Winter Courses Involving Video Game Studies and Development

Class session in the CVGA.

It's that time again to register for Winter classes. Do you find yourself wondering how to work your love of video games into your course selections? Here are some courses that might help you do just that.

AMCULT/DIGITAL 202 - Digital Culture (Winter 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.

AMCULT/SI 410 - Ethics and Information Technology (Winter 2020) 
This 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 in discrete modules include interpersonal engagement through online games and virtual environments, and the integrity of digital content in a networked world.

COMPLIT 100 sec. 1 - Global Zombies (Winter 2020) 
This course surveys the expansive textual universe that has been bitten by zombies, from literature, graphic novels, movies, and video games to political theory and urgent public policy debates. Digging into the guts of this quintessentially modern monster, we will examine how it has infected our deepest anxieties about violence, race, power, disease—and above all, invasion and war. Major issues to be discussed include individual versus collective freedoms, personal identity, group behavior, ideology, and the uses of propaganda.

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

DIGITAL/FTVM 367 - Digital Media and Identity (Winter 2020) 
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.

EDUC/MENAS 462 - Web Based Mentorship: Learning Through Character Play (Winter 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.

EECS 494 - Computer Game Design and Development (Winter 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.

FTVM 366 sec. 2 - Visual Effects: From Melies to Marvel (Winter 2020) 
This course offers a chronological overview of the development of cinematic visual effects (both practical and digital) from nineteenth-century trick films to contemporary virtual production. While focusing mainly on cinema, the course will also examine the function of visual effects in the context of other media forms, such as music videos, TV, video games, and advertising.

FTVM 441 sec. 1 - Global Media (Winter 2020) 
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. The goal of this course is to introduce you to a broad range of issues that are stimulating research in the field of global media studies.

HISTORY 230 sec. 10/WOMENSTD 213 sec. 1 - War, Gender, Masculinity, Violence (Winter 2020) 
This course explores “the puzzle of gendered war roles.” We draw on legendary military conflicts taking place before the advent of modern weaponry. We also consider the meanings of representations of wars and fighters in tales, films, anime and games. Students will gain a broad perspective about warfare, and an understanding of interrelationships between war and gender.