Game-Related Courses for the Winter Term

Interested in studying video games during the Winter term? Check out this list of courses involving the study of video games that are being offered next term. Also, find out more about game studies on campus by checking out the Video Game Studies Research Guide.

AMCULT 204, section 004 - Fan Fiction, Theorycrafting, and Online Communities (Winter 2022) 
This course explores various online producer/consumer communities including fan fiction writers, chiptune music producers, game modders, glitch artists, zinesters, theorycrafters, and more! Together we will discover communities of practice, inquire as to what motivates their participants, and hopefully find a little space online where you too can contribute to the thriving body of human creativity and knowledge found in these communities.

AMCULT 355 - Modern Board Games and Crowdfunding (Winter 2022) 
In this course, we will explore how the design of modern board games differs from the classic family games with which many of us grew up (Monopoly, Risk, etc.), as well as the role that technical writing performs in facilitating this unique form of play.

AMCULT 410 - Ethics and Information Technology (Winter 2022) 
This course explores the ethical dilemmas that exist where human beings, information objects, and information systems interact. The course introduces students to a variety of ethical models from historical and cross-cultural perspectives and then explores the relevance of these models to a variety of new and emerging technologies that are inherently social in their construction and use.

ARCH 411 - Becoming Digital (Winter 2022) 
This course teaches students digital literacy - characterized by a broad understanding of how technology works, its inherent biases and ethical implications, and its transformative effect on people's lives - with an emphasis on a more healthful, equitable, and just world. Weekly topics include software, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual reality, games, and 'smart cities'.

ASIAN 273 - North Korea: Real and Imagined (Winter 2022) 
This course is designed to explore the visual cultures of North Korea. We will examine different mediums such as art, architecture, murals, posters, stamps, illustrations, animation, photography, film, opera, mass games, museum, cemetery, and processions/parades.

COMM 307, section 001 - The Electronic Sandman: Media Use and Sleep (Winter 2022) 
This course examines the interaction between (un)healthy media use and (un)healthy sleep. What can we learn about healthy sleep from looking at the media? What can we learn about our media use from studying sleep? Does media use affect sleep positively or negatively? Are there effects in the opposite direction? In other words, does sleep affect media use? This course will examine what research has shown about media and sleep, but we will also examine how this applies to our own (media and sleep) habits.

COMM 490, section 002 - How to Study Popular Culture (Winter 2022) 
From television and film to comics and video games to music, apps, and websites, popular culture includes many formats and genres; everyone has a favorite. But what is the difference between liking (or disliking) a piece of popular culture and studying it? This course is a survey of theories, methods, and sites used in the scholarly analysis of popular culture objects and texts. By experimenting with these different tools of analysis, students will come to understand the definition of popular culture and why its functions and meaning are significant.

DIGITAL 333 - Video Games and Learning (Winter 2022) 
Why are videogames fun? The answer isn't as obvious as you might think. Good games draw you in, teach you how to succeed, and keep you engaged with a "just right" level of challenge. Most importantly, players *learn* while playing a well-designed game. Why isn't school like that? This class takes a hard look at videogames, a hard look at education, and considers ways that each can be improved to maximize learning.

EDUC/MENAS 462 - Web Based Mentorship: Learning Through Character Play (Winter 2022) 
This seminar revolves around Place Out Of Time (POOT), a web-based character-playing simulation involving college, high school, and middle school students. You will have a dual role in the simulation: you will play a character yourself, and you will also act as a project leader and mentor to the younger participants.

EECS 494 - Computer Game Design and Development (Winter 2022) 
Concepts and methods for the design and development of computer games. Topics include: history of games, 2D graphics and animation, sprites, 3D animation, binary space partition trees, software engineering, game design, interactive fiction, user interfaces, artificial intelligence, game SDK’s, networking, multi-player games, game development environments, commercialization of software.

ENGLISH 125 - section 046 - Writing and Academic Inquiry (Winter 2022) 
This class is about academic composition, its rhetoric and practice, and critical thinking in and through writing. We will study the techniques and strategies that will help you translate your thoughts into words, refine and connect your ideas, and eventually build effective arguments around well-formulated questions. We will venture beyond our classroom from time to time and visit nearby museums and other learning sites—Museum of Art (UMMA), Museum of Natural History, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Shapiro's Library Lab, and even the Computer and Video Game Archives (CVGA)—to expand our landscape of knowledge for survey and analysis.

ENGLISH 325, sec. 11 - From Geek to Critic (Winter 2022) 
Perhaps, during these trying times, you have found yourself reading, watching, playing, and listening to more media than you ever have before. If so, you are not alone! Books, TV shows, movies, video games, and music have made many of us realize what some of us have known all along: art (broadly conceived) saves. In this upper-level essay writing course, you will have the opportunity to explore how and why a particular sort of art that you love has saved, nourished, comforted, restored, excited, or otherwise delighted YOU, and many others, too.

FTVM 150 - Introduction to Film, Television, and Media (Winter 2022) 
This course introduces students to different ways of engaging critically with audiovisual media. Students will learn to analyze key aspects of film, television, and digital media, and to develop critical arguments about them that draw on different kinds of evidence. FTVM 150 is designed to enhance your critical literacy in film, television, and digital media, and your ability to create well-supported analyses and arguments about media and other cultural forms.

HISTORY 211 - Later Medieval Europe, 1000-1500 (Winter 2022) 
This course looks at how Europe emerged from the margins of the world's stage in this period by examining events like the Crusades, the Black Death, and the invention of the printing press, the rise of institutions like monarchies, the Church, and human bondage, and by looking at long term changes to the medieval climate. We will also ask, who belonged to this emerging world and who was steadily excluded? Where did the idea of nations come from? And we will ask, what is the relationship between the real Middle Ages and the fantasy one that fills video games, white-supremacist politics, and the news media?

ISLAM 392, sec. 2 - Contemporary Film in the Islamic World (Winter 2022) 
In this course, we will complicate and critique these depictions of Islam and Muslims by examining representations of Islam by Muslims and individuals from the Islamic world across diverse forms of contemporary cultural expression and consider the impact that more diverse representation can have on a local and global scale. We’ll examine works across media including the visual arts, film, literature, graphic novels, and even video games.

LSWA 230, sec. 2 - Fantasy Worldbuilding (Winter 2022) 
This course is about collaborative worldbuilding and fantasy storytelling, about imagining new realms and bringing powerful stories to life in them. We will explore what makes fantasy “fantasy” and what relationship it has to our lives: as escape from our despair, as complex mirror of our world, and as alternative vision of what’s possible. We will approach these questions from the point of view of both literature and tabletop roleplaying games.