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: Introduction to Video Game Studies

“This course provides an introduction to the critical study of the fastest-growing yet least understood aspect of mass digital culture: video games. We will survey the history of video game forms, pairing specific games with readings drawing from a variety of theoretical perspectives. ” – Syllabus

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 Well-Played Game

“In The Well-Played Game, games guru Bernard De Koven explores the interaction of play and games, offering players—as well as game designers, educators, and scholars—a guide to how games work. De Koven’s classic treatise on how human beings play together, first published in 1978, investigates many issues newly resonant in the era of video and computer games, including social gameplay and player modification. The digital game industry, now moving beyond its emphasis on graphic techniques to focus on player interaction, has much to learn from The Well-Played Game.” – Publisher

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

Introduction to Game Analysis

“Game analysis allows us to understand games better, providing insight into the player-game relationship, the construction of the game, and its sociocultural relevance. As the field of game studies grows, videogame writing is evolving from the mere evaluation of gameplay, graphics, sound, and replayablity, to more reflective writing that manages to convey the complexity of a game and the way it is played in a cultural context.” – Publisher

Suffragetto

“Suffragetto is a contest of occupation between two opposing factions, The Suffragettes and The Police. The goal of the Suffragettes is to break past Police lines and enter the House of Commons. At the same time, The Suffragettes must also prevent the Police from entering Albert Hall, an oft-used meeting space of the Women’s Social and Political Union.” – Official Rules (Revised)