Spring classes related to video game studies

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Looking for a video game-related class to take in the coming semesters? Here are the classes that are listed at present.

Spring Term

AMCULT/DIGITAL 202 - Digital Culture (Spring 2020) 
This course will examine how digital technologies and practices have shaped contemporary culture and cultural production. Topics we will study include: video games; the move from analog to digital; privacy and the politics of individuality; computer architectures and database theory; computer code and algorithm; the future of digital journalism, etc.

COMM 404, sec. 101 - Video Games: Culture and Identity (Spring 2020) 
This course introduces the communicative and cultural dimensions of video games as a form of popular culture and entertainment. We will cover game history, the game industries, video game cultures, representation in games, and representations of gaming in order to better understand how video games constitute a major mode of communication and culture in the present moment.

Fall Term

ARTDES 178 - Animation for non-Majors (Fall 2020) 
Animation as an art form has become increasingly prominent in such fields as film and video special effects, games, identity branding, scientific visualization, virtual reality training, and courtroom presentations. This course is designed for students in any major who desire to improve their sense of observation, timing, and motion through the process of making animations.

COMM 159, sec. 001 - An Introduction to Hackers, Pranksters and Whistleblowers (Fall 2020) 
This course offers a three-part framework for thoughtfully understanding and situating issues and challenges surrounding global “hacktivism”—the subversive use of computers and networks to protect and promote freedom and democracy. In addition to course readings, students will have an opportunity to engage with course concepts through the mediums of movies, novels and games.

DIGITAL/EDUC 333 - Video Games and Learning (Fall 2020) 
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 (Fall 2020) 
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. It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. To that, one might add that the next best way to learn something is to play a game with it. This class tries to combine both of those methods.

EDUC 602 - Videogames, Learning and School Design (Fall 2020) 
Introduces students to the theory and practice of simulation, metaphorical, and literal games; provides extensive exposure to gaming used as a vehicle of instruction in various parts of school curricula; provides opportunities to design games for classroom use, with some attention to problems of evaluation.

EECS 494 - Computer Game Design and Development (Fall 2020) 
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 362 - The American Novel (Fall 2020) 
This class will focus on varied experiments with the novel as a form uniquely suited to explore America’s animating myths and ideals. Rather than move chronologically, we’ll work with pairings that emphasize writers’ interests in rethinking the history of their form to register—and even shape—the life of the nation. We’ll also work with other materials—films, visual images, and VR games/environments—that will help us account for the life of the novel in the US.

FTVM 304, sec. 001 - Virtual Reality: Building Immersive Experiences (Fall 2020) 
We will examine VR within the framework of creative media arts, paying particular attention to immersive world-building, spatial storytelling, and interactive real-time experience design. Alongside our production work, we will critically examine an array of VR/immersive works by artists, filmmakers, and critical game designers in order to gain an overview of the historical landscape of the field.

FTVM 368, sec. 001 - The Internet of Genders: From Geek to Cute and Beyond (Fall 2020) 
This class will examine both representations of gender identity and the lived experiences of gender identity online. During the early history of the Internet, gender play and experimentation were practiced in many ways, from games to seemingly non-fictional self-representations. This course takes a media studies approach that is informed by cultural studies, material history, and cultural ethnography.

FTVM 441 sec. 3 - Global Animation History (Fall 2020) 
This course provides a chronological overview of the history of global animation, from nineteenth-century experiments to contemporary expanded animation practices. The course explores topics such as animated realism, animation and performance, experimental animation, anime and its global impact, video games and animation, race, gender, and sexuality in animated media, animation and politics, and animation viewership and fan communities.

SI 301 - Models of Social Information Processing (Fall 2020) 
This course focuses on how social groups form, interact, and change. We look at the technical structures of social networks and explore how individual actions are combined to produce collective effects. This course introduces two conceptual models for how information flows is used in multi-person settings -- networks and games.

CVGA Remote Services

For more information regarding our available services during this time, please see our blog post called CVGA Services During the COVID-19 Lockdown.  This will likely be our modus operandi throughout the Spring and Summer, but we will be sure to update our blog, website, and social media accounts with any updates.

Our physical collection may be inaccessible at present, but we encourage you to visit the Online Games page on our research guide for ideas on how to play classic video games online for free, how to play board games and tabletop roleplaying games online with your friends, and more.

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