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Subject: Board Game Research Paper! rss

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Cory Duplantis
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I am currently in Honors English Comp II as a freshman in college. Upon looking at the syllabus on the first day I see that we have a 7 - 10 paper research paper due the last week of class and the paper can be on WHATEVER topic I so choose, as long as it pertains to a foreign country in some way. The first topic that popped into my head was, naturally, board games. My question for the community is is there enough research online (more specifically in books) to pull off a paper of this size. Some of the possible narrowed down topics I had thought of were:

History of Board Games
History in Board Games
Evolution of Gaming Mechanics
Genres of Board Games

Also, If you have any other ideas, please feel free to give them. If you also think that, while in theory, this idea is a good one, but I probably couldn't find enough "stuff" on the topic, then please feel free to give me that as well.

Thank you guys and I hope this can come to be a great paper. If I do end up doing this paper, I will be sure to try to post it on here just for reference purposes.

 
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Max Jamelli
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I think History in board games would be interesting to research -- specifically wargmaes mostly. I would think you could use history books to compare how the board games were designed. Good luck with the paper.
 
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Cory Duplantis
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I actually am not too familiar with the WarGame genre. I would have to learn them, which shouldn't be too bad
 
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Adam Blinkinsop
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cajuninms wrote:
Also, If you have any other ideas, please feel free to give them. If you also think that, while in theory, this idea is a good one, but I probably couldn't find enough "stuff" on the topic, then please feel free to give me that as well.
I don't think that material would be too difficult to find for many of these (personally, the history of RPGs is super-interesting in itself), but make sure you run it by your professor first.
 
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Check online journal databases like Jstor. Your school will need to be affiliated with it in order to access the archives.

I would suggest writing an essay on the sociological impact of boardgames.

If you search psychological case studies, you may be able to procure a few experiments done with boardgames (although that may be a stretch).

I've always felt that writing a paper on the history of something to be rather trite. I would much rather hear your opinion on the subject and perhaps some sort of thought-provoking insight on the topic. I study English as well and I can tell you that when they say research paper, what they mean is an essay with an abundance of secondary sources.

A year ago I wrote a few essays on boardgames. I interpreted them in a similar manner as one may interpret a piece of literature (discussing themes, symbols, metaphors, motifs, etc). That is another thing you may consider. However, the secondary resources for that would be almost nonexistent.
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Matt Dodor
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cajuninms wrote:
I am currently in Honors English Comp II as a freshman in college. Upon looking at the syllabus on the first day I see that we have a 7 - 10 paper research paper due the last week of class and the paper can be on WHATEVER topic I so choose, as long as it pertains to a foreign country in some way. The first topic that popped into my head was, naturally, board games. My question for the community is is there enough research online (more specifically in books) to pull off a paper of this size. Some of the possible narrowed down topics I had thought of were:

History of Board Games
History in Board Games
Evolution of Gaming Mechanics
Genres of Board Games

Also, If you have any other ideas, please feel free to give them. If you also think that, while in theory, this idea is a good one, but I probably couldn't find enough "stuff" on the topic, then please feel free to give me that as well.

Thank you guys and I hope this can come to be a great paper. If I do end up doing this paper, I will be sure to try to post it on here just for reference purposes.



How about just a regular paper? I'm into games as much as the next guy, but you're just taking a regular old English class. Do some classic paper with tons of sources already out there. Think of the time you'll save doing fast, fruitful research versus the internet scavenging for your boardgame sources. There's plenty you can do with that time you'll save, like, I don't know, maybe actually playing a game or two.

Edits, like a good paper, for clarity and grammar
 
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electricvomit wrote:
cajuninms wrote:
I am currently in Honors English Comp II as a freshman in college. Upon looking at the syllabus on the first day I see that we have a 7 - 10 paper research paper due the last week of class and the paper can be on WHATEVER topic I so choose, as long as it pertains to a foreign country in some way. The first topic that popped into my head was, naturally, board games. My question for the community is is there enough research online (more specifically in books) to pull off a paper of this size. Some of the possible narrowed down topics I had thought of were:

History of Board Games
History in Board Games
Evolution of Gaming Mechanics
Genres of Board Games

Also, If you have any other ideas, please feel free to give them. If you also think that, while in theory, this idea is a good one, but I probably couldn't find enough "stuff" on the topic, then please feel free to give me that as well.

Thank you guys and I hope this can come to be a great paper. If I do end up doing this paper, I will be sure to try to post it on here just for reference purposes.



How about just a regular paper? I'm into games as much as the next guy, but you're just taking a regular old English class. Do some classic paper with tons of sources already out there. Think of the time you'll save doing fast, fruitful research versus the internet scavenging for your boardgame sources. There's plenty you can do with that time you'll save, like, I don't know, maybe actually playing a game or two.

Edits, like a good paper, for clarity and grammar


Nonsense. Higher learning isn't about doing something that's easy. Explore a subject that is almost unexplored. If you're going to write a paper on something that has been heavily written about, than you damn well better bring some fresh insight. Also, relying heavily on secondary sources may prove to be a crutch to your thesis.

7-10 pages is nothing. You'll fill them up in no time as long as you have studied your subject thoroughly.
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cajuninms wrote:
I actually am not too familiar with the WarGame genre. I would have to learn them, which shouldn't be too bad


    Consider a specific game, particularly in the wargame genre. Given your lead-time you could take a game like Warriors of God or A Most Dangerous Time: Japan in Chaos, 1570-1584 and examine how the game's design accommodates the actual history it is portraying.

    Naturally this assumes you have an interest in that type of game and of history in general. Other genres of game could do the same but it might be more difficult to associate a theme with a foreign context unless it is very integral to the gameplay.

    Given the close nature of the industry here you may be able to speak to the game creators themselves and get their take on the whys and hows, which could be very interesting and add some real gravity to the text.

    I just realized that I tossed out two games designed by the same guy. Please don't tell Adam Starkweather that I'm sending people to stalk him! Plenty of games to choose from. A single game might do a good job of keeping you inside your very limited maximum size.

             Sag.



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Keng Ho Pwee
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If you can lay hands on a copy of The Study of Games by Avedon and Sutton-Smith, it will give you an idea of various aspects of research on games.

http://gamestudies.org/0101/juul-review/
 
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Allison dlr
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Ok, obviously there are lots of ways to go with this. But since the only guideline you were given is that it has to involve a foreign country, how about making that your focus? Ask broadly "How do cultural differences in Europe (or Germany, more specifically) versus America influence what people do in their past-times?" to get at the more specific question of strategy game popularity in Europe versus American attitudes toward games (generally tepid/unaware, except for communities like this one).

This will allow you a huge number of resources to dig into regarding cultural differences between continents.
 
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Allison dlr
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Also, in English papers in genenral, it's important to make an argument one way or the other, and build your paper with facts to support your argument. A straight history of board games paper would just be a recitation of facts, which is probably less interesting to your instructor, and stretches you less as a writer.
 
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1) Tell them what you are about to play.
2) Play.
3) Tell them what you just played.
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Darren Hron
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Quote:
How about just a regular paper? I'm into games as much as the next guy, but you're just taking a regular old English class. Do some classic paper with tons of sources already out there. Think of the time you'll save doing fast, fruitful research versus the internet scavenging for your boardgame sources. There's plenty you can do with that time you'll save, like, I don't know, maybe actually playing a game or two.

Edits, like a good paper, for clarity and grammar


Although a paper where you are interested in the topic often results in better papers.

That said, I hope your program has a program that emphasizes writing adaptability rather than the formulaic approach (aka 5 paragraph essay).
 
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