As visitors to Westernsreboot.com may know, this writer is also an instructor at the college level, having offered two distinct Western genre courses to date. A third has now been added. I am very happy to announce the launch this Spring term of The Video Game West! This new online course will allow students to explore the Western genre via the medium of video games for college credit. As The Great Train Robbery (1903) expanded the Western into film in the early Twentieth Century, games like Red Dead Redemption (2010) have now further expanded the genre in the Twenty-First.
The Video Game West is a 14-week course, offered thru Sault College in Sault Ste. Marie (Ontario/Michigan), that will examine such topics as the history of Western video games, locations & setting, historical figures, the multiplayer experience, and the marketing of Western games. Assignments include weekly participation questions and a major reflective project in which students get to create their own story-line for a Western video game!
This online class is offered internationally and is to open to all college-level students, regardless of location. An official course description can be found at The Video Game West and for registration, interested students can contact Continuing Education at Sault College. Online forms & a toll-free number are provided at the link – search “video game west” in the tool bar or click on “Online & Independent Study Courses” to find the class. To receive approval for the course from your home college, contact the Continuing Education department and they will provide a course outline for your institution to authorize as part of your specific program.
The Video Game West begins Tuesday, May 12th (2015) and registration is now open for the course – students have until May 19th to register. The cost for this class is currently $406.68 (CDN), which at the present US exchange rate would be approximately $323 (US) – no textbook is required. (The next offering of the course starts September 8th – see the post Sault College Westerns for info.)
NOTE: The initial Sault College course, Westerns: A Study in the Film Genre, will also continue to offered – for info on that class visit Sault – Westerns. Those with questions can also contact me directly via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org .
The creation of The Video Game West has been a rewarding process and one that is not done. The course will continue to be updated with new developments – can you say, Red Dead Redemption sequel? – and materials. If you are looking for a different kind of college class, one that matches your own enthusiasm for video games and/or the Western genre, I hope you join us in The Video Game West!
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)