MUAG 4200: Videogames: Behind the Screens

Instructor: David Bard-Schwarz | reach me at david.schwarz@unt.edu

In the course we do four things:

  • we read in psychoanalysis, semiotics, narrative theory, interactivity theory; i have posted videos on these topics and students write in discussion boards daily on these topics as they relate to our focus: the video game Limbo
  • we make, download, and sample sounds from a wide variety of sources and edit them in the sound editing software Audacity; we also analyze these sounds using the software Sonic Visualizer
  • we work on media-rich criticism in which students' gameplay of Limbo is connected to the readings and suppported with images, videos, and sound clips from the game.
  • each student adapts a simple PONG game (in javascript, html, and css) to a specific aesthetic using the sounds they have made, downloaded, and / or sampled for paddle sounds, wall sound, and ambient sound).

Hello

  • 12.13.2021

    psychoanalysis

    Freud on the Pleasure Principle: pdf:

    sound

    introducing Audacity

    pong

    • introduction to pong
    • javascript, css, and html files of the game
  • 12.14.2021

    psychoanalysis

    Anzieu, The Skin Ego: "the sonorous envelope": pdf

    sound design

    introduction to Sonic Visualizer

    pong

    getting started programming pong on GitHub

  • 12.15.2021

    psychoanalysis

    Barthes, "the Reality Effect": pdf

    sound design

    concepts in sound

    • conscious / unconscious hearing
    • decibels: audible and inaudible
    • diegetic / non-diegetic
    • acousmatic / non-acousmatic

    pong

    what kinds of auditory sonorous envelopes would be appropriate to express any of the six basic emotions.

  • 12.16.2021

    psychoanalysis

    Lacan, "the Mirror Staqe: pdf

    sound design

    background, ambient sound

    pong

    background image, sound and sound of ball hitting the wall

  • 12.20.2021

    Lindley on Puzzles: pdf

  • 12.21.2021

    semiotics

    Massumi, "the Autonomy of Affect":pdf

  • 12.22.2021

    semiotics

    Bentham, "the Panopticon": pdf

    sound design

    white noise

    pong

    adding white noise to background

  • 12.23.2021

    semiotics

    Louis Althusser "Ideological State Apparatuses": pdf in Lenin and Philosophy

  • 01.03.2022

    semiotics

    Todorov, "The Two Principles of Narrative": pdf

  • 01.04.2022

    Foucault, "(excerpt) Discipline and Punish: pdf

  • 01.05.2022

    interactivity

    Kaja Silverman: "Suture" from The Subject of Semiotics

    sound design

    consonant intervals (perfect fifths) and dissonant intervals (tritones and minor seconds)

    pong

    adding edited consonant and dissonant intervals to ambient sound in pong

  • 01.06.2022

    interactivity

    Baudrilliard, "Simulacra and Simulation": pdf

    sound design

    beats produced by hz discrepancies

    pong

    incorporation of beats into pong

  • 01.10.2022

    interactivity

    Ariel Rogers, "Taking the Plunge: pdf"

    sound design

    alterations to downloaded sounds

    pong

    adjusting the speed of the ball

  • 01.11.2022

    interactivity

    Smuts, "What is Interactivity?": pdf

  • 01.12.2022

    Multi-Media Papers from winter 2021–2022

    Available upon request: email me at david.schwarz@unt.edu

  • 01.13.2022

    Email me at david.schwarz@unt.edu for access to final Pong games

  • 01.14.2022

    bibliography

    • Althusser, Louis. "Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses" in Lenin and Philosophy. Ben Brewste (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1971).
    • Anzieu, Didier. "The Sound Envelope" in The Skin Ego. Chris Turner (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989).
    • Barthes, Roland. "The Reality Effect" in The Rustle of Language Richard Howard (Berkeley, CA: UC Press, 1984 (1968)).
    • Baudrilliard, Jean. "The Simulacrum" in Simulacra and SImulation (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan Press, 1983).
    • Foucault, Michel. "The Panopticon" in Discipline and Punish Alan Sheridan (New York: Vintage, 1995 (1975)).
    • Massumi, Brian. "The Autonomy of Affect" in Cultural Critique. number 31. Autumn 1995.
    • Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. James Strachey (New York and London: Norton, 1990 (1920)).
    • Lacan, Jacques. "The mirror stage" in Ècrits. Alan Sheridan (New York and London: Norton, 1977).
    • Lindley, Ernest. "A Study of Puzzles with Special Reference to the Psychology of Mental Adaptation" in The American Journal of Psychology. July 1897. Volume 8 number 4.
    • Rogers, Ariel. "Taking the Plunge" in Screen Ideologies (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019).
    • Silverman, Kaja. "Suture" from the Subject of Semiotics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982).
    • Smuts, Aaron. "What is Interactivity" in The Journal of Aesthetic Education volume 43. number 4, winter 2009.
    • Todorov, Tzvetan. "The Two Principles of Narrative" in Diacritics. volume 1 number 1. autumn 1971.