Final Game Demos!

Dear All:

I wanted to let you see each other’s work — here are some links to game demos by your classmates:

Kathy Pangtay, Game Demo

Quentin Holtz (it is currently “Private,” but he is fixing it — I hope!), Game Demo

Colton Revia, “The Birth of a Legend: Analysis of Star Wars: the Old Republic” (Narrative of Star Wars)

Diana Reyna, Portal 1 and Portal 2

Cameron Slayter, Harry Potter the Game

Ashley White, Point and Click Horror Games

David Wood, Game Demo: Beyond Two Souls


Final Exam for those who do not have enough Power-Ups (you know who you are).


English 394
Laura Mandell
Final Exam

Due Sunday, December 8, by midnight.

Answer any 3 of the following questions in short, typed, double-spaced answers.  Your answers should be one or two paragraphs long.


  1. Reread the excerpts from McKenzie Wark ( ).  Why, according to Wark, is the game outside the Cave of video-game life somehow “lacking”? Can you relate this to any of the points made by McGonigle in Reality is Broken? (make sure to quote her text and give page numbers; pertinent chapters are available here:
  2. On p. 54 of Ian Bogost’s book Unit Operations, he defines Comparative Video Game Criticism as “seek[ing] to understand what it means to be human.”  Use an example from a game, or use one of Bogost’s examples (the Sims Hot Date expansion—, to explain what he means by that.
  3. Take a game that was demonstrated by someone other than yourself and apply the key terms of narrative to it that we extracted together in class: You may need to reread the selections from Bell, Genette, and Chatman online here:
  4. Take any point made by Scott McCloud about how comics work and apply it to one or two frames in V for Vendetta.
  5. In the image with the giant parentheses from Seymour Chatman’s Story and Discourse (, excerpted  here — — Chatman gives us some terms for analyzing stories.  Can you find one term among that list in which the item differs between a book and movie, a game and a book, a game and a movie?  Of course you talk about V for Vendetta or Ender’s Game (even if you wrote a paper on differences between the book and the movie in the case of the latter).
  6. Find a quotation in any of the readings you were given this semester that really struck you.  First, introduce it by saying who says it and in what context.  Second, quote it.  Third, explain what it means and why it is striking.
  7. Find a quotation that you found very impressive in any of the blogs written by your classmates.  Explain the context, what your classmate was discussing, and then quote the sentence or sentences that struck you.  Explain what they mean and why they were striking.

Final Project

English 394 / Narrative and Digital Technology / Fall 2013


Paper 2 and/or Final Project

Due: Friday, December 6 

Do one of the following to complete your work for the semester, except for the Final Exam:

  1. See the movie Ender’s Game. Write a 5-page paper discussing differences between the movie and the novel.  Analyze those differences using some of the narrative terminology we developed: is the movie more effective for some of the changes it makes because the medium of film differs from the novel? Less effective?
  2. Create a 3-minute video, including sound and your voice, giving us a game presentation: make sure to use some of the narrative and game theory that we have discussed this semester.  One way to accomplish this project if you don’t have screen-recording software that allows you to speak as you record is to:Take pictures, screenshots, from a game that you play or that is recorded on YouTube.
  • Use those pictures in a powerPoint, writing text to go along with it.
  • Create an account at
  • Upload your powerPoint.
  • If you are not offered the opportunity to edit the powerPoint, click on the little icon at the top right-hand side of the screen, on the down arrow, and select “My Uploads.”
  • Click on the down arrow under “edit” and then select “add audio.”
  • You can adjust the length of each slide to go along with your audio.
  • Make sure to save it and publish it, sending me the link.

3.  Edit all your blogs and turn them in as one final paper.  First, copy the text of all your blogs into one document (a Word doc, for instance).  Title each section, if you haven’t given titles to your postings already (but also, feel free to change them).  Write transitions between each of your entries, perhaps by describing why we moved from one topic of discussion to another (you can make this up on your own; I don’t expect you to read my mind or figure out why I devised the syllabus that I did).  Smooth out the grammar, and quote passages of texts to back up your points. And especially, move between being abstract and concrete so that people can know what you are thinking, as we practiced in class.

READINGS for Thursday

Dear All:

I have created some excerpts to read for tomorrow — they are very short.  Look for the word  “agony” in it, and we will discuss end-of-the-semester agony on Thursday.

McKenzie Wark (about him):  McKenzieWark

McKenzie Wark, excerpts from Game Theory: wark_gamer

–If you need to re-read Plato’s Republic, the allegory of the cave, here it is:


Terms concerning Narrative Structure

Terms from Bell:

Form = “the aspect of story that can be abstracted from everything else and expressed in some other medium, for instance, a graph, or some other geometrical figure” like a Freitag Triangle:


Terms from Genette:

Narrative Discourse = the medium, genre, style, and mode in which a story is (physically) presented — in Chatman, this is Expression, including substance (media) and form (genre, style, mode).

Story the events themselves, the content, independently of their presentation

Narrating = the act of presenting the story, either by an author or a narrator

Terms from Chatman: