is a lot of
knowledge-sharing among players to supplement the already
generous exposition about rules that is provided by the game
itself. You can look at
Runescape to see an example of a free, popular, multiplayer
online game. All of these examples are PC games that use a
keyboard as an input device, but you may choose to develop an
adaptation of your work of literature that involves a game
controller, such as a PlayStation, Wii, or Xbox.
The first part of the assignment
requires that you write a 1000-word description about your game.
The second part of the assignment requires that you visualize
your game using static or moving images and write a 500-word
description to accompany the visual images. For this section of
the assignment, you may use original or found art, images,
photographs, etc. to display your ideas. Because you will have
to accumulate those images somewhere, you might consider
uploading them to an online environment like Picasa.
On November 2, be prepared to
present a 5 minute description of your game.
On November 4, be prepared to
present a 5 minute demonstration of the images for your
We will divide this work into two days of presentations:
On November 2, post a 1000-word description of your game is due
by 10am in the appropriate Moodle Forum.
On November 4, post a 500-word
description of your visualizations is due by 10am in the
appropriate Moodle Forum.
A letter grade for each
presentation will be based on your ability to communicate the
ideas about your game. Up to 9 points will be given for each
written post based on your ability to convey the complexity of
your ideas in a written format.