Prerequisites: English II and Evolution of Human Thought
In this intensive, students will look at how stories are told across media - film, short stories, and video games. We will be collaboratively building a shared world with interesting characters to meet, enticing settings to explore, and things to discover. This world will have a history, a government, and an economic system, and will be designed to be consistent with other worlds we encounter in stories, film, and video games. Students will have a choice to build a post-apocalyptic world, a futuristic science fiction world, or a high fantasy world. For English credit, we will learn about character, setting, and plot, and students will write short stories about the characters in their world, demonstrating their skill in creating engaging characters and immersive settings. For social studies credit, the students will be focussed on building realistic political and economic systems and looking at how they can function in the setting they have chosen. So if they go with a high fantasy setting, they would need to figure out what types of political units exist in the world, and how they interact with each other. Does magic exist? If so, how does it alter the economic activity of the people? Questions that are, more often than not, ignored in most fantasy stories.
We will have a Model UN-style crisis simulation with other territories in this world, the outcome of which will change the world we have built, and become the “hook” for our roleplaying adventure. Finally, the class will break into gaming groups and spend time with a character they’ve developed role-playing in their world - discovering the places they’ve created and building a shared narrative, which will lead to the final major story students will write about their character’s adventures with their group (plot).
Expect to read a lot, write a lot, game a lot (video games and roleplaying), and build a deeply immersive shared world with your friends and classmates that you can explore through games.
Required: A Steam account (free), a PC or MAC for playing online games, and access to a video streaming service (or have a DVD player). We will provide dice, roleplaying rules, and a wiki for building our world.
Recommended: Role-playing experience, game-mastering experience, and video game experience with RPGs, as well as a love of stories and writing.