Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva
NCSU Department of Communication
souzaesilva [at ] ncsu [dot] edu
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.
Credit hours: 3
This course explores the inter-relations among mobile communication technologies (cell phones, PDAs), location-based activities, and playful/social spaces. It investigates three main areas with the ultimate goal of finding interconnections between games and society.
(1) The first part of the course is dedicated to the definition of basic gaming concepts. We will define games as communicative, social, spatial, playful, and (non)narrative activities.
(2) Then, we will explore the history of games as communication environments, with particular emphasis on MUDs, as predecessors of hybrid reality/location-based gaming.
(3) In the final section we will look into mobile gaming, exploring and defining different types of games which use the physical space as the game environment, such as pervasive games, location-based games, and hybrid reality games. Along the course, we will discuss possibilities for these games to be used beyond pure entertainment, drawing connections among communication, gaming, education, and art.
The overarching goal of this class is two-fold. First, it will help students to draw connections between games and the creation of social networks via the analysis of games as communicative and spatial activities. Second, students will apply these concepts to the definition of mobile and location aware gaming. Broadly, the course focuses on identifying how mobile, location aware and wireless interfaces influence communication and society, changing perceptions of urban spaces.
Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
- Identify games as social, communicative and spatial activities.
- Apply the concept of social and communication networks to games.
- Define and describe hybrid reality games, location-based games and pervasive games.
- Explain connections between games and the construction of social and communication spaces.
- Outline the history of social gaming.
- Explain how mobile, location aware and wireless interfaces influence communication and society, changing perceptions of urban spaces.
The final grade will consist of the following components:
Participation: 10 points
Weekly blog posts: 20 points
Research presentation: 20 points
Mid-term exam: 20 points
Final exam: 30 points
I will be grading on the University's A+/F scale, as follows:
Incomplete grade policy
- 98-100 = A+
- 93-97 = A
- 90-92 = A-
- 88-89 = B+
- 83-87 = B
- 80-82 = B-
- 78-79 = C+
- 73-77 = C
- 70-72 = C-
- 68-69 = D+
- 63-67 = D
- 60-62 = D-
- below = F
Students will not be given a temporary grade of IN (incomplete) unless they have attended classes regularly for most of the semester, have completed at least 60% of required work, have missed required work as a result of factors beyond their control, and have submitted satisfactory documentary evidence. An IN grade not removed by the end of the next semester in which the student is enrolled or by the end of twelve months, whichever is earlier, will automatically become an F (unless the student can present a compelling, well-documented case for the extension). For the NC State policy on grading and IN grades, see http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/grades_undergrad/REG02.50.3.php).
Attendance and absence policy
Attendance is mandatory and required for a successful completion of the course. Unexcused absences will affect your grade directly. Two unexcused absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by 3 points (e.g., from A+ to A), three unexcused absences by 6 points, and so forth. It is generally recommended to drop the course with more than two absences. Late arrivals are very disruptive for other students. Being more than 10 minutes late to class will count as one unexcused absence.
Per University regulations, excused absences must fall into one of two categories: sanctioned anticipated situations and documented emergency situations. Anticipated situations (e.g., participation in official University functions, court attendance, religious observances, or military duty) must be submitted in writing at the beginning of the semester or one week prior to the anticipated absence. Emergency absences (e.g., student illness, injury or death of immediate family member, must be documented by the Student Organization Resource Center 515-3323) within one week following the emergency. Late work will be accepted only in situations where absences were excused. Please consult the following website for further information on University attendance regulations:
There will be a sign-up sheet for each class meeting; it is the students’ responsibility sign the list to make sure that attendance is accounted for. The sign-up sheet is the basis to determine class attendance.
Every lecture, discussion, and presentation from each class period will contain material covered on the midterm and final exam. Consequently, you will need to be present in class, alert, and involved in order to grasp the material, ask questions about it when necessary, learn it, and pass the course. If you should miss a class, it is your responsibility to get notes and explanations from a classmate.
