current courses

Winter 2016

ENG 486/586 New Media & Digital Culture: Games as Theory and Culture

Why do people play games? Why do we associate activities which are all about strict rules and limits with democratic ideals of “freedom” and fairness? Why has “gamification” – the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications ranging from household chores to classroom learning – undergone an 80-fold increase in Google search frequency since 2011?


In this course, you will have an opportunity to explore some of the most influential ideas and exciting developments of the 20th and 21st centuries related to games of all kinds, from board games to video games to sporting contests and everything in between. In the process, you will develop considerable insight into the nature of games both as important cultural phenomenon and burgeoning economic industry, and craft your own game as a final project.