VM420: Games for Social Change

The video game industry is one of the largest sectors of the entertainment industry. But the importance of games goes well beyond industrial silos. Games and game mechanics are factoring into the experience of television, film and the web, and increasingly, into other institutions, including education, democracy and health. What’s more, games are being deployed in these contexts to produce real world social change. This class provides students with an introduction to games and game design and gives them the opportunity to partner with the Red Cross / Red Crescent in designing games for real people to solve real humanitarian problems. Students will work in groups, each with a specific geographic and content focus, to design board (or otherwise analog) games and digital prototypes that will be tested and deployed. Prerequisites: Junior standing and some programming or design experience is ideal, but not required.

VM303: Studies in Digital Media and Culture

Examines the dramatic shift in meaning and processes of contemporary communication by investigating the social, artistic, economic, and political implications of using digital ways of working. Topics include the Internet and the web, cyberspace and censorship, games, digital film and video, multimedia and interactivity, virtual reality, person-machine interfaces, and globalization considerations.

VM652: Theories of Integrated Media

Media are no longer discreet forms of expression. Digital technology has created an integrated environment where even analog media are most often produced and/or viewed in a digital context or with digital tools. This course is an intensive introduction to theories of producing and consuming film, video, photography, and sound, both in isolation and couched within digital technologies. Students are given a background in traditional approaches to media criticism and encouraged to question how the new digital context has altered those approaches and changed the conditions under which the creative expression and consumption of media takes place