Teaching Game Design, Part I

A few weeks ago, the inimitable Annika Waern started a discussion online about teaching game analysis. I’ve been thinking about her questions in terms of teaching game design, and course design more broadly. I haven’t written much about my teaching, even though it’s something I spend a lot of time thinking about and working on, so I’ll be answering her questions at some length on this site.

Here are the questions I’ll be answering, probably one per post.

  1. Describe your course and the game analysis exercises briefly, in your own words.
  2. The context & community of practice: At what level is the course (or courses) taught? What are the overall learning goals of the course? What will your students become, when they are finished with their education? Are you confident that the course is relevant for their future profession?
  3. Literature or other sources: What do the students read (or watch) to learn theory or methods of analysis?
  4. Games. What games do you use? What criteria do you use to choose games to analyse? To what extent do you let the students choose games? Genres – do you limit the course to particular types of games (e.g. do you use any games that are not computer games)?
  5. Difficulties and threshold knowledge: What is hard for the students to learn? What makes it hard? Is there a ’threshold’ effect in your course, so that once they learned something specific, everything else gets much easier?
  6. What do the students say about the course? What do they expect to get out of it? What do they find fun/boring/difficult?
  7. Practical tips and tricks! What are the best methods you’ve found to overcome the difficulties? If you have some practical exercises you are particularly fond of and willing to share, please provide a link or attach some material to the response.

I’ll tag all my posts with tgd so you can find the whole series, if you’re interested.

2 comments

  1. Nia Wearn says:

    I’m sure you’ve read it already but have you checked out José Zagal’s book :- Ludoliteracy : Defining, Understanding, and Supporting Games Education
    (You can grab the full text from http://ludoliteracy.com/)

    He’s got some interesting insights along similar lines.

  2. Jess says:

    I’ve read parts of it, but I haven’t had time to make it through the whole thing. Maybe this is a good excuse to finally finish it. 🙂

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