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Iowa Journalism School Adds Video Games Writing to Curriculum

Illustration for article titled Iowa Journalism School Adds Video Games Writing to Curriculum

This fall, the University of Iowa's School of Journalism and Mass Communication will offer a course in writing about video games and reporting on the industry.

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"My idea is that everyone can learn from video games," Kyle Moody, the course's instructor and a teaching assistant in the journalism school, told The Daily Iowan, the independent newspaper of the university. "I am into video games, but I see it more as a way for learning; to write about technology experiences and lifestyle and culture, video games are the entry point to me."

A more senior faculty member indicated that the mushrooming news coverage of the games industry means her school should be training writers in how to write about it.

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"There's a big video-game industry out there that has a really active audience," said Julie Andsager, the director of the university's Media Research Lab. "[People] are reading stories about video games and publications - the more our students can learn how to write for that market, the better."

The course is called "Specialized Reporting & Writing, Video Games & Communication" and it will be offered beginning in the fall term of 2012.

UI journalism teacher adds video game narrative writing course to Fall 2012 curriculum [The Daily Iowan via GamePolitics]

(Top photo via University of Iowa)

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DISCUSSION

I'm still on the fence with video game journalism.

There are writers that I enjoy, and there have been many articles that have made me think. It's more the validity of the opinions, over the opinions of the general gaming audience. Who's to say who knows best?

On the flip side of the great pieces I have read, there has been some awful stuff. Inaccurate and sometimes completely misleading when referring to aspects like development, and nuances of design and production.

Sure, this argument can be presented at anything; Who says that a sportswriter has a greater insight than the critical and dedicated fan, or the movie buff, audiophile and so on. When it's not reporting news, or investigative journalism, it opens up - for me - a lot of doubt on the legitimacy of the opinions being more knowledgeable and educated.

Perhaps this is the point, perhaps journalists don't think they know all when it comes to their chosen topic. Perhaps there are many readers that know this too, and read to simply be entertained. But I believe there are also many who believe they do have the more valid opinions, and readers that believe that the journalists should as well.

Regardless of this, there is one thing that would certainly help video game journalism, and that's a greater amount of research in the actual development processes. I'd be embarrassed to read a article about football (soccer), and find that the author of the piece has no understanding of the offside rule.

Journalism at least inspires thinking, so this is still a good thing. But personally, I don't know when or if I'll find a lot of weight in the opinion of writers, that overwhelms that of the fan base.