TINAC (This Is Not A Class)

Posted: December 24, 2012 by suzannescott in Uncategorized

Welcome, Occidental students taking ArtM 348: Games, Play, and Alternate Reality Games (and anyone else who might have stumbled across this)! This blog will serve a number of functions over the course of the semester, including:

  • A place to download the syllabus, track assignment deadlines, and link to course readings
  • A site to share supplementary links, articles and ruminations on our weekly course topics (including, but not limited to, your play journal assignment)
  • A space for you to continue discussions with your classmates, beyond the classroom
  • An archive of our collective thinking around, and development of, the final ARG project

Ideally, I’d like for us to evolve this blog beyond the practical purposes listed above to create a space where we can have an ongoing conversation, not just about course content, but how you might take the ideas and critical theories we are engaging with outside the confines of the classroom. We will be circling around larger issues that deserve more nuanced analysis than we will likely have time for in class, and the blog is an ideal space to deepen those discussions.

Players of ARGs often use the expression “TINAG” (or “This Is Not A Game”) to describe the unique, immersive play experience, which often elides the fact that the game is a a “game” at all, and grants players a large degree of agency to shape the play.  Likewise, our final collaborative project, designing a small scale ARG for Occidental College makes this course somewhat different than a traditional media studies course.  You will still need to master and mobilize course concepts, but you will do so in the collaborative design and theorization of a pervasive game to develop digital media fluencies.  In short, This Is Not A Class, or at least it’s not JUST a class.

This is your space, so have at it!


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