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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2022/2023

Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Gamifying Historical Narratives (fusion online) (EFIE11093)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course explores how games narrate history and how history can be narrated through games, from tabletop to digital ones (such as video games, role-playing games, wargames, boardgames etc.), by mixing theory and practice. It discusses and playtests conceptual frameworks and different genres of games, but also includes a creative game design output, which students will be able to share and distribute through the platforms of the University of Edinburgh History and Games Lab. Because of that holistic approach, this course is valuable as an introduction to the topic and to game design, but also to those with experience in game design who wish to refine the theoretical side and to engage with historical narratives.
Course description The course aims to provide theoretical and practical tools to connect historical narratives and games, and to produce creative outputs from that, by introducing students to the challenges of engaging with history through games.

The course starts with a pre-intensive section comprising a 1-hour online introductory meeting, as well as preliminary readings and videos relevant to the course. They will prepare the ground for the course by highlighting the often-unexpected complexity of defining what a game is, and how games have engaged with historical narratives. This also serves to introduce students to the debates on the limitations and opportunities of the various formats, their nature, practices and uses (including motivations and interpretations).

The first part of the intensive period focuses in depth on different genres of games and their specific characteristics in sessions that comprise the participation of scholars and practicing game designers. This will take the form of three two-hour seminars, each devoted to a different genre.

The second part of the intensive period moves to practice, with a series of playtests of existing games, which allow comparing this experience with the theory discussed in the first part of the course. Once again, playtests cover different genres, as suggested by scholars and game designers of the course.

The outputs of the course reflect its dual nature. They comprise a collaborative game design project, which is developed during the post intensive section of the course. Assessment will be based on an essay in which the students will reflect on their participation in the game design project, and how it related to the theoretical and practical discussions of the pre-intensive and intensive periods.

Students will be able to showcase, share or distribute their game design outputs through the activities and online platform (including online stores) of the University of Edinburgh History and Games Lab.

The University History and Games Lab also offers a series of complementary relevant activities in which students on this course can take part, including seminars, podcast, playtests, and participation in game jams and game conventions, in collaboration with companies and game designers.

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - On-Site Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities.

Students should be aware that:
- Classrooms used in this course will have additional technology in place: students might not be able to sit in areas away from microphones or outside the field of view of all cameras.
- Unless the lecturer or tutor indicates otherwise you should assume the session is being recorded.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  10
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Other Study Hours 12, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 72 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 12
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following assessment components:

1) 2000 Word Essay (100%)

Students write an essay in which they will reflect critically on their participation in the game design output of the formative assessment. They will examine how the output related to the theoretical and practical discussions of the pre-intensive and intensive periods, and to the selected historical narrative that they gamify in the formative assessment, and to discuss how those influenced the design process.

Further independent reading and outside research should be conducted to back up conclusions.

Formative Assessment:

Each course within Edinburgh Futures Institute includes the opportunity for you to participate in a formative feedback exercise or event which will help you prepare for your summative assessment. The formative assessment does not contribute to your overall course mark.

1) Group Task: Creative/Practical

The Integrative workshop at the end of the Intensive Teaching Block will provide guidelines on the game design project. After the end of the Intensive Teaching Block, students meet in groups physically and/or online (video conferencing plus online forum) to create a game design output.

The output is made collaboratively using the skill-sets existing in the group. Examples of outputs: gameplay or draft of interactive scenario for existing game mechanics; mods for existing video games; a storyboard, a prototype or an outline of an idea or concept for a new game in the shape of a written report. There is no stipulated length. The nature of the output will depend on the medium (genre of game) and input will be sought from the external partners who cover specific game genres.

Groups will upload gaming outputs to an online forum for the course organiser and other students to review in advance of the presentations.

Groups will present the game outputs orally to the class. All group members take part in presentation in person (physically/video-link) or via recorded contribution.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Summative Assessment Feedback:
- Course Organiser (CO) provides mark and individual written feedback on essay within standard fifteen-day period after deadline for submission.
- CO available by email to answer questions about the assignment throughout the semester.

Formative Assessment Feedback:
- Online forum for whole-class student questions and discussion.
- Course Organiser (CO) answers online forum questions.
- Technical queries will be handled separately by suitable personnel from HCA whom students will be able to contact directly.
- CO and peers provide oral feedback immediately following the presentations. There is no mark. Feedback will be recorded and made available online.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate competence in core skills including independent research, planning and writing, group collaboration and oral presentation.
  2. Critically analyse and put into dialogue scholarship dealing with the topics of history and historical narratives, games and historical games studies.
  3. Show knowledge of the theory and practice of historical games design in different game media, including video games, boardgames and roleplaying games.
  4. Apply existing and acquired skills to produce a gaming output in a selected game medium.
  5. Reflect critically upon the process of creating a game design output based on a historical narrative.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Chapman, A. Foka and J. Westin, 'What is historical games studies?', Rethinking History: the Journal of Theory and Practice, 21 (2017), 358-71 (e-journal)

J. de Groot, Consuming History (Abington, 2009), Introduction: history and popular culture, 1-14 (e-book)

J. Juul, 'The game, the player, and the world: looking for a heart of gameness', in M. Copier and J. Raessens (eds.), Level up: digital games research conference proceedings (Utrecht, 2003), 30-45 (available here: http://www.jesperjuul.net/text/gameplayerworld/)

D. Spring, 'Gaming history: computer and video games as historical scholarship', Rethinking History: the Journal of Theory and Practice, 19 (2015), 207-21 (e-journal)

T. J. Copplestone, 'But that's not accurate: the differing perceptions of accuracy in cultural-heritage videogames between creators, consumers and critics', Rethinking History: the Journal of Theory and Practice, 21 (2017), 415-38 (e-journal)

J. Begy, 'Board games and the construction of cultural memory', Games and culture, 12 (2017), 718-38 (e-journal)

M. W. Kapell and A. B. R. Elliott, 'Introduction: to build a past that will 'stand the test of time' - Discovering historical facts, assembling historical narratives', in M. W. Kapell and A. B. R. Elliott, Playing with the past: digital games and the simulation of history (New York, 2013), 1-30 (e-book)

A. J. Salvati and J. M. Bullinger, 'Selective authenticity and the playable past', in M. W. Kapell and A. B. R. Elliott, Playing with the past: digital games and the simulation of history (New York, 2013), 153-68 (e-book)

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course develops graduate skills in research, enquiry and communication (SCQF 1 and 4), in creative practice (SCQF 2), and the attributes of intellectual autonomy and personal effectiveness in collaborative working (SCQF 3 and 5).
KeywordsHistory,Game,Narrative
Contacts
Course organiserDr Gianluca Raccagni
Tel:
Email: gianluca.raccagni@ed.ac.uk
Course secretary
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