Another New Game Class at U-M

Word has come to us of another new game-related class being offered in Fall 2013 here at the University of Michigan:

Technology and Play

This course considers the social science of play and interactive media technology. The three central questions addressed in this course are: “What is play?”, “How does technology mediate play?”, and “What are the consequences of this mediation?” Over the semester, we’ll investigate the social scientific and humanities research on play, the structure of games, and the societal consequences of mediated play for both children and adults. A special focus will be “games for change” (a.k.a. “serious games”) that have an educational purpose. The term will be organized around competing theories of play (e.g., development, fate/chance, power, identity, fantasy, self-fulfillment, nonsense), and will be illustrated with examples from computer games. 

This is a project-based course. Throughout the semester we will work toward producing two conceptual design projects for playful technologies. These are roughly equivalent to a midterm and a final, or a short and a long paper. As these are conceptual projects, technical skills are not required.

Technology and Play

F13 M/W 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Undergraduate Section: COMM 408.001
Graduate Section: COMM 840.001
No prerequisites.
Instructor: Christian Sandvig (
Note that you must e-mail
the instructor to enroll in the graduate section.