Summer 2020 - IAT 210 D100

Introduction to Game Studies: Theory and Design (3)

Class Number: 4594

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    REMOTE LEARNING, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 14, 2020
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    Completion of 21 units.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

Reviews the history of games, tracing the evolution of game design from board and card games through the latest electronic products. Examines the medium of games through various lenses: games as rules (game design), games as play (game experience), and games as culture (culture within games, and role of games and game cultures). Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.

COURSE DETAILS:

An introduction to the medium of games. Reviews the history of games, tracing the evolution of game design from board and card games through the latest digital games. Examines the medium of games through various lenses: games as rules (game design), games as play (game experience), and games as culture (the cultures within games, and the role of games and game cultures within our broader culture). Students are introduced to the concepts of game narrative, the influence of technology in digital games, the emergence of game paradigms such as social media, mobile games, serious games and game ‘modding’, as well as models and trends within the games industry.

[Note: Course Outline details below are subject to minor revision.]

COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:

Course Topics:

  • History of games
  • Games as a medium
    • “Magic Circle”
    • Game rules
    • Role of choice and challenge
  • Games as play
  • Games as culture
    • Cultures within games
    • Games within our broader culture
    • Games and social issues: gender, violence, addiction
  • Games and narrative
  • Games and technology (computation, role of AI, innovative interface models)
  • Emergent game paradigms
    • Social and networked games
    • Mobile games
    • Locative games
    • “Art” games
    • Game “modding” & open source gaming
    • “Serious games,” educational games, “gamification”
  • Games industry – business models and trends

Learning Activities
The class will include lectures, screenings, class discussions, course readings, Canvas materials & discussion board, writing assignments and game project assignments. Some game design assignments, exercises and short quizzes will be conducted during class times.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
  • Write and think critically about the history and evolution of games, including the situation of specific games within recognized game genres.
  • Analyze the design of traditional and digital games, identifying the role of critical design variables such as challenge, choice, asset allocation, role of narrative, etc.
  • Analyze and critique game experience, relating it to the fundamentals of game design.
  • Identify and discuss critical cultural and social issues in games and game cultures.
  • Identify the roles of technology in supporting and extending the design and experience of electronic games.
  • Identify and discuss a variety of emergent game paradigms.
  • Identify trends and issues in the games industry and the economy of games.

Grading

  • In-Class Graded Assignments (group) 10%
  • Board Game Analysis (individual) 15%
  • Digital Game Analysis (individual) 25%
  • Final Exam (individual) 30%
  • Reading Quizzes (individual) 5%
  • Homework Assignments (individual) 10%
  • Participation (individual) 5%

Materials

INSTRUCTOR NOTES:

Learning Activities

The class will include lectures, screenings, class discussions, course readings, online learning Canvas material/discussion board, writing assignments and game project assignments. Some game design assignments, exercises and short quizzes will be conducted during class times.

 

Course Timeline:

Week 1: Introduction to Course and overview of Game Studies perspectives Week 2: History of Games ‐genres and eras

Introduction to game design principles

Week 3: Games as Rules ‐more on design of board and card games Week 4: Games as Play ‐deconstruction of game experience Week 5: Games as Rules ‐design of early electronic games

Week 6: Games as Rules ‐design of contemporary electronic games Week 7: Games as Play ‐deconstruction of electronic game experience Week 8: The Design and Experience of Game Narrative

Week 9: Games and Society ‐the culture of gaming Week 10: Games and Society ‐games within culture

Weeks 11: Games and Technology ‐computation, AI, & interface Week 12: Games as Business ‐the economy of the games industry Week 13: Emergent and Alternative Game Paradigms

Draft - Subject to change - as noted in lectures and/or online

 

Policies

Students are expected to attend all classes, to show up on time, and to participate in the in‐class and online discussions and activities.

The online environment is an integral part of the course. Check email, Canvas, and the discussion board regularly (every one or two days).

All SFU and SIAT policies on academic honesty, plagiarism and related matters apply to this course. See < http://www.sfu.ca/policies/Students/index.html > for details on SFU Policy in this area. Further information will also be provided in the Canvas course pages.

All course procedures (including topics, assignments, due dates, and evaluations) and policies in this syllabus are subject to change. Any such changes will be noted in class and/or electronically. Students are responsible for tracking and working within any such changes in procedures.

REQUIRED READING:

Readings will be provided in class

Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html

TEACHING AT SFU IN SUMMER 2020

Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.