Welcome to Read | Write | Play

Your homework to complete before we meet again on Thursday:

  • Read over this website very carefully as it constitutes the syllabus for this course. Note that the Syllabus page includes a number of subpages, covering such topics as: how to contact me and course objectives; the texts you need to buy; attendance, participation, and other policies; how you will be graded; and how Domain of One’s Own will impact your experience in this class. There is also a calendar of reading and assignments; and pages describing the major and minor assignments this semester.
  • Add this site to your bookmarks. Make certain that you can find your way back here, because you’ll be spending a lot of time visiting these pages over the course of this semester.
  • Reply to this survey form, which both asks some basic information I’ll need in order to manage communications with you and also asks some questions that will help me get to know you a little bit better.

Once you’ve completed those tasks, begin to establish your home base for this class:


  • what are the individual conferences?

    • Short answer is that it’s a brief scheduled amount of time when we get to talk one on one about some aspect(s) of the course. I will specifically schedule conferences around the first major project–probably after you’ve written a draft but before your final version is due–when we focus on that particular assignment. And then I’ll expect you to schedule at least one other time when you would like to talk about some issue.

  • Is there an actual final for this class or just a final reflection paper?

    • There is not a final exam in this class, but I will probably make use of at least part of our officially scheduled final exam period to have you present your final portfolios.

  • Will you give us feedback on whether or not we are participating enough in class?

  • Are the games that we will potentially play that do not have a price next to them free to play?

    • Yes, those are free games. I was initially putting price tags next to games last semester as I was building this site, just for my own purposes so I could keep track of potential costs. I was going to go through and delete, but then figured it might be useful information for you anyway so I just left the price on the page. Just like I left the potential games up on the list because I figured it might be useful for you to see such a list as you think about your podcasts, etc.

  • Hi professor! I was looking over the syllabus schedule and I saw that we had a scheduled final exam period. I was wondering if we actually had a final exam on the materials that will be covered in this class?

  • What are you going to test on for the final exam?

  • Should our read write play subdomain also have a static homepage? Or should it just be our posts?

    • Yes, I’ll want you to have a static front page and then you’ll publish some work as pages and other work as posts. I’ll explain this stuff in more detail.

  • If we happened to already have some of the required games, but they were on a different platform (because I am a console gaming scrub), would we need to purchase the game on PC?

    • No, don’t buy the games again if you already own them. I will probably be asking for screenshots or machinima from the games along the way, which depending on your console might not be easy to arrange, but I feel relatively certain we can work out a solution there.

  • Do we need a physical book, or is it okay to have it in a PDF format?

    • I think it will be best if you have a physical book for Wolf in White Van. It’s $12 at Amazon, so cost is hopefully not prohibitive and I think it will be much better during class discussion for you to have the physical book. For the Bogost, a PDF would be fine. You’ll need to be able to access it during class discussions and find specific passages, highlight, make notes and so on, but that should be manageable.

  • How long are individual conferences usually?

  • Is there a grading distribution that shows the weight of each assignment towards our overall grade?

  • Are we required to get the the PC games through steam?

    • My definite preference is that you get the games through Steam, yes. Steam will let you share screenshots easily, amongst other reasons. But if you already own games on other platforms, we can work with that.

  • Will we be recording the podcast ourselves and with our devices?

  • If we have a header image on our webpage, does it have to be video game related or can it be anything?

    • You have lots of leeway about site design, & you’ll likely change things around over the course of the semester too. By the end of the course, I’ll want you to have a site that feels coherent and designed, so your header image should be consciously chosen to convey something about your work, but that does not mean it needs to be about video games.

  • Is the final portfolio going to be an accumulation of all of our work from the semester or just a final paper?

    • A little bit of both. You’ll organize all the work on your site into a coherent whole and write a final reflection in which you analyze your own writing.

  • I did not find the instructions to get a subdomain. Is it in the syllabus?

  • Is there some mandatory items that we need to put on our website, such as videos, pictures?
    Will you leave comments on our website?

    • Yes, you’ll have specific assignments that you’ll need to post. You’ll also have a fair amount of freedom to post other items. Yes, I will leave comments on your sites and I’ll expect you to comment on each others’ sites too.

  • Since writings will be posted on a blog, will our writing be more informal than formal?

    • I’d like to resist the idea that you’re just “posting to a blog.” You’re publishing to a website, and some of that publication will take the form of blog posts while other publication will entail composing static pages. You’ll have the opportunity to try out different types of tones while writing for different types of audiences, but for the most part I’ll want you to be writing something like an “academic casual” style, which is not exactly informal writing but is also perhaps less formal than you’ve been used to in some classes.

  • Will all of our assignments be posted under Quests, or will it only be our larger ones? Where can I find our assignments for reading the two novels at?

    • There’s only one novel: Wolf in White Van. The schedule page has the first few weeks filled in now, and will be entirely filled in shortly. The major assignments are under the Quests tab in the menu (here’s the single page list of all the major quests) and the other smaller assignments will be published as side quests. These first couple of weeks, we’ve been laying groundwork in class discussions and you’ve just been getting fundamentals built for your sites, but side quests will start to go up today/tomorrow and I will also publish regular posts on my main feed with updates on those assignments.

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