A Rhetorically Informed Toxicity “Clean Up” PlanFor this option, you would start from a game that is undeniably toxic. You would follow these steps:A. Explain why the game is toxic/what that toxic behavior manifests as, offering examples. B. Propose a plan to fix the toxic behavior/to alter the community with support (meaning some research/sources). This needs to be a plan that is specific and supported.C. Offer logic as to how your plan (B) could theoretically change the problems in your examples (from A). D. You need to assemble a “justification” for your plan wherein you either: 1) Craft a short bibliography of references that can be used to illustrate to your readers that you’ve done the legwork/know your topic or 2) you need to gather feedback from “experts” or “influencers” to show that others who know and deeply understand the game community feel like the plan has merit. This is a deliberate effort to build ethos for your plan.
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This class takes as its mission two specific goals:
1.​ For you to learn more about how rhetoric relates to gaming
2.​ To explore toxic game communities and think through what that toxicity means for the
games industry, gamers, game studies, Esports, etc.
Your final project can take one of three forms.
Read that carefully​. 1 of 3. You are ​NOT​ doing all three of these things. You’re ​picking
one​ option from the three below.
Option 1: Deep Dive Analysis of a Game and its player community
For this option, you would select a game (or a game series) and you would do the
following:
A.​ An analysis of the game (think about our rhetorical analysis project for a sense of
how to do this) where you look at how the game is created, for what audience, what
assumptions it makes, etc.
B.​ A similar analysis of the game’s community (players and fans)
C.​ A statement– factual, with evidence– of how the game addresses toxic behavior,
whether the game or its fans are toxic, etc.
D.​ Detailed examples of why, based on your own theories, the game either is or is not
overly toxic including what we can learn from that.
Option 2: A Rhetorically Informed Toxicity “Clean Up” Plan
For this option, you would start from a game that is undeniably toxic. You would follow
these steps:
A.​ Explain why the game is toxic/what that toxic behavior manifests as, offering
examples.
B.​ Propose a plan to fix the toxic behavior/to alter the community with support (meaning
some research/sources). This needs to be a plan that is specific and supported.
C.​ Offer logic as to how your plan (B) could theoretically change the problems in your
examples (from A).
D.​ You need to assemble a “justification” for your plan wherein you either: 1) Craft a
short bibliography of references that can be used to illustrate to your readers that you’ve
done the legwork/know your topic or 2) you need to gather feedback from “experts” or
“influencers” to show that others who know and deeply understand the game
community feel like the plan has merit. This is a deliberate effort to build ethos for your
plan.
Option 3: Public Rhetorical Intervention
This final option is similar to option 2, but it requires that you actually enact a potential
fix.
Because the interaction itself is part of the project, you wouldn’t need as much content
for A and B from option 2. For this option, the scoring listed below will be altered slightly
(it will be 75% intervention and 25% the other three steps).
A.​ Explain why the game is toxic/what that toxic behavior manifests as, offering
examples.
B.​ Propose your plan to fix the toxic behavior/to alter the community
C.​ Make your intervention.
D.​ Document the impact/aftermath of your intervention (with reflection)
This option is about ​taking a risk​ but also about being creative and rhetorically smart; as
you’d actually be implementing a plan, you’d have to catalog that, and you’d have to
know that you were opening yourself up to the possibility of being deeply impacted by
the toxic behavior you might be trying to combat.
Interventions might include:
A. Major input into a fan community (a forum, a Discord, a Reddit)
B. Producing a video or videos for distribution online
C. A social media campaign
D. An in-game intervention event of some sort
The only requirements for the intervention action itself are that your intervention:​ 1)​ is
significant and well thought-out, ​2)​ can be seen, and ​3)​ illustrates that you’ve given the
project careful rhetorical thought
Grading:
The grading for this assignment is a bit different, but it should make sense and be fair
for everyone:
Gatekeeper:​ You must do the equal of ten written pages worth of work. If you get in a
position where you’re not sure if you’re doing that because your project isn’t text based,
we can talk about it, but you can probably follow your gut to give you a good guide. You
know how much work you’re doing. 🙂
If you submit work but DO NOT illustrate at least 10 written pages worth of work, you
will receive ​200 points​, which sounds like a lot but is only half the total points for the
project. If you do less than the equal of 5 pages of written work, you will not receive any
points for the assignment.

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