Module 1: Foundations

Weeks 1-3

This module consists of introductions to the field, ways to build gaming literacy, and games in culture (and challenges this presents).

  • Week 1: Front Matter & Introductions
  • This week is an introduction to the class and the topic of game design, generally, with a small focus on serious games in particular. Consumables Readings, videos, etc. for this week: Watch: Video on Operant Conditioning Read: Chapter 1, “Building Blocks” in Challenges for Game Designers Read: Chapter 19, “Serious Games” in Challenges for Game Designers Read: Charskey - From Edutainment to Serious Games Read: Malone - What Makes Things Fun to Learn?

  • Week 2: Building Gaming Literacy
  • This week is all about building gaming literacy: what makes things fun, what mechanics are and why they’re so important, and how to evaluate games. Consumables Readings, videos, etc. for this week: Read: Chapter 2, “Game Design Atoms,” in Challenges for Game Designers Read: Koster - A Theory of Fun for Game Design (The whole book.) Read: Beginner’s Guide to Game Mechanics Watch: Extra Credits - Mechanics and Tone - How Does Gameplay Relate to Story Watch: Idea Channel - Are Videogames About Their Mechanics?

  • Week 3: Games in the Culture & Related Challenges
  • This week is all about the intersection of games and culture: how do they reflect one another, what challenges are there in reference to game design, and what do games teach players? Consumables Readings, videos, etc. for this week (best to do these in order): Read: Chapter 3, “Puzzle Design,” in Challenges for Game Designers Watch: Tropes vs Women Watch: Resident Evil 5 trailer and then… Read: this interview with N’Gai Croal.