Gameplay Essay

Due Date: Thursday, January 19, 2017

Submission Instructions: Share assignment materials on Box. Create a folder for materials. lastname_gameplay

Assignment Description:

This assignment focuses on the importance of thoughtful gameplay description. It will also give me an initial sense of where you stand as a writer. For the assignment, you will use specific descriptions from playing Zork. Focus on how a player's failures enrich the game experience. Enlist our readings so far to connect your thoughts to bigger course themes. In your paper, avoid telling me the story of your gameplay in chronological order. Instead, organize your thoughts by topic. You might focus on several important ways that failure adds complexity to Zork. Or you might address only one category but discuss different potential effects.

To begin this assignment, play the interactive story game Zork for approximately three hours. If you have played it before, that's okay but, if not, I would prefer you play it blind. This means no cheats and no walkthroughs.

If you beat the game in less than three hours, go back and experiment with commands. See if you can find easter eggs by typing unexpected things. As you play, take notes on specific clues and descriptions. Write down at least five exact quotations from the game. Also take note of what kinds of commands get interesting or unexpected responses.

To earn an A on this assignment, you must complete the following components:

Component Due Date, Submission Method Grading Scheme Percent of Total Grade
Description, analysis, evaluation exercise Completed in class on January 12 Pass/fail (see policies ). 10
Note-taking activity Completed in class on January 17 Pass/fail (see policies ) 10
Completed Draft Turned in via by 1 p.m. on Jan. 19 Scored on 100-point scale (see rubric ) 80

I will post individual activity descriptions for the first two components. If you attend class on both days and turn in the work on time, you will receive full credit (100%) for both of these.

First Person:

To show connections between your experience and general thoughts, it is okay to say "I" in this paper. (For example, when describing choices, feelings, and responses.) Note that it's not best to assume your experience will always hold true for others. Qualify your claims to fit the anecdotal evidence you are providing.


1,000 -1,200 words


MLA Format (in text and Works Cited entry at the end)

Format for video game entry in Works Cited:

Title of game. Version number. [Optional: contributors]. Company. Date of version. Video game.