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Social Media and Games | Blog

You are browsing the archive for 2011 November.

Metagame and Wrap-Up

November 30, 2011 4:12 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

Reflective Writing

There is a brief reflective writing prompt in place of a reading quiz this week. This is not the formal evaluation for this course, but it is a series of three questions that act as an end of semester survey. You will be graded on participation alone, but your reflective answers will help improve this course in the future. The prompt will be open until next Monday’s class meeting.

Stepping Back – Class as Metagame

Revisiting our mission objectives:

  • Use social media to react to, challenge and recontextualize games
  • Design and workshop elements of social games
  • Analyze and critique existing social games
  • Examine the social structures surrounding game spaces and their implications
  • Participate in the debates surrounding “gamification” and “gamefulness”

In-Class Discussion

Reminder: Final Projects

Remember, next week is our final class meetings. Please come prepared as a group or individual to present the progress you’ve made on your final project. Procedures for final project turn-in will be covered next week. We’ll also be filling out class evaluation forms and celebrating the end of the class mission. Sign up to bring food and drink in the Metagame Forum.

If you or one of your teammates is ranked at least “Hardcore Gamer”, you’ve unlocked Early Registration–send me a message to confirm your choice of either next Monday or Wednesday as your final project presentation day.

Evolving Games

November 28, 2011 3:52 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

In Class Discussion: Evolving Games

  • What have hardcore games learned from casual? And vice versa?
  • Reflective Play: Glitch
  • The Social World’s A Stage
  • Five years out: “Are games better than life?” (David Perry)
  • Learning from the past: “We should expect the social game to evolve and seek for such an evolution.” (Gareth Mensah)
  • Something missing from games: “How can we change their perspective on life? By making more cows?” (David Calvo)

Check-in: Final Projects

At-home Task: Final Project Progress Reports

This week, you are expected to report back in the COSC 407 forum on some element of your final project. This could take the form of showing pictures or a playable prototype, crowdsourcing ideas for gameplay or technical solutions to problems, sharing new discoveries from research or offering your contemplations on an interesting challenge.

Participation in the weekly progress reports requires at least ONE post as an individual, each week, and at least TWO comments on other people’s final project progress or ideas.

Remember to work collaboratively–even if you choose to pursue the final project as an individual, you can benefit from the conversation.

This check-in is due by the start of class December 5th.

Augmented and Future Realities

November 21, 2011 2:51 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

An updated gradesheet with the final mission grades will be available next week. Also, beginning next week, there will be no long-form missions. Instead, there will be an ongoing final project discussion.

In Class: Augmented Reality Concepts

Share your game pitch with the class. Remember to reference any other augmented reality games you examined while creating your concept, and bring up your very rough prototype to share.

Answer the following questions about your game concept:

  • How is your game a lens that changes your viewer’s perception of their environment?
  • What are the quests? The player’s objective?
  • What did the games you looked at and created suggest to you about the future of augmented reality?
By 11/28, your final project idea must be approved. There are still meeting times available today. If you did not attend an in-person meeting, email me a 1-page summary of your idea for approval.
Have a great holiday!

Supplemental: “Real” Social and ARGs

November 16, 2011 5:15 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

In Class Discussion: 

Building Augmented Reality:
For Mission Nine:
  • Brainstorm an ARG that is appropriate to a mission / scavenger hunt interface
  • Form a group and begin working with the ARIS system
  • Remember, post screenshots of your prototype prior to class on Monday

Supplemental: Meeting Location

November 14, 2011 7:55 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

All final project meetings at Shady Grove will take place in Building III: office 3147.

Mission Nine: Future Games

2:45 pm in Missions by Anastasia

Step One: Grade Sheets Distributed

Step Two: In Class Discussion: Augmented Reality

Step Three: Take-home Work

Propose an idea and create a mock-up for an augmented reality game. Consider the examples in this week’s reading and others from around the web.

This task has three parts:

  • Contribute a link (to our links hub) to an interesting Augmented Reality Project, with a description of its unique character
  • Post a pitch describing your proposed augmented reality game to the “Augmented Reality Games”
  • Using Aris, make a mock-up of elements of your ARG. Post screenshots of your game elements to the forum.

Your mock-up should include:

  • At least 3 quests
  • 3 objects with pictures
  • Use of the map for location-based elements

Remember, an augmented reality game should provide a “lens” for viewing the world in a new or unusual way. It may require advanced technology, but it is always spatially anchored. We will work with the Aris framework in class on Wednesday.

