Undergraduate Courses, Summer 2014

Times and locations of class meetings are subject to change. Consult the UF Schedule of Courses for official class times and locations and an explanation of the class period abbreviations.

Lower Division (1000–2000) Special Content Courses

Note: Only course descriptions are listed below. For a comprehensive summary of course numbers, sections, times and locations, titles, and instructors, see the following web page:

Summer 2014, Lower Division, Special Content

ENG 1131

Writing Through Media: Simulation Games

Melissa Bianchi

Given the current popularity of digital games studies, this course is ideally positioned to offer students both a critical lens for studying games and an introduction to English composition. This course will focus primarily on simulation games, attempting to understand players’ engagements with these digital environments as a form of writing, particularly given the genre’s tendency towards “open-ended” and creative play. The semester will be divided into four units, the first of which will serve as a general introduction to game studies, reviewing scholarly approaches for analyzing games and defining game genres. The following three units will each explore a specific subgenre of simulation games (construction and management, life, and vehicle) and how we may understand their unique play experiences as forms of writing about culture. Students will read excerpts from Frans Mäyrä’s An Introduction to Game Studies along with works by Kurt Squire, Ian Bogost, and other contemporary game scholars. We will examine a wide range of simulation games across different genres, platforms, and modes of production. Some of the well-known franchises we will work with include, but are not limited to SimCity, Zoo Tycoon, The Sims, Tamagotchi, Surgeon Simulator 2013, and Train Simulator 2014. Course screening times will give students an opportunity to play these games both individually and as a group. Students will contribute to course discussions, give one oral presentation to the class, and complete three essays for the course—a definition paper, a rhetorical analysis, and a creative multimedia game narrative assignment.

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