Technoculture, Art and Games (TAG) is an interdisciplinary centre for research/ creation in game studies and design, digital culture and interactive art

Studying at TAG


Despite its official title, this course aims to give students a grounded understanding of the comics medium in general, rather than focusing on a single genre. Comic books, comic strips, cartoons, graphic novels, BD—whatever you call them, they comprise a field rich with varying styles and formats. Students will be introduced to some of the history and contemporary expressions of comics by discussing different critical approaches in lecture and by reading seminal texts in the form. Rather than attempting to reflect a “comics canon,” the course will include both well-known works and some that challenge the boundaries of the medium. Students will also be expected to explore beyond the syllabus and contribute to class discussion by introducing new works researched outside of lecture. The course will pose a number of questions about comics, including: What does it mean to be a comic? How does textuality alter narrative interpretation? How can gender be represented in the comics form? How do comics intersect with other media? What can the comics medium do that others can’t? Students will be evaluated based on participation in class discussions and multiple written assignments (with some creative options available). Folks interested in seeing a preliminary syllabus/schedule should email kalervo.sinervo@concordia.ca.

CART 416 is a game studio focused on creating games that have intended purposes alongside entertainment – whether these be expressive, critical, persuasive, learning, or otherwise “serious” in nature. It will involve experimentation with and reflection on how we embed meaning in game systems and play experiences, as well as following through and examining what the effects of these experiences are on players. Throughout the semester, working in teams, students will progressively move from developing a playable concept around a rhetorical/experiential intention concerning a playable experience towards designing and developing a functional digital game prototype.

The structure of schooling in North America is remarkably stable. In any Canadian undergraduate classroom, the educational experiences of the students are likely to be reasonably similar from this standpoint. Students will have attended K-12 institutions, public or private, that held to the standard graded pattern of teacher-centered instruction and delivered a curriculum featuring the usual subjects.

The theories we will examine in this course, however, will offer some remarkable departures from this standard pattern. Our first step will begin to examine the work of two theorists that were radical within a particular historical context; namely Rousseau and Dewey. Our second step will involve reading a group of 20th century theorists that have been particularly influential: this group includes such diverse members as Paolo Freire, B.F. Skinner, bell hooks, and Jacques Ranciere. Finally, we will examine some contemporary theories for radical educational change which are already altering the shape of American K-12 schooling, perhaps for good. Virtually all of these theories have in common the fact that they offer a vision of the classroom that departs significantly from the conventional wisdom about “how school is supposed to be.”

Witches are seeing a resurgence in popular culture, and this course will explore why. To do so, we will take an interdisciplinary and feminist approach to the witch, with emphases on representation, literature, and media studies, while looking into the practice of magic and the creation of a contemporary religion, particularly within settler-colonial society. What is the athamé? What is amor fati? How can we understand the spell as a technology? Can ritual be integrated into research? By the end of the course, students will have a strong basis with which they can understand the contemporary witch, while creating their own Book of Shadows based on research and collaboration. If it is “the season of the witch,” what does this say about the contemporary era, and what does the witch have to teach us?

Wednesdays 13:30-17:30

Prerequisite: 24 credits completed in a Computation Arts program; or written permission of the Department. In this studio course, students are introduced to the language, principles, and practices of 3D digital animation. Students are exposed to a wide range of traditional film animation techniques and learn the technical skills and conceptual strategies for 3D digital production.

This studio course introduces students to experimental game design, especially through the creation of their own unconventional and expressive digital games. A theoretical and critical understanding of play and games is established through the interaction of lectures, discussion, game playing, game making, and critiques. Students will make multiple smaller prototype games in order to better understand relationships between design, technology, and the resulting player experience.

This course is an introduction to the design of playful activities and games in particular. Students are introduced to terminology, conceptual frameworks, and critical approaches in order to develop a precise understanding of games at a formal and pragmatic level. Students acquire and develop tools to conceive, formalize, and communicate game design ideas.

Prerequisite: CART 253 or COMP 218 or COMP 248; or written permission of the Department. Students study specialized game technology and create a series of digital game prototypes. They are introduced to higher level programming concepts pertaining to interactive applications. Efficient approaches to the design and development of complex interactive software, such as iterative development and rapid prototyping, are experienced.