Step Four: Continue Work on your Final Project

Don’t forget to sign up for a final project meeting!

Supplemental: Final Project Meeting Sign-Up

November 11, 2011 4:19 am in Supplemental by Anastasia

Appointment Time Slots

You can now book a final project meeting through Google calendar. Most meeting times are offered at Shady Grove, some are offered at the main campus. If you are in a group, please choose a time that works for all group members. Each appointment time is for 20 minutes: if you are in a large group and want to assure you have enough time, you can book two time slots back to back.


Remember to come prepared with your ideas and interests, and to use this week’s final project discussion on the forums as a chance to flesh out your ideas and find teammates.

Supplemental: Final Projects

November 9, 2011 4:57 pm in Supplemental by Anastasia

In Class Discussion:

  • Revising the Prejudice against Social Games (and media)
  • Social Games — Looking Forward
  • Final Project Guidelines

In the News:


Mission Eight: Raid Debriefing

November 7, 2011 3:06 pm in Missions by Anastasia

Gradesheets will be handed out at the start of class. Your midterm grade will be passed out next week, along with an update. The extra credit option for 500 points is still available. If your team would like to pursue the bonus posted during the raid week in light of your grade, you can do so for 1,500 points as a late extra credit.

New this week: nominate someone for an achievement based on their site participation. Have you seen someone create a great group? Contribute above and beyond? Nominate them by emailing me their name and the achievement you believe you deserve. You cannot nominate yourself.

Step One: Reflective Essay

There is no reading quiz today. Instead, reflect on your participation in your team throughout the midterm raid. What did you accomplish personally? What value did you add to the collaborative work? Were there any surprises or obstacles along the way? Think honestly about your role and what you have produced, and write the narrative of your experience. You are responsible for assigning rankings to yourself and your teammates and explaining your reasons.

The rankings:

  • Concept Leader: Assign this ranking to someone who contributed substantially to all elements of the project.
  • Mission Specialist: Assign this ranking to someone who did not necessarily engage with all aspects of the raid, but did complete their assigned portion.
  • Valued Collaborator: Assign this ranking to someone who was involved in all aspects, but never took a strong role in anything.
  • Silent Partner: Assign this ranking to someone who was minimally involved in your team and did not contribute substantially.

You have 25 minutes for this task. Essays should NOT be posted publicly but instead should be sent to anastasia.salter@gmail.com with the email heading “Mission Reflection.” Make sure to include your name at the top.

Step Two: Mission Reports

Present your final game to the class. We should hear from each member of the team on their contributions.

Make sure to address how you answered each aspect of the design challenge and listen attentively to other teams presentations: you should also actively visit their site and provide feedback after the presentation.

Step Three: Badges and Accolades

Vote for your favorite game in three categories:

  • Best Overall
  • Designer Space
  • Creative Concept

Badges (and bonus points) will be awarded to teams who win each achievement. Also, the “Class Artist” achievement is open to anyone who designs original art for all three of these badges.

Step Four: At-Home Tasks

Open Forum Week: After the structured mission last week, it’s time to prepare to pursue your own projects. This week, consider both your opinions on his concepts and your own ideas for a final project. Your project must involve building, manipulating, evaluating, interpreting, playing and otherwise prodding at social media networks, games and tools.  Post your final project ideas, or current news and ideas you’ve observed that relate to class discussions. Conversations should take place in the COSC 407 Forum under the heading “Final Project Brainstorming.” These posts are due by the start of class on 11/14!

Bonus Task

November 3, 2011 1:59 am in Supplemental by Anastasia

As you are working on your ARGs, you receive a message from a packaging firm. They’ve heard you are making an ARG and they want to know if you have the chops to use ARGs as a marketing tool.

Persuade them that your ARG could be used to market a fictional media or experience (a film, an educational or political event, a traditional game, a book…). Describe what that media or experience would include and how your ARG would act as a viral lead-in to the product in a 2-3 page pitch.

Remember to consider:

  • The audience for the ARG versus the audience for the product
  • The strengths of viral social marketing versus traditional marketing
  • The ideology of your game and its impact
  • The fictional product’s ideology and your game’s ideology
  • Your game’s narrative as opposed to the product’s narrative or drive
  • Passive versus interactive experiences (and expectations)

Of course, it’s going to cost you to make your pitch. Your group needs to donate $1000 in social currency to get your pitch through to the right people. But, if successful, your pitch can be worth up to 5 bonus points per team member in the category of your choice an an achievement for marketing savvy.

The product pitch is due with the rest of the raid at the start of class on November 7th.