Game Studies Class Spring 2012

We look at gaming through the lens of the academy, as players and as designers. I have learned a lot by offering the class for the first time in fall of 2011, and like to think the course will get better and better.

We shall read about games.  We will read blogs, and experts, we will watch video and have conversation about what we read. With a little luck we will have some expert presenters. We will learn about what makes games compelling to the university, and to people in general.

We shall write about games.  Writing is a powerful form of expression, but this is not an English class. We shall blog and learn how to give feedback, as designers. We shall also learn how to write rules and descriptions of games.

We shall design games. We will make a minimum of two games, F2011 made a card game and a video game. We will use powerful drag and drop tools, we will actually make a video game, NO PROGRAMMING REQUIRED.

We shall play games.  Hopefully we will have fun, we will play games and think about what they say and mean. Some of the games we play will suck, others will change our lives.

You will leave the class with a greater insight into your power as a designer, and yes, you will be a designer when you leave. Okay, perhaps that is optimistic, not everyone is a designer, but you will create games and have the insight of a designer.

Who should take this course? People interested in the medium, or those who want to find a “way in” to game design and game culture, people looking to understand how games affect culture, and how fun can be used as part of learning.

I am not going to sugar coat this, there will be times when this is work, but anything worth having or understanding is worth working for. Help us make games a bigger part of the university experience.  If you have any questions or have any difficulty adding this class please email me:

Who am I? I am a long time gamer, lots of RPGs and board games.  I ran a successful LARP for 5 years and have been playing computer games as long as I can remember. I co-curated a couple shows on games as art in 2010/2011 and have been making art in MMO’s and Virtual Environments through Ars Virtua since 2006.  I am the advisor for the Game Development Club at SJSU, and am working with the deans of five colleges to create a bigger presence for games and gaming on SJSU’s campus.