Mid-term Paper

Topic and Scope

For your mid-term project you will select from one of the themes we've covered up to the mid-term date—socio-technical systems, embodiment & materiality, gender, race, and sexuality—and explore some angle of the topic in more depth, drawing in multimedia examples and scholarly literature to make your argument. You could, for example, explore mods as a socio-technical actor within games, changing ruleset of a game, or a critical analysis of gender and a particular game. You could do a close analysis of forms of materiality and embodiment with a particular title. The key is that you do a deep analytic dive, demonstrating your original thinking and application of the concepts we've discussed and in conversation with other research on the subject.


The format for the assignment will be slightly different than a straightforward written paper you hand in. You will be creating an argument based around multimedia texts online which you will embed into your online essay. The format is inspired by the In Media Res Project where authors pick a short clip (often from YouTube) and respond to it.


  1. Your mid-term will extend this so you are working with a number of short clips (minimum 3) interspersed through your piece—using them as reflection prompts, illustrations, jumping off points in making your argument. The mid-term should be written as an online essay, complete with the embedded videos and any other images, links, etc. you may want to use to illustrate your argument and make for a good presentation. In addition to the content you are also responsible for making sure the formatting "works" so do not wait till the last minute to check your embedded video.
  2. You should also engage with (i.e. draw on, cite, quote) at least 3 peer-reviewed scholarly articles related to your topic. One can be drawn from our class readings but the additional ones should come from your independent lit search. If you are unsure of where to find good game studies articles you can check out my resource page.
  3. You should use the Chicago Manual of Style conventions for quoting and citing work.
  4. Your overall word count for the piece should be 2500 words (+/- 10% is fine though writing to the spec, by scoping your argument, is an important part of the task).

Online Work

I value the idea that the classroom is a place for you to freely explore ideas, push yourself, try new approaches and ideas, and contend with tricky issues in a safe space. This poses interesting challenges then if you are doing work that is online and engaging with the net. I would like for you to pseudonym yourself for the purposes of this assignment. This means choosing a space to host your essay somewhere other than your own website (such as Wordpress.com, which is free) and writing it under a pseudonym that you only share with me. (You could alternatively password protect your post if you want to host it on your own site but consult with me about this option). You are certainly welcome to publish the essay under your own name after the course if you so choose, but I do not want to force anyone to put material online that is traceable so, for the purposes of this assignment, we'll go with pseudonyms.