Requirements for Credit-Only
In order to receive a grade of S, students are required to take all exams and quizzes, complete all assignments, and earn a grade of C- or better. Conversion from letter grading to credit only (S/U) grading is subject to university deadlines. Refer to the Registration and Records calendar for deadlines related to grading. For more details refer to: http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/courses_undergrad/REG02.20.15.php
**Note that students cannot take this course for credit-only if they intend to count it toward a Communication major.
Requirements for Auditors
For details refer to:
Incomplete and late assignments
Late assignments will only be accepted in the case of verified/documented emergencies. See the University Attendance Policy http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/courses_undergrad/REG02.20.3.php
Midterm and final exams: Points earned for incomplete exams (midterm and final) will be reduced in proportion to the degree to which the assignment was completed. For example, an exam requiring three essays, with only one essay completed, will earn one third of the essay point total. Points earned for late exams will be reduced by 50% if received within 24 hours of due date and time due. Exams received later will not be accepted unless in accordance with the excused absence policy referenced above.
Blog posts: Late blog posts will automatically receive a 0. However, if you don't post until one week after the text is due, you will get a -1. If you have an excused absence, you can still get credit to your blog post if you post it within one week of the absence.
All assignments must be completed in order to pass the course.
Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete during the last two weeks of class. Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will never know how any one student responded to any question, and students will never know the ratings for any particular instructors.
Students are bound by academic integrity policy as stated in NCSU Code of Student Conduct: http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/student_services/student_discipline/POL11.35.1.php.
Students are required to uphold the university pledge of honor and exercise honesty in completing every assignment. Instructors may require students to write the Honor’s Pledge on every exam and assignment and to sign or type their name after the pledge. (“I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this test or assignment.”) Academic Integrity website: http://www.ncsu.edu/student_affairs/osc/AIpage/acaintegrity.html
A student shall be guilty of a violation of academic integrity if he or she:
- Represents the work of others as your own;
- Obtains assistance in any academic work from another individual in a situation in which you are expected to perform independently;
- Gives assistance to another individual in a situation in which that individual is expected to perform independently;
- Offers false data in support of laboratory or field work.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is an act of deceit that is taken very seriously by the Department of Communication and by the University. Plagiarism is writing using someone's works -- be it word or ideas -- without giving her or him credit. If you are found plagiarizing you risk failure and even more stringent disciplinary actions. This is particularly important with web-based materials. If you use someone else's image/words/audio, you must give appropriate credit. For an extended explanation of plagiarism, please go to: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/scc/tutorial/plagiarism/what.html
If you are in doubt regarding any matter relating to the standards of academic integrity in this course or on an assignment, consult with me before presenting the work. By submitting an assignment to be evaluated, you are certifying that you have not received unauthorized help on assignment.
Read the complete adverse weather policy for more info: http://www.fis.ncsu.edu/hr/hrim/adverseweather.asp . Check email, news, the NCSU home page, or call 513-8888 for the latest information.
Students with disabilities
Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653 http://www.ncsu.edu/dso/. For more information on NC State’s policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG02.20.1) at http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/courses_undergrad/REG02.20.1.php.
Electronic Hosted Course Components
Students may be required to disclose personally identifiable information to other students in the course, via electronic tools like email or web postings, where relevant to the course. Examples include online discussions of class topics, and posting of student coursework. All students are expected to respect the privacy of each other by not sharing or using such information outside the course.
NC State University provides equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees. Accordingly, NC State affirms its commitment to maintain a work environment for all employees and an academic environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) based on color, religion, sex, creed, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or sexual orientation is also a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is also prohibited. NC State’s policies and regulations covering discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may be accessed at http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/campus_environ or http://www.ncsu.edu/equal_op . Any person who feels that he or she has been the subject of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 515-3148.
Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services: www.ncsu.edu/tutorial_center/writespeak/index.htm
Academic Policies: www.ncsu.edu/policies/sitemap.php#acad-pols_regs