Learning Through Making: Notes on Teaching Interactive Narrative

Abstract (in English): 

Anastasia Salter's publication in the journal Syllabus includes a preferatory essay and syllabus for her course in practice-based course interactive narrative.

From the preface to her essay:

Students in game design programs, such as the Simulation and Digital Entertainment program at the University of Baltimore, often aspire to become makers of digital works. In the service of those needs, the University of Baltimore’s game design program integrates courses on design, programming, and technical art. Courses that make games an object of study are essential to providing these students context and in introduction to the potential of the medium, but they are often viewed as secondary by students focused on immediately applicable skills towards employment in the industry. My approach to resolving this apparent disconnect was to propose a new course in Interactive Narrative grounded in the process of “critical making,” which Daniel Chamberlain defines as “making a way to better ask questions” (Chamberlain 2013). The guiding questions of both the course and the projects revolve around stories: What are the opportunities of interactive narratives, and how does storytelling in a space with player agency offer new potential for experience design? The content of the course encourages students to contextualize games among media more broadly with exposure to forms including interactive fiction, electronic literature, comics and hypertext, while the practice of the course requires the making of works in these genres alongside study. I taught the course in fall 2013 for the first time following its acceptance as part of the curriculum.

Abstract (in original language): 
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Scott Rettberg