Just a quick post to update you on the status of the RPG syllabus. I'm sorting through all your comments and recommendations in an effort to cut the big list down to a manageable number. Certain games like Chrono Trigger - chosen by nearly two-thirds of all respondents (and one of my favorites) - are certain to make the final syllabus. Other games like Rogue and Nethack (an either/or choice I think) are too dim in my memory to provoke an informed opinion, so I need to spend some time playing them.
And then there are a few games like Final Fantasy VII that...well, as I sheepishly confessed in a recent podcast, I've never actually played. Yeah, that's right. I've seen it, heard all about it, know who dies, etc. - but the fact is, I've never actually sat down and played that game. So to climb out from under my rock, I loaded the game into my PS2 last Friday...only to discover that I need a PS1 memory card for saves. Ugh. Forgot all about this ridiculous design oversight; can't locate one anywhere in the house. So I ordered a lime green memory card on eBay, which arrived yesterday, and last night I made it all the way to Aerith's house where I was politely asked by her mother to leave. So far so good, but it looks like a pretty stupid game to me. :P KIDDING!
I'm also working separately on the course bibliography and reading list. It's fairly easy to gather print materials on the subject, but the sheer number of useful online resources devoted to RPGs is staggering. This will take some time. Several of you have suggested a few key sites with valuable essays on RPGs, and these have been quite helpful. Feel free to send others my way if you like. Separating the wheat from the chaff looks like a daunting task at this point.
Once again, I want to thank all of you for your kindness and generosity in helping me with this project. As soon as I get a little farther down the road, I'll report back with a preliminary version of the syllabus. Many thanks, and more soon.