“Video Games as a New Form of Interactive Literature,” a peer-reviewed journal article by Anne Winchell, has been published in a special issue of Syllabus Journal entitled Teaching With and About Games.
Video Games as a New Form of Interactive Literature
The Honors course “Storytelling in Video Games” treats video games as literature and seeks to teach students how to analyze video games in terms of the stories that they tell to understand them as reflections of the culture and times that have created them. The course relies on both course textbooks and a course video game, Fable III (Lionhead Studios, 2010), that students play individually at a pace set by the instructor to analyze the elements of video game design in the same way a literature class analyzes literature. While playing Fable III, students write blogs and discuss how their experience with the game reflects the subjects discussed in the readings as well as how their experience relates to other games. Students are then given a chance to practice their knowledge by writing a video game proposal of their own, including character descriptions, level walkthroughs, and overall world design.
“Storytelling in Video Games” is an upper-level Honors class that can be substituted for any of three upper-level English classes or one upper-level Anthropology class at Texas State. It is directed towards juniors and seniors who have an interest in learning more about video games or becoming video game writers themselves. The course has received a high level of attention on campus and specific interest from the student body, including students outside of the Honors College. “Storytelling in Video Games” is the first video games course offered outside of the Computer Science department at Texas State University and represents the first steps towards a more interdisciplinary approach to integrate video games into the campus curricula.