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

This course will introduce students to the history of critical discourse surrounding video games and literature. We will explore a range of topics, including issues of authorship, the conditions of production and circulation, the representation and ownership of games, the interplay between game narratives and procedures, the expressive potential of games, the nature of meaningful gameplay, and the relationship of digital games to literature and poetry.

NB: While no previous experience with video games is necessary, students should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time outside of class to both playing the assigned games and to the critical reading and writing this class will involve. The assigned games are available for either Windows or Mac OS (although some games are also available for Linux and mobile).

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.

This course focuses on developing students’ programming abilities, beginning with basic concepts and building toward approaches of increasing complexity. Students put these concepts and techniques into practice by creating their own expressive digital media projects, exploring areas such as interactivity, play, sound, and video.

Prerequisite: Enrolment in the Specialization or Minor in Computation Arts or written permission of the Department.

Introduction to computer programming. Hardware, software and data storage, programming languages, data organization, program design and development. Lectures: three hours per week. Tutorial: one hour per week.

In just a few decades, digital games have expanded from a poorly-understood entertainment niche to a ubiquitous multi-billion dollar industry. “Games, Media, and Culture” is a new course that examines the role of games as media and cultural objects. We will explore how to make sense of games, both as players and as scholars. The course offers ample opportunities for students to play, discuss, and experiment with games themselves, as well as with media about games.

This course focuses on rhetoric, visualization of information, instructions and complex text-based content. Issues of communication, simplification and clarification of content, and information architecture are addressed through diagrams, maps and visualization of statistics.

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. It will also involve working with a real client who has a need for such a game. Throughout the semester, working in teams, students will progressively move from developing a playable concept around a rhetorical/experiential intention as provided by a client, towards designing and developing a functional digital game prototype, which will potentially be ready for actual release and deployment.

This course introduces basic techniques and concepts of 3D computer graphics for applications in various sectors which include engineering, visualization, entertainment, gaming, etc. Topics covered include 2D and 3D transformations, modeling and representation, illumination and shading, rendering, texturing, animation, physics-based animation, and the state-of-the art software tools. The student will learn fundamental algorithms and techniques, and gain experience in graphics programming; in particular, how to program in modern OpenGL, a powerful software API used to produce high-quality computer-generated images of 2D and 3D scenes.

Over the past few years computer vision has re-emerged as one of the most popular and challenging technical areas in computer science. Recent advances in computer graphics hardware as well as the development of novel algorithms for the fast and accurate extraction of salient features in images, have made it possible to significantly progress the state-of-the-art to a point where nowadays many commercial products incorporate some type of embedded computer vision system.

The goal of the proposed course is to introduce graduate students to the different aspects of computer vision, give them the ability to understand, apply, analyze and evaluate computer vision algorithms, and implement components that are fundamental to many modern vision systems.

This course covers the state-of-the-art technology for multimedia computing. The course topics will cover current media types, images, video, audio, graphics and 3D models in terms of algorithms and data structures for their capture, representation, creation, storage, archival, transmission, assembling, presentation and retrieval. This course will cover fundamental ideas in multimedia technology applicable to computer science and software engineering. A project.

This course will introduce students to the history of critical discourse surrounding video games and literature. We will explore a range of topics, including the formal, political, economic, and cultural aspects of video games, issues of authorship, representation, and ownership, and the expressive potential of games and play. In particular we will be looking at how the critical analysis of procedures and systems can inform our understanding of structural oppression, institutional spaces, systems of circulation, and cultural reproduction.

NB: While no previous experience with video games is necessary, students should be prepared to devote a substantial amount of time outside of class to both the playing of video games on OSX or Windows (although in some cases games will also be available on Linux or mobile phones) and to the serious critical reading and writing that this class will involve.

This course brings together media theory and cultural studies to look at how the world around us is structured. Students will consider themes such as: the impact of social media on identities and social life; representations of gender, disability, ethnicity and race in the media, television, film, and video games; and the complexities of ideology, media, marginalization, and power. This class aims to provide students with a toolbox of critical skills that they can use on an everyday basis or for further academic pursuits.

This class will take us through a number of diverse case studies—everything from first-person shooters and body cams to selfies and Beyoncé—to explore how media both influences and is influenced by our cultural context. Within all of these subject areas, we will engage with the relationships between discourse, intersectionality, representation, power, and resistance.

This seminar explores the most recent theorization and research in the rapidly growing field of game studies as well as key texts that have informed the work of current game scholars. Topics and areas to be explored include (but are not limited to) the sociology of games; historical studies of play and games; narratological and ludological standpoints; virtual worlds; serious/persuasive games; identity, play, political economy, and the development of varied game cultures. We will be reading a variety of sources, including selections from Homo Ludens, Man, Play & Games, The Ambiguities of Play and Computers as Theater. Students will be expected to engage in a research project of their own related to the course that explores game studies through the lens of game design.

(class in French!)
Objectifs: Comprendre et maîtriser les théories, les fonctions et les principes fondamentaux de l’animation 3D. Développer des aptitudes dans le développement de cinématiques complexes.
Contenu: Animation sous le séquenceur, notion de keyframe, trajectoires et transformations, animation à l’aide des courbes et des contrôleurs (courbes de fonctions, accès à l’information clé, utilisation des contrôleurs d’animation et de trajectoire etc.), animation des caméras. Introduction aux notions de hiérarchie, cinématique et cinématique inverse. Introduction aux simulations dynamiques. Scénarisation, conception et production d’animations complexes.

What does it mean to be human in a world in which computational technology is enmeshed with every aspect of our lives? And what do we need to know to design for such humans? In DART 631, students are introduced to philosophies, values, methods, and techniques that inform the broad discipline of interaction design. DART 631 examines epistemologies of technology and interaction design and how they impact on conceptions of cognition, bodies, space, and time.
In tandem with theoretical explorations, DART 631 invites students to reflect on designing with and for humans, with and through computational technology. Students will be introduced to basic programming in Java (Processing) and Javascript (P5), data visualization, tangible computing (Arduino), and locative media creation.
Along the course of the semester, students will undertake two projects, demonstrating technical skills they have obtained in class as well as expressing critical perspectives on interaction design in the form of designed artifacts.