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Course Description

This course focuses on the study and examination of digital games with an emphasis on theoretical and conceptual frameworks for game design. Students will also be exposed to the process of game design using various methods and techniques such as iteration, rapid prototyping, mechanics, dynamics and user interface.

Course Overview

We will cover many topics in this class, we will find ourselves in many places and times, and we will be both historians and futurists. The study of games requires a foray into myriad topics, including psychology, sociology, media studies, gender studies, geo-politics, and more. Be prepared to become both consumers and creators. Bring your passion to this collaborative experience and we will all benefit greatly. This class will be looking at so-called ‘commercial, off-the-shelf’ games, as well as serious/educational games and simulations.

On completing this course, students will understand and will have participated in each step of the game design process. They will be familiar with the vocabulary, tools, and methodologies of a game designer and design team, and know how each member of that team interacts with the rest. Students will understand how narratology, ludology, serious game and simulation design, and creative presentation fits within the larger topic of game design.

This course utilizes a variety of educational activities to deliver and assess understanding of the course content. Students will work solo and collaboratively design a game, participate in frequent activities both in-class and outside class based on weekly readings, complete a number of design challenges, and engage in other activities as assigned.