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FSEM 100
First-Year Seminar:
Virtual Worlds and the Real One

The First-Year Seminar ("FSEM") at Stetson is a course especially designed for incoming students. The goal of the program is to facilitate the transition from high school to college-level academic work, by engaging a small group of students in in-depth exploration of a specific topic. Further details about the program are available on the university's website, here.

This particular First-Year Seminar is on "Virtual Worlds and the Real One." In this class we will focus on computer gaming — specifically, on massively multiplayer on-line games (or MMO's). As a class we will play several games from a variety of genres. But the class is not about playing games. Rather, it uses these games as a springboard for investigation of a variety of issues. For example: Do violent computer games foster violence in society? How does the essential anonymity of the internet shape player behavior and interaction? What lessons about economics can we learn from the workings of in-game virtual economies?

Syllabus Homework Assignments

Homework Assignments

FSEM's are intended to be highly interactive classes with a large component of written work as well as some activities that involve oral presentations. In this class there will typically be one or two written assignments per week. Some of these will be straightforward exercises, but others will be more extensive works that require research, editing and rewriting, and/or preparation and rehearsal. Copies of assignments will be distributed in class and are available below.

Introductory Homework Assignment
Homework #1 - Course Introduction
Homework #2 - Myers-Briggs Type
Presentation #1 - DC Universe Online Game Features
Homework #3 - Virtual Personality
Homework #4 - Reality Is Broken
Homework #5 - Game-ification
Homework #6 - Reality is Broken, II
Homework #7 - Writing a Game Tutorial
Homework #8 - Gaming and Pedagogy