Ludology: Games, Gaming and Game Culture
This course seeks to investigate the intersection of games and gaming culture with topics of importance to the School of Information. The scope will include issues of social studies, information economics and policy, and user interface design. The course will explore questions such as: What makes a game? What is the role of gaming in society? Why do people play? How are games used as part of story telling? In what social contexts are games played? How do issues of gender, race and sexuality play out in gaming culture? What can games teach us about learning? What makes a successful serious game? What makes a game immersive? Can games be considered art?
Through a series of critical readings and group discussions, we will attempt to answer these questions and consider what part games play in our understanding of information. Our studies will be focused on computer-aided games and video games, but will not be limited exclusively to them.
Each week, readings will be discussed as part of a two hour class meeting. Students will be expected to lead one week's discussion during the course. Part of leading will include selecting readings appropriate for the week's selected topic. There also may be one or two guest speakers, depending on scheduling.
The final deliverable will be a detailed bibliography evaluating the readings, listing resources for continued studies (such as books, journals, web sites, and scholars), and suggestions for further directions ludology could take at the School of Information and beyond.