Videogame Theory and Analysis >> Content Detail

Calendar / Schedule


1Introduction to the course, key assignments. Quick design exercise
2What is a game? What is play?Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 77-81 and 122-155.Philip Tan, Director of the Singapore-MIT Game Lab
3Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 83-86 and 296-313.
4Rules of playSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 9-13 and 476-502.
5Gaming the gameSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 9-13 and 728-753.
6Player and characterSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 27-31 and 642-669.Field trip to the Boston Second Life Offices, hosted by Pathfinder Linden (aka John Lester)
7We will continue discussion of the Mateas & Stern chapter and choose the winning 50-word sentence. Students should also submit a potential midterm exam question and we will discuss them during class. There is no guarantee that any individual student's question will appear on the exam, but the information will help guide the construction of the exam as a whole.

Frasca, G. "Simulation Versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology."

Juul, J. "The Game, The Player, The World: Looking for a Heart of Gameness."



Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 33-36 and 670-689.Drew Harry, a graduate student at MIT's Media Lab (Social Computing group), will talk about how he's come to find a way to make games and Second Life development a part of his graduate work, despite not being in a games studies program.
10Guest lectureMarlene Manoff from the MIT Libraries will be co-teaching with me a special session on doing games-related research. In the second half of class, we'll conduct a review for the midterm exam.
11Midterm examDarius Kazemi and Jeff Ward run a company called Orbus Gameworks, headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Orbus deals in game metrics, which help developers understand how their games are being played, with the hope that developers can make their games better as a result of that information.
12Student presentations
13Student presentations (cont.)Linda Currie and Scott Macmillan developed Zoo Tycoon 2 and its expansion packs for Blue Fang Games in Waltham, Massachusetts.
14Student presentations (cont.)
15Videogames and learningSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 228-267.
16Student presentations (cont.)
17Student presentations (cont.)
18Massively multiplayer online games

Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 754-787.

Yee, N. "Motivations of Play in Online Games."

Jay Laird is a Lead Game Designer at Metaversal Studios in Boston as well as the Assistant Director of Game Design at Northeastern University.
19Student presentations (cont.)
20Race and violence in gamesDeVane, B., and K. D. Squire. "The Meanings of Race and Violence in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas."Student presentations
21Rules and play revisitedSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 28-37 and 116-125.
22Student presentations (cont.)Student presentations
23Rules and play revisitedSalen & Zimmerman. pp. 298-311 and 502-513.
24Cheating and gamer cultureConsalvo, M. "The Cheaters."Harmonix Games, headquartered in Central Square, Cambridge. Discussion of its Guitar Hero series and Rock Band.
25Final exam review


© 2009-2020, All Rights Reserved.
Higher Ed Space ® is a registered trademark of AmeriCareers LLC.