Module UXS-3412:
Playable Fiction

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Lyle Skains

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To study creative artefacts resulting from unconventional and unnatural narratology in born-digital texts (e-lit and games), and to explore concepts related to the creation and reading of these texts.
  2. To examine reasons why innovative writers either break literary conventions or invent rules and constraints of their own.
  3. To explore the key texts of the 20th and 21st century in digital writing and games design.
  4. To explore the practical aspects of writing for nonlinear and/or interactive structures.
  5. To apply knowledge and insights gained from the experimental creative practice of digital writing and games design to established writing practices and critical approaches to these forms.

Course content

The creative writer is constantly challenged by the evolution of literary form, striving to create fresh and original narratives that depart from the conventional. Modernism, postmodernism, and now digital media are all avenues of exploration and experimentation. This module focuses on the latter domain, as writers approach narrative through the creation of games. Story-games, such as hypertexts, interactive fictions, and visual novels, necessitate unconventional, and even unnatural, structures and perspectives. By creating playable narratives, students on this course will open their writing up to new expressions, forms, and genres. Students will discuss and explore critical and creative responses to these texts, applying new techniques and awareness to their creative writing practice.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Excellent: A- - A*

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

C- to C+

C- to C+

Submitted work shows some competency, though it may not be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates fair to solid structure and generally logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are generally backed by evidence and sound reasoning, though some inconsistencies may be present.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style, though some errors and inconsistencies may be present.

threshold

Threshold: D-

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

good

Good: C-

Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  1. Good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Very Good: B-

Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  1. Very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Learning outcomes

  1. Apply advanced analysis to fiction from a foundation of narrative, gaming, and literary theory, as well as from a creative and/or practice-related research perspective.

  2. Interrogate the effects of experimenting with unconventional/unnatural forms on conventional or commercial writing practices.

  3. Write a piece of playable fiction in a chosen medium, demonstrating a significant understanding of media, narrative structure, and experimentation with conventions.

  4. Apply advanced analysis to the processes and features of writing unconventional and/or unnatural narrative fiction, and apply that to a self-directed, practical project.

Assessment Methods

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Seminar

Seminars (NOT joint with UXS-2412): 1 hour per week for 11 weeks.

11
Lecture

Lectures (joint with UXS-2412 Playable Fiction; ALL students): 1 hour per week for 11 weeks.

11
Study group

Study Group Tutorial (joint with UXS-2412): 1 hour per week for 11 weeks.

11
Private study 167

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).

Resources

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/uxs-3412.html

Reading list

Full reading list available on this module's Blackboard site.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: