Degree Requirements - Games & Behavior

Foundations

  • 1st Year English or equivalent
  • MATH 107 or MATH 112 (or higher)
  • 4th semester second language proficiency

General Education

  • 6 units Tier 1 Individuals & Societies
  • 6 units Tier 1 Traditions & Cultures
  • 6 units Tier 1 Natural Sciences
     
  • 3 units Tier 2 Humanities
  • 3 units Tier 2 Natural Sciences
  • 3 units Tier 2 Indivduals & Societies
  • 3 units Diversity

Core Courses

  • Complete all 8 courses - flexible order

With the increasing reliance on new media for collaborative work, social connection, education, and health-related support, this course will analyze human collaboration and community processes online. By considering how people create a sense of community, maintain group connections, and cooperate with others to bring about a particular outcome, this class will focus on what humans do, how they present themselves, and how they do the work of collaboration in online contexts. In addition to focusing on how humans work together in online in communities, this course will examine the many theories and interdisciplinary bodies of literature that pertain to `community¿ generally, and `online communities¿ specifically. With a focus on both theory and practical applications, this course gives learners opportunities to think intellectually about technology-based collaborations and to apply course-based knowledge in their mediated social lives. This course is not a technical experience, rather it focuses on the theories pertaining to and the processes in play when humans engage in group collaborations (e.g., gaming, teaching, learning, working, or gaining health-related support) via mobile technologies and online sites.

This course will explore broad research paradigms and theoretical approaches that inform contemporary social research, varying study designs, as well as the systematic methods utilized in differing types of data analyses. Though this course will introduce research processes across the academic spectrum, quantitative analysis of both small and large data sets will be emphasized. Therefore, students will learn about basic statistical analyses and will be introduced to the emerging worlds of data science and social media analytics. Students will also consider related topics such as data visualization or research presentations.

This course is designed to be a culminating experience for the eSociety degree program, a course that engages students in practical activity as well as prepares learners for contemporary work. eSociety major and minor students as well as other undergraduates preparing for work relating to digital information or related fields can enroll in and will benefit