In the fall, every freshman enrolls in a tutorial. This class, limited to about fifteen members, encourages your participation in small-group discussions that will challenge you intellectually and suggest the kind and quality of educational experiences characteristic of the liberal arts at Wabash College. Instructors select topics of importance to them and ones they judge to be pertinent to student interests. You need not have had previous experience with the topic in order to sign up for a particular tutorial. Although the topics, often interdisciplinary and non-traditional, vary among the tutorials, all students engage in common intellectual experiences and practice both written and oral self-expression. Reading, speaking, research, and writing assignments, of course, will vary with individual instructors, but the goals of every tutorial remain the same: to read texts with sensitivity, to think with clarity, an
Tutorial Titles and Descriptions
Select a tutorial that is interesting to you, regardless of your concerns about possible majors. Once assigned to a tutorial, you will not be able to register for another tutorial, so before making your final decision, read the course descriptions for several of the tutorials whose titles interest you.
FT 012-A In the Future We Will Play: The Art and History of Video Games
Michael Abbott, Department of Theater
In 1903, anthropologist W.H. Holmes reported: “The popular notion that games are trivial in nature has given way to an adequate appreciation of their importance as an integral part of human culture.” Playing is not reading. Yet, increasingly, video games and other forms of interactive media are challenging us to reassess the ways we think about storytelling, authorship, and representation. Aside from their obvious popular appeal, games such as “L.A. Noire,” “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim,” and “Journey” test our current ways of understanding semiotics and engagement with the reader/player. Increasingly, gaming can be seen a convergence point where media as diverse as film, literature, art, music, and design meet and coalesce to form a new, unique art form...one that fits squarely and comfortably within the Humanities. We must develop a methodology for “reading” video games that affords this new medium the scrutiny it richly deserves. This tutorial will explore a variety of ways to accomplish this - borrowing, adapting, and revising familiar methodologies, and proposing new strategies for seeing and critically comprehending video games. To this end, we will play, analyze, discuss, research, and write about video games as a modern emerging art form.
Abbott, Michael S.