Prepare for unforeseen consequences
(Half Life: Episode Two)

Research Papers

The assignment is to write a 5-7 page research paper on any topic related to games. The topic really is wide open. You may explore a technical aspect of game development or design. You can study how games are being used in certain fields or for certain purposes. You may explore business aspects of the game industry. You can treat games as a field of art and study aesthetics or the work of a key designer. The only constraints are in terms of breadth: you may not, for example, focus the work on a single game.

There are two objectives of this assignment: to learn more about an aspect of games that interests you and to learn about the state of the literature and research available in the field.

There are 3 steps for this assignment.

  1. February 4: Question to explore. You are to post on Sakai the question that you want to study. In many cases, you will be able to do this in a single sentence. If it is clear, that is all that is needed.
  2. February 18: Preliminary list of resources. You are to identify at least 5 resources that you will use in your research. The purpose of this step is for me to validate that the resources are trustworthy and appropriate. I will also attempt to identify any resources that you may have overlooked. For web resources, I expect a link. For non-web resources, I will want information on how to locate them. This information should be posted on Sakai either directly or as an attached document or link to a resource page. I also will update the RESOURCES tab of this web site as I find new, interesting resources.
  3. April 18: Research paper due. A key aspect of the paper is that points made must be well-substantiated and appropriately referenced; this is not an opinion essay. Points made should be substantiated with examples. Figures, screenshots and tables are encouraged. Grammar and spelling are significant issues for me and I will penalize you for poorly written papers. The paper should be submitted both electronically on Sakai. I expect a cover page, spacing is to be 1.5 lines, and font should be of a reasonable size. The paper may exceed the 5-7 pages.