Reading Responses

Write a multi-paragraph response to each text.

Technical Requirements:
  • Each 'essay' must be no less than three paragraphs of four sentences each.
  • The first half should summarize the primary points of the text and what you have learned. This might require you to write a more for the first part.
  • The second half should include any insights or thoughts you had in response to the content of the writing. DO NOT comment on your feelings about how it was written, but the material covered.
  • Your writings will then be uploaded to the class server before each due date.
  • Because this is an ART class -- not an English class -- feel free to generate the content of these as you see fit, using your artistic knowledge and preferences. When I say you should write an 'essay,' I mean that very loosely. Don't just write words... make visual art out of these assignments.

Mr. Plinkett's Review of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones


Write a two page (or more) description of the primary elements of good film narratives

Objectives: Technical Requirements:

Students will watch all three parts of the RedLetterMedia review of Star Wars Episode II. All three videos can be found [HERE] or on youtube. While watching these videos, students must take notes on each principle of proper narrative structure. Students will then turn in a two page essay explaining in their own words three or four of the principles. I would prefer if you select points which were new to you and are important to a strong narrative.

Campus Wide Video Game Swap Meet (group work)


As a team, organize and host a barter-based video game swap meet

Objectives: Technical Requirements:

Students are asked to run a swap meet for games during our class time. This swap meet should be trade based only and open to the entire campus. During class time, there will be about an hour open to browse all the available games and try to trade between students. The aim of this assignment is to give the students access to games which they can use for their machinima project. To have a strong swap meet, students will need to self-organize and perform a number of important tasks before the deadline.

Group Research Presentations (group work)


As a large group, prepare and present a well researched instruction/discussion on a pre-determined topic

Objectives: Technical Requirements:

Students are required to work in a group to create and present on a selected topic related to the class readings and discussions. There will be three groups of approximately 4 students. Each student must actively participate in the project.

The instructor will offer readings and ideas for the group to research. They will then need to clearly understand the subject and run a class discussion on the topic. This is not to be a report on the ideas, but a participatory experience either through discussion or object lessons. Do NOT stand up and talk at us the entire time. To properly prepare for this presentation, students will need to equally divide the work load and meet together often to prepare the lecture.

Project 1: Machinima

Make a short film (min. 3 minutes) using video taken from the video game. The student must create a new story which is unrelated to the soure material.

Objectives: Methodology

Since the advent of the contemporary notion of 'the remix', artists have been sampling from available culture to generate new artistic forms.

Machinima is loosely defined as a remix of video game sampled materials to generate a unique visual experience. More often than not, this is accompanied by a new audio sound track. This allows the filmmaker to have actors, sets and props at their immediate disposal without needing to pay money or do much work.

Some contemporary Machinima has gone as far as generating their own assets which resemble other video games, but this type of Machinima veers more into traditional computer generated animation. In this class, we will distinguish Machinima as having been generated directly from screen capturing a video game, remixing the visuals and generating new audio in order to shift and subvert the meaning of the source material.

For this project, you will be directing, capturing and editing a short film using a video game environment of your choosing.

Part 1:
Find at least one example of a Machinima film and show this in class. You should find a video which will not only show your understanding of the medium, but also will demonstrate some similiar themes you would like to explore in your own project. Please review the examples shown on the resources page, as these will NOT be accepted as work you can show for Part 1.

Part 2:

Formally present on the game environment you will be using and read to us the story you will be using for Project 1.

Technical Requirements:

Students will have 10 minutes to demonstrate their concept for Project 1. Each student must have the following for their proposals.

Part 3:

Direct, capture and edit a short film. This film must be at least 3 minutes in length and follow the principles of strong narrative outlined the Mr. Plinkett's video review.

Second Life Virtual Memory

Create a sculptural piece in Second Life which explores and expresses the details and feelings from your earliest childhood memory. This project should utilize and present this work in a way which is site specific to the virtual environment it exists in.


As discussed in class, the earliest virtual environment made by made are dreams and memories. The virtual construct is and environment used to contain and explore fantasy and the experience of 'the other'. These are the models on which we, as a civilization, have developed externalized and persistent virtual experiences.

The video game environment is unique in a few ways. We have talked about how the digital platform is database driven in nature. We have discussed the fluid nature of the 3D virtual world.

For this project, you are to select a vivid early memory. You will then interpret this memory by constructing an environment in the Second Life engine. This installation should be about the emotions and details you can remember -- which are most likely artificial constructs -- as well as expressing this construct in a way which emphasizes the digital nature of the medium (i.e. Second Life).

Do not simply build a recreation. This project isn't about re-enactment, but to show your understanding of what is unique about this platform.

Technical Requirements

Project 2: MMO installation/performance

Students will select an MMO of their choice and create a performative/interactive public work inside that MMO. You must consider how your work resolves the game design of the MMO -- untilize the emergent areas of the game to create something which adds to the history of performance work.


Games, according to Jesper Juul c. 2005, can be defined by six simple components:

  1. Games have fixed rules
  2. Games have variable outcomes
  3. Games have valorization of those outcomes
  4. Games have player effort
  5. Players have attachment to the outcome
  6. Consequences of the game are negotiable

This definition of the system permits for a wide range of actions to happen inside the game environment. Many artists, since the advent of games, have been playing inside this system. For this project, you are asked to consider the public and social impact of the game system and create art inside that system which interacts with the general public.

As studied in the readings and class discussion, artists have been doing site specific art and performative works as interactive work for some time. In small groups, you will generate a body of work dealing with these issues.

Technical Requirements

Project 3: Sleep is Death narrative/non-linear

You are to generate enough assets and a complex plot structure to play through a 30 scene progression in Sleep is Death. You will be graded on the fluidity of your gameplay as well as the craft and inventiveness in using the platform to create a narrative.


Begin by writing down a loose story idea for what you want to create. This story should include particular plot elements and detailed description of props needed. The dialog also should be written, but only as a responsive and rough material to use when playing against me.

In class, we will learn how to build in the game. We will practice basic small narrative progressions to help prepare for the final exam. Most of your time will be spent designing and refining your objects and scenes in the game.

Technical Requirements:

The final for this class consists of the following: