A blog article is a major assignment for this class and the primary means by which students will be practicing and demonstrating their skill in game analysis. More than a "blog entry" or "reading journal", the content produced and published for the class blog site, gamecult.umwblogs.org, should be well-polished, engaging, and written with an "outward-facing" exigency that should appeal to casual readers. Think of these as scholarly essays written for a non-academic audience.
Students are assigned to one of three teams and will be rotating through each of three tasks twice. Accordingly, this first blog entry is due for each group on the following dates:
Team 1: January 30th at 1:00PM
Team 2: February 13th at 1:00PM
Team 3: February 27th at 1:00PM
The basic workflow for the blog is straightforward: post your blog entry at the class blog, and then submit the URL (a.k.a. permalink) to your blog entry here in Canvas. (If you haven't already, you'll need to join the blog as an author.).
Your blog article should focus on something relevant to games and game culture and should be written to teach your reader something we don't already know. You can accomplish this in a number of ways, but whatever your approach: be original, be specific, and be creative.
The genre of writing you should pursue here is the kind of analysis we've been reading about from the course textbook, Intro to Game Analysis; the guidelines and rubric listed below follow the best practices described in that book, and you'll be successful.
More narrowly, could can find a game you're interested in writing about -- this could be one you've played before or one you've just discovered -- and then play it critically, do some research about that game's context, and finally find something interesting and insightful to say about it.
At it's core, your blog entry is short, well-informed, insightful analysis of a specific video game, platform, or general topic related to the study of video games. As such, then, your article needs a clear topic that should be evident in the article's title and opening paragraph (lead). In addition to writing well-informed analysis, you should also make sure you're taking advantage of the affordances of web publishing, including images, and other structures. Altogether, each article should include the following:
A specific, interesting title. Typically 3 - 5 words, a good title entices a reader to click through and read the article. (Do not title your article, "Blog Article #1".)
An engaging lead. Like a good title, a good opening sentence or paragraph signals important information about the article to follow, often by raising a question in the reader's mind and promising that the article to follow will answer that question. Copy this paragraph into the "excerpt" portion of the article.
Thoughtful engagement. Your article should be "long enough" to engage meaningfully with your game or topic. There is no minimum or maximum word count that comprises "long enough", but I personally find it takes around 750 words to get into any depth with my own writing.
Critical context. As you analyze your game or game(s), research appropriate background information and context, including other writers who have also analyzed this game, and refer to those perspectives or contexts in writing your analysis. Include at least two secondary or contextual sources for each article. (Formal citations aren't always necessary, but if you do choose to cite, use MLA style.)
Effective writing. Your writing need not be formal, academic prose, but you should still be precise and express yourself clearly. The article should be long enough to engage thoughtfully with a topic and develop an argument through several specific examples and/or concepts.
Images, links and other details. Include at least two images in each article (box art or screenshots are good), and set a "featured image" for your post. Include several links to appropriate secondary or critical material. Check the box to assign your article to the "Blog" category, and add three to five tags (keywords) to associate your post with others on similar topics.
The bullet items listed above also provide the rubric I'll use to grade your blog entry. I'll assign a numeric value to each of those aspects of your work, and that numeric value will correspond to a specific level of achievement with regard to those traits. This is the default means of feedback that I'll provide -- I will not, in other words, be giving you line-by-line error correction, for example. More detailed feedback, I can provide that in a conference where we look at your work and talk about how to make it successful. I encourage you to schedule a meeting with me before your article is due so I can give you feedback when that feedback has the most potential to affect your grade performance in a positive way.