IM-UH 2320
Arts Center (C3-104)
Professor: Domna Banakou

Games and play are deeply embedded in human culture. Play suggests a broad range of human experiences with universal qualities not easily contained by a common form. Games use their playable form to reflect contemporary culture and speak to the cultural spaces in which they reside. There is freedom in play. There is structure in games. How do they work together?

This course explores how games structure play to serve their purpose, and how play inspires games to push against expectations of popular culture of what games are, or are not. Informed by perspectives in game studies and theories of play, students will study a variety of analog and digital games to consider the varied structures that shape a play experience. The practical digital component of the class utilizes the Unity game engine to put students in the role of both game designer and developer. Hands-on projects allow students to experiment with building a game experience capable of conveying meaning and message, and expressing aspects of humanity beyond contest and conflict.