Analysing Computer Games
Re-assessment for Session 2009-10

Your task is to write an academic paper on a contemporary topic, relating directly to video games development, playing, marketing or another aspect of the computer games industry. The topic is: the ethics of Apple in its control and censorship of the apps/games marketplace for the iPhone and iPad.

You should pay particular attention to the following:
  • a discussion on ethics in marketplaces
  • a backgrounding on the uniqueness of Apple
  • some examplars of censorship by Apple
  • contrasts with Google's position re Android
  • some reasoned conclusions on the situation

This will require some background reading. A good place to start any research project is Google and Wikipedia. Keep a tight account of your internet searches via both. For example, if you were to research 'ethics and technology', you'd search Google (there are other search engines - I use Bing these days) using the three-word term, and you'd find some relevant wikipedia page(s). You'd then look for such as writings on the field, major people in the field, recent work in the field, historic work in the field, etc. In the case of Google (or Bing, or ...) look beyond the first page of hits. In the case of wikipedia remember to read the entire page and get the very useful links and sources off the bottom of the page. Continue to do this for the other parts of the paper.

You need to gather in around 20 good quality references, covering the four bullets of: ethics, Apple, news and Google. Always keep a copy of all references. Print useful web pagaes as PDFs (this gives you text, picture, URL and date.) All referencing should be in Harvard Style.

The paper will probably be structured as follows:

  • title
  • author(s)
  • abstract
  • introduction
  • ethics and censorship
  • Apple's position
  • examplars of Apple censorship
  • Google's position
  • conclusions
  • references

You will submit a copy of the paper via your TuDocs page, which you will email by URL to by Friday 27th August at 12pm.

Marking Scheme

A (70-100%) - of the standard acceptable at an academic conference
B1 (60-69%) - the content and arguments are sound, but the paper is academically flawed (e.g. poor referencing style)
B2 (50-59%) - the content and arguments are sound, but the academic underpinning is weak (e.g. only 5-10 sound references)
C (40-49%) - there are significant weaknesses in the argument, but there are 5 or more sound references
D (30-39%) - the paper needs further work

E (0-29%) - the work needs entirely redone