I know it feels way too early to talk about such things, but thought I’d pass along information about the classes I’ll be teaching in the next academic year. The fall course is PhD level and the winter course is MA/PhD, but I’m always open to exceptions if you are really motivated. These are both new courses, so I don’t (yet) have syllabi to share, but please ask closer to the end of summer and I should be able to offer more details.
1. Advanced Seminar in Special Topics: From Gamer to Player
Tuesdays, 9-12pm, CJ Building
This class explores the evolution of both players of videogames and the discourse surrounding them. Studying the diversity and changing nature of player culture, the creation and use of categories such as hardcore and casual, and shifting notions of play itself, this seminar explores how we understand and represent our relationships with digital games.
2. Critical Game Design and Analysis
Thursdays, 1:15-4pm, Fauberg 501
Game studies scholars have begun to acknowledge the importance of the platforms that run videogames such as the Nintendo Wii and the Atari 2600, but little attention has been given to critiquing the tools that developers use to create games, and the practices and conventions that constitute game design. This course employs a critical lens to study a selection of tools and practices for game creation and design, and in particular how such artifacts and articulations create affordances and constraints in game development. We will explore these processes, beliefs and practices through playing and analyzing games, reading critiques and analyses of various game platforms and through making several short games on different software platforms. By engaging with the process of game creation, students will gain a better understanding of the choices that game designers confront, and will likewise see how different game creation tools shape the games that get made with them in particular ways.