Wednesday was the final session of the 2019 Writing & Editing for Gaming course. I asked my students to email me an honest reflection on the course to help me improve it for the next time I teach it. I found out last week that we will be applying for the course to become an every-other-year permanent addition to the Professional Writing curriculum. I was reading their reflections and pondering the history of this course and that we will be making it an ongoing course. I feel so much gratitude to these students and for the Professional Writing Department and Taylor University allowing me to teach this course.
Excerpts from student reflections:
It was awesome to be able to speak with professionals every week and get their advice and insight into the industry. I also appreciated that our projects were very practical and helped us learn the skills we would use as writers or editors in the tabletop game industry.
Hearing from people within the industry, who work in many different types of jobs, was a valuable experience. The combination of their personal anecdotes with your lessons provided a unique approach to teaching that I really learned a lot from.
I knew next to nothing about the gaming industry going into it, but now I feel fairly well-versed and confident in my knowledge. Working with game companies has gone from a fun idea to a realistic goal that could be easily achieved (I like to think). You have taught me so much, and in a way that was really fun and engaging. I can’t wait to build on that knowledge with your next class.
Benjamin Franklin states it so well, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Teaching this course each time has made me a better professor and freelancer in the game industry. I delve into the game industry heavily each time, which expands my knowledge and increases my passion for the game industry and game community.
As I look back on this second semester of this course, I see two things I want to improve on next time. First, I want to reach out to additional publishers who might wish to partner with the course, providing potential real world editing projects for the students. More and more of my students have a desire to be editors, so I want to provide them with real-world experience when possible. Second, I want to encourage the students who choose writing-focused final projects to be as professional in their final version as possible, with plans for these projects to eventually be published in some manner. Many students still viewed these final projects as student papers rather than publishable books in how they organized and finalized the documents.
Every time I teach this course, I look forward to watching where these talented and passionate students go as writers and editors, whether they work in the game industry or not. They have touched my life. Perhaps someday I will even be blessed to play a game or read a book with the name of one of these current students in the credits.