Winter Game-Related Classes

Stock photo of someone playing video games

The University of Michigan is offering a rich variety of game-related courses during the Winter 2021 term, so we thought we'd highlight them here as well as on our research guide as you're choosing courses for the Winter term.  If you're looking for ideas on how to play games online, we'd recommend taking a look at the Online Games page on our research guide.

AMCULT 202 - Digital Culture (Winter 2021) 
This course will foster a deeper appreciation of digital media and technologies through analyzing popular works, the platforms on which they are distributed, and the technologies used to create them. Overview of topics covered: theorycrafting/knowledge-making in online fan communities, experimental digital art, game analysis/game studies, movement from the analog to the digital, algorithmic recommendations.

AMCULT 410 - Ethics and Information Technology (Winter 2021) 
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. Initial examples of issues that the course covers include interpersonal engagement through online games and virtual environments, etc.

ANTHRCUL 458, Section 002 - The Sensorium: Art, Life, and Online Worlds (Winter 2021) 
This class examines sensory perception—hearing, smell, sight, taste, and touch—as a mode of ethnographic inquiry as well as an object of cultural analysis. We will explore multimedia, experimental forms of representation and consider how anthropological investigations of the senses may be re-configured through genres such as graphic novels, podcasts, food blogs, video games, and other hybrid forms.

ARCH/DIGITAL 411 - Becoming Digital (Winter 2021) 
Becoming Digital serves as an introduction to the pressing concerns sparked by the embeddedness of architecture and design in ubiquitous networks of digital technology that have reshaped our surroundings and ourselves. The 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 480, Section 003 - Three Kingdoms Lab: From History to Video Games (Winter 2021) 
In this course, we will explore the saga of the Three Kingdoms as it transforms across a range of media. Around 1522, the most extensive creative reworking of the story material was published in what is now called China’s first novel, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In recent years, comic book versions of the story have been joined by an international profusion of television series, films, video games, fan fiction, and online forums.

DIGITAL/EDUC 333 - Video Games and Learning (Winter 2021) 
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.

DIGITAL/FTVM 368, Section 001 - Video Game Culture (Winter 2021) 
This course provides an overview of contemporary video game culture, with a focus on the history of gaming, important industry trends, video game scholarship, and popular gaming discourse. The course explores topics such as the arcade boom, casual games, gaming conventions, serious games, machinima and mods, the rise of esports, video game adaptations, and representations of gaming in pop culture.

DIGITAL 367 - Digital Media and Identity (Winter 2021) 
This course examines how identity (who we are) and identification (how we connect to representations) functions in relationship to media that depicts deeply technologized cultures and states of virtuality. In doing so we will consider how identity is mapped onto virtual spaces and enacted within digital media culture. In this course students will study “traditional” media like film and video and also analyze how digital media like websites, animations, and video games work.

EECS 494 - Computer Game Design and Development (Winter 2021) 
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.

FTVM 367 - Digital Media and Identity (Winter 2021) 

This course examines how identity (who we are) and identification (how we connect to representations) functions in relationship to media that depicts deeply technologized cultures and states of virtuality. In this course students will study “traditional” media like film and video and also analyze how digital media like websites, animations, and video games work.

FTVM 441 sec. 1 - Global Media (Winter 2021) 
In recent years, the globalization of media has become a key issue of debate in many nations and cultures around the world. Yet, many discussions about globalization tend to obscure the often complex and contradictory relationships among global, national and local forces. In this course, we will critically examine the role that film, television, video games, and other media play in shaping our sense of global, national, and local cultures and identities.

ISLAM 392, Section 001 - Art of the Islamic World (Winter 2021) 
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.

MUSPERF 300/PAT 305 - Video Game Music (Winter 2021) 
This course surveys game music from the first
synthesized “bleeps” and “bloops” to modern orchestral compositions. Techniques are learned to aurally analyze game music. Students will create compositions using computer software as a final project. Course is designed for non-music majors; the ability to read standard music notation is not needed.

PSYCH 401 - Special Problems in Psychology as a Social Science (Winter 2021) 
The topic of addiction is often a controversial one. Can you be addicted to chocolate? Porn? Video games? This course will explore: The historical and societal understanding of what is considered addictive, the consequences of misunderstanding addiction, the scientific mechanisms underlying our current understanding of addiction, and the current debates about what things are and are not addictive (e.g., food, sex, shopping).