Prepare for unforeseen consequences
(Half Life: Episode Two)

Game Critiques

Games List

The assignment is to critique a serious game. Ideas for games may come from knowledge that you have, games referred to in papers, or ones that you find in the catalogue on the course web site. If you do not choose a game from the catalogue, you are to produce a brief annotation of the form that are on that page, including the categorization. (If you believe that there is a missing category, we certainly can discuss that.) This should be posted directly to Sakai.

The games list shows the date that your critique is due. Do not worry about the categorization that I gave the game, but if you want to suggest an alternative, just let me know. If you are not on the list, please let me know what game you will be critiquing. If you have any problems with critiquing or demoing the game. you can change games up to ONE WEEK prior to your due date. You will not be able to select a game that another student is critiquing. I strongly recommend that you start working on the critique two weeks prior to your due date.

The critique will consist of two parts:


On the day of the critique fair, each person will set up a demo station where they can show key parts of the game to the rest of class. After a 2 minute introduction by each presenter, the class will visit the demo stations. At the demo station, you will be expected to show the key serious and gameplay aspects of the game. I will visit each station for at least a minute or two.

Written Critique

Length: minimum 2 pages, 1.5 spaced (most likely will be longer). To be written as an essay, not as a series of questions and answers.

A critique is a critical review or commentary. For a good overview of what a critique ahould cover, read the series by Ryan Stanci, Katamari Damacy A Critique.

To be critical, the review should be characterized by careful evaluation and judgment. The critique should include background information about the game that is valuable for evaluation. Background information should include

In general, a critique can cover both the design and the implementation. For this critique, you are to focus on the design and the effectiveness of the game for the serious purpose that you are evaluating it for.

The following lists of questions should be seen as guidelines and potential ideas. You do not need to answer questions that are not relevant to the game you are critiquing. If there are other aspects that are relevant to your game, address them. Do not feel obligated to give equal time to each of the components. Focus on those aspects of the game that are the most interesting.

From a design perspective, questions of interest are:

From a serious game perspective, questions of interest are:

The critique is due the day that you present at the critique fair and is to be submitted through Sakai.