Collaborative Speculativ Fiction and Final Paper Guidelines

Hello folks, 
There were a few questions about your proposals.
There is no specific length for them and we will be talking and workshopping your ideas in class. So come in on Monday with an idea and a typed concept on Wednesday.
When considering a topic consider building on something that you are already interested in or working on. Those of you who are writing about a game should plan on using the MDA approach which we will be going over in class. 
For the collaborative story, project be prepared to present them in class as well as turning them in. You may supply visuals but it isn’t required. Please print out (at the very least) one copy to turn in. In any case, very much looking forward to hearing the final products. 
Hello People, Sorry for any confusion in class. I am glad that you tell me when there is an issue or a miss-understanding. I, however, need to stress that the process is critical (we will continue on Wednesday). As we collectively learn from each other’s drafts the mechanics of storytelling begin to unveil themselves. These were my takeaways from today’s pitches.
Jose/Catherine/Dillion – This draft had a strong theme (betrayal). The characters had flaws and virtues. But most importantly this story had a plot. Stuff happened. 

Keven/Jonny/Ryan – This story had strong world building and encompassed “relatable” societal power dynamics that are taken from real life but exaggerated. Essentially it followed Butlers rules for predicting the future.  It juxtaposes technological determinism and the plant truths of the past.

Macy/Ariela/Ming – This story had a strong structure and internal logic. The genre/theme is also present – a story about choices and creating the future. It is a rejection of the dystopian and perhaps a search for the utopian. (correct me if I’m wrong)

So, now what would happen if all three of your stories had all these story elements? Excited to learn from the other groups.

While we continue to develop these stories please remember these questions?

  1. What is the world like? What are the laws of the World? What are the constraints and limitations?
  2. Who are your characters? What makes them human? What makes them likable? What makes them despicable?
  3. What triggers people’s choices? What is the transformation/moment of growth/realization?
  4. Why do I care? and what is the overarching theme? (This can become during or after the process)

The Collaborative Stories are due and will be presented on May 7th.

Here is a New Yorker article honoring Ursula K. Le Guin on the occasion of her death several months ago.

The Subversive Imagination of Ursula K. Le Guin


Final Paper Guidelines and MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research


Final Paper Guidelines 
Proposals are due on May 9th
The final paper is due May 23rd. 

Your Final Assignment is to write a 1250 – 1500 word, technical paper that explores a hypothetical, Innovation Prototype. You may write about a new gameartistic experience that encompasses cutting edge technology, a product (hardware) or a program (software). You should include diagrams or images but they do not replace the word count.

The Idea:

Why do I care?

The idea development is critical. It may be something that you would actually like to create or it could be a bit more hypothetical but you must think it through thoroughly. Remember that science fiction is most interesting when it is based on fact.

You must research your idea and discuss in your paper any research or products that exist and are related and then discuss how your idea builds on it and how it is different.

You must define all key terminology and how you are using it in your introduction.

I am posting some guidelines from Stanford and Columbia to follow below but generally speaking your papers need to include:

Abstract: This is a paragraph that outlines all the major points of your paper. Generally speaking, this is used by other researchers to quickly see if it pertains to their research. I recommend you write after you have completed your paper.

Keywords: 5-8 words that pertain to your paper. If someone were to do a search in a database they might be able to find your paper with these keywords)


This should include related projects or products. What your idea is built on – why it is important and what problem you are solving?

Subject review:

Please include a section in which you discuss other products, games, experiences that you have researched and how your concept differs and builds on these prior projects.


  • problem
  • approach

Technology Design

  • results

Future Work:


Please note that these links often assume experiments and equations. Do not invent fake data but rather describe your process. For game design refer to MDA for product design break your the body of paper up using mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics as categories.  Consider your audience, the development process, and the solution.


Also please look at MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research


How Values Shape History and Visions of the Future

Hi People,

Here is the link to Octavia Butler’s Blood Child

Below homework for next week. Homework due for tomorrow is in the previous post.

A Few Rules For Predicting The Future- Octavia Butler 

I also would like to discuss Parable of Sowers which was assigned several weeks ago next week.

and Jeremy Lent on how our values shaped history and the future

Culture shift: redirecting humanity’s path to a flourishing future


The Anthropocene, Gaia and the Importance of Names

Hi Everyone!

Please read and write your response about either Diplomacy in the Face of Gaia pg 43 or Isabelle Strengers’ In Catastrophic Times The Intrusion of Gaia ch 4 pg 43-50.

Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Aesthetics, Politics, Environments, and Epistemologies Edited by Heather Davis and Etienne Turpin

pg 43 – Diplomacy in the Face of Gaia Bruno Latour in conversation with Heather Davis

Enter the Anthropocene—Age of Man

By Elizabeth Kolbert

For more background on Gaia see below …

Beautiful Minds – James Lovelock – The Gaia Hypothesis / Gaia Theory

Looking forward to continuing our discussion!