This blog aggregates student posts from my combined sections of LCC 4725, Game Design as Cultural Practice (Undergraduate Program in Computational Media), and LCC 8823, Multiplayer Game Design and Analysis (Graduate Program Digital Media). The course description reads as follows:
Students analyze games as cultural artifacts and gameplay as a patterned cultural experience. The course will survey the history of board games and video games with an emphasis on the historical and economic contexts in which these forms were produced. Students will conduct analysis of influential and representative games from ancient times to the present, with an emphasis on multiplayer traditions across cultures, eras and genres. This will cover not only traditional, commercial games, but also various cultural and art movements which used games as an expressive medium or intervention strategy, such as the Dada, Fluxus and Situationist Art, the New Games Movement, as well as game forms from performance and theater, such as Theatre of the Oppressed and theater games. The course will also look at issues of representation, identity, gender and diversity in games, and include a special unit using the Values @ Play toolkit to learn how games can be used to express core values.
Class time will consist of lecture/discussions and structured play and design activities. Students will develop a critical play method by keeping a journal/blog of their gameplay, which they will analyze with reference to specified readings. Through this process students will develop analysis skills and versatile command of the expressive capabilities of games. The course will culminate in a team-based multiplayer game project. Students taking this course for graduate credit will also be asked to do additional readings give presentations and run class sessions during the course of the semester.