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April 18, 2007
Major Section Begins: Part III: THE BIG PICTURE
Lecture: Science (cont'd) and Simulation
Key concepts: trends in scientific and medical information, copyright, infrastructure for scientific information (all cont'd from last lecture), simulation (defined), simulation as a research method, realism in simulations
Examples: The mystery of the Anasazi, Civilization IV
Textbook: 1984 -- part one, sections 5-8
Read the PART ONE, SECTIONS 5-8 of Orwell, George. 1984.
Announcement: ROOM CHANGE: sections held in 291 UGL this week only
Announcement: this week only, bonus Civ 4 lab hours 6-9pm, Wed & Thu
Assignment: BLOG POST: Civilization Lab #1
This assignment involves the class game: Civilization IV. See the game page for all of the information about how to obtain and play the class game. You will want to watch the 5-minute tutorial movie before you begin.
Part I. Look at the sign-up sheet for this assignment (Password Protected [Get Password Help]). Pick a component of the game that you want to investigate that still has spaces left. State which component you chose.
Part II. In detail, describe how the component works in the game. Specifically, how does it help you to achieve cultural domination? To answer this, you'll have to play the game and experiment with the component that you signed up for. (Remember, you can change your mind and sign up for a new topic at any time.)
IMPORTANT: You need to play the game enough with your feature in mind that you understand the operation of the feature, otherwise you will not have enough to write about. You need to be able to describe the role of the feature in the overall simulation of society. (For example, "I built the library and I won the game." is not sufficient -- you might write about how your component interacts with the other components and how it might play a role in a strategy to win the game.)
Part III. Does the operation of the game component contradict or support facts, research, theories, or examples from course lectures and readings? For example: "I will explain how the way the invention of writing functions in Civilization IV totally contradicts Postman's arguments about memory..." or "The way the game depicts immigration supports the points made in lecture about cultural imperialism in three ways..."
In your assessment,
- refer to at least one specific example from YOUR gameplay to support your arguments.
- include at least one screenshot to show what you mean.
- include at least one quotation from a relevant class reading, lecture, or film screening to support your assessment.
- finally, upload your most relevant or most recent saved game file to your blog post so that readers can see what you did (saved game files are files with the extension ".Civ4SavedGame").
Further instructions about how to obtain the game are available from class handouts, in discussion section, and on the class games page of this web site.
This assignment must be at least 250 words (about 1 page).
Post your blog entry by 11 a.m. -- one hour before class begins. (You may want to select your topic as soon as you can.)
The deadline for this assignment has been extended to Friday at midnight.
This is the Web site for SPCM 199, Communication Technology and Society, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.