Feb 02, 2023  
2023 January Term Course Catalog 
    
2023 January Term Course Catalog
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JAN 119 - There’s Always a Lighthouse: The Case For Literary Merit in Video Games


Upper division
Full credit
In-Person
MTuWTh, 6:00 PM - 8:35 PM

It all started with a plumber named Mario. Since the dawn of arcades in the late 1970s, the world has developed a fascination with video games. This interactive medium transformed the way people interacted with computers, and their market value caused them to evolve steadily from a simple, mindless objective of jumping over blocks, to a complex, character-driven narrative that challenged the player not just in skill, but often on a deeper and more emotional level. Games like BioShock, Red Dead Redemption, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Dragon Age offered players massive, sweeping narratives to influence and become immersed in. Video games inspired a new direction for storytelling. But what makes these stories different from all the other stories we have read over the course of history? Can we compare “The Last of Us” to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road? Better yet, should we? In this class, we will explore the evolution of story in video games by examining some of the most compelling games in the medium. We will draw parallels between “classic” interpretations of literature and modern video games that are breaking new ground in storytelling. We will also trace the evolution of key characteristics of storytelling, like character development, motivation, and gender roles. Gaming continues to evolve and make its case as a valid art form in a world still skeptical of its merits. In this class, we will work to support that case.

Instructor(s): Erin-Clare FitzPatrick
Email:  ef3@stmarys-ca.edu
 

Prerequisites & Notes
Prerequisites:  ENG 05/108 and SEM 001/102 or by permission of Instructor
Course Fee:  100
 

Credits: 1



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