I first established Intermittent Mechanism in 2015. At the time, I conceived of it purely as a blog for hosting my classes’ student projects. I have gradually added to it since then, beefing it up a bit every academic job market cycle. It wasn’t until September 17, 2016, though, that I posted my first lesson plan.
In the past year, I have transformed the site into a proper blog. We’re now at the 1-year anniversary of this transition, so I wanted to take a look back at some milestones. If you’re a newcomer to Intermittent Mechanism, consider this your beginner’s guide.
In the past year, I posted 29 lesson plans, syllabi, and discussion notes from courses I taught during the 2016–2017 academic year. I also posted an additional 16 “greatest hits” lesson plans from courses I have taught in the past. Some hand-picked highlights from the lesson plans and pedagogical materials posted in the past year:
- Bruce Conner’s A Movie
- Film Scores and Synesthesia and Film Scores Addendum
- Henri Bergson’s Theory of Humor
- Skill, Perception and Epiphany Across Cinema and Videogames
- Horror, Paranoia, and Suspense in Cinema and Videogames
- Irony and Lies in Photography and Cinema, pt 1 and pt 2
- You’re There. You’re a Square. Get Over It.
- Net Neutrality
- Cinematic Editing—From Bricks to Collisions to Un-Linkage
I created a practical pedagogical guide for teaching games, filled with syllabus-ready game recommendations. I continue to update this, sporadically.
I started posting a bunch of film and game criticism on the blog. I serially explored some central areas of interest. My series “The Process Genre in Videogames” considers labor in games. My series “A Hodology of Videogames” examines movement and path-making in game space. I wrote a series of reviews for the “Troubling the Image” screenings of experimental cinema curated by Patrick Friel and Julia Gibbs. I made some video essays.
I started to write a silly history of the representation of cats in videogames. This project concluded with me having to eulogize one of my best friends. Life is shitty, sometimes.
My blogging attracted some recognition. My blog posts “The Process Genre in Videogames: Sunset” and “Double Blind” both got promoted on Critical Distance, an aggregator of serious game criticism online. My post “Personal Puzzles” got a Twitter shout-out from Liz Ryerson, the creator of Problem Attic.
All and all, I wrote approximately 100,000 words of videogame criticism in the past year, if one includes the scripts for video essays. I suppose I could have finished my book, instead. (Oops?)
What’s in store for year 2? Well, I have something massive brewing for late-September/early-October. Aside from that, I’m just going to keep writing, and keep producing video criticism. This is my 117th post on the Intermittent Mechanism blog section. I doubt I’ll be able to keep up with that rate over the next year, but I will also do my part to keep things fresh and updated.