Syllabus: VR Storytelling

“This production-oriented course teaches students in communications fields how to tell stories interactively using 360-degree video and computer-generated scenes that subjects experience through leading virtual reality headsets. The target platforms for this course are the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard phone-based viewers.” – Syllabus

Literary Gaming

“In this book, Astrid Ensslin examines literary videogames—hybrid digital artifacts that have elements of both games and literature, combining the ludic and the literary. These works can be considered verbal art in the broadest sense (in that language plays a significant part in their aesthetic appeal); they draw on game mechanics; and they are digital-born, dependent on a digital medium (unlike, for example, conventional books read on e-readers).” – Publisher

Syllabus: Fundamentals of Game Design

“GAM 226 provides students with a practical foundation in game design with a focus on concept development, design decomposition, and prototyping. Using game design theory, analysis, physical prototyping, playtesting, and iteration students learn how to translate game ideas,
themes, and metaphors into gameplay and player experiences. Students will further be exposed to the basics of effective game idea communication.” – Syllabus [PDF]

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

Syllabus: Video Game Law

“Video games create virtual worlds that players physically interact with. In so doing video games upset the traditional media apple cart. The gamer becomes the controller of a responsive virtual world, rather than simply a passive “receiver” of images and sound…The creation, dissemination and enjoyment of interactive entertainment is governed by a multi-dimensional grid of international and domestic laws relating to intellectual property, communications, contracts, torts, privacy, obscenity, antitrust and freedom of expression…” – Syllabus

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

Why is motherhood so poorly portrayed in video games?

“I’ve never had a baby. I once had one of those dolls that you could feed and it periodically pissed itself, but I gather this represents only a fraction of the maternal experience. I’ll tell you what I have done, though: I have played a lot of video games. And games, you may be startled to discover, are not too great at portraying motherhood – though they seem to have fatherhood all figured out.” – Kate Gray, The Guardian

The Birth of the Chess Queen

“Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn’t until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king’s fierce warrior and protector.” – Publisher