The aim of this course is to explore the history and cultural impact of a crucial segment of New Media: interactive simulations and video games. The current generation of video and PC games has established genres that effectively use narrative, competitive, and play structures for community-based interaction, performance and content development, and push the boundaries of computer-generated animation, graphics, and audio.
The course provides an historical and critical approach to the evolution of computer and video game design from its beginnings to the present through examination of five-genre defined areas of computer games: storytelling, strategy, simulation, sports, and 3D first-person games.
The course will bring together cultural, business, and technical perspectives. Students should come away from the course with an understanding of the history of this medium, as well as insights into design, production, marketing, and socio-cultural impacts of interactive entertainment and communication.
In addition to readings from books, edited volumes, and game-related online publications, the course content, will be drawn from a digital archive of source materials constructed in collaboration with a Stanford-based project. The course will include guest lectures by leaders from the game industry nationally, from the Research Triangle, as well as invited guests who will join us via video conference.