Fall 2021 - IAT 210 D100
Introduction to Game Studies: Theory and Design (3)
Class Number: 4874
Delivery Method: In Person
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.
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:
- 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
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.
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.
- In-Class Graded Assignments (group) 10%
- Board Game Analysis (individual) 17%
- Digital Game Analysis (individual) 28%
- Final Exam (individual) 25%
- Reading Quizzes (individual) 5%
- Homework Assignments (individual) 10%
- Participation (individual) 5%
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.
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
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.
Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS
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TEACHING AT SFU IN FALL 2021
Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place. Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).
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Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (email@example.com or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.