Syllabi: Teaching with & about Games

“Courses cover game development and design, but also treat games as a topic in fields such as computer science, history, media studies, and rhetoric. In other words, video games are not just an economic force (they make lots of money and so we should teach students to make them) nor are they only a psychological force (games teach people violence and so we need to study policy to limit them); they are also a cultural and creative force, and courses are cropping up that attend to games in this particular framework…This special issue of the Syllabus Journal, then, offers a multi-disciplinary approach to video game studies.” – Issue Overview

The Art of Game Design

“Good game design happens when you view your game from as many perspectives as possible. Written by one of the world’s top game designers, The Art of Game Design presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, visual design, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, puzzle design, and anthropology.” – Publisher

How I Teach Game Design

“Why should you read some blog post about how someone teaches? I started out wanting to write a series of essays in order to share my teaching techniques – syllabi and readings, concepts and methods, exercises and assignments. However, early on in the process I realized that I was not just writing about how to teach game design. These short pieces are really about how to learn game design.” – Eric Zimmerman

Video Games’ Blackness Problem

“Video games have a blackness problem. This has been a known thing for a while, and we do talk about it from time to time. But I’d like to keep talking about it. When they appear at all, black video game characters are often reduced to outdated, embarrassing stereotypes.” – Evan Narcisse, Kotaku

Integrating Climate Change Mechanics Into a Common Pool Resource Game

“The topic of climate change offers unique challenges to simulation game designers largely because standard game mechanics fail to capture the complexity of this real-world problem. Climate change dynamics are characterized by the second-order delayed effects of carbon emissions on global temperatures and by political actors, who often have unique individual goals and asymmetrical abilities.”

10 Ways to Make Your Game More Diverse

Curator: Steve Wilcox Steve Wilcox is an assistant professor in the Game Design & Development program at Wilfrid Laurier University where he researches & creates knowledge translation games. He is also the co-founder & former editor-in-chief of First Person Scholar.

“The Door Problem”

“So what does a game designer do? Are you an artist? Do you design characters and write the story? Or no, wait, you’re a programmer?’ Game design is one of those nebulous terms to people outside the game industry that’s about as clear as the “astrophysicist” job title is to me. It’s also my job, so I find myself explaining what game design means to a lot of people from different backgrounds, some of whom don’t know anything about games.” – Liz England, “The Door Problem.”

Flow

“Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of ‘optimal experience’ have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.” – Publisher

Game Design Workshop

“Author Tracy Fullerton demystifies the creative process with a clear and accessible analysis of the formal and dramatic systems of game design. Examples of popular games, illustrations of design techniques, and refined exercises strengthen your understanding of how game systems function and give you the skills and tools necessary to create a compelling and engaging game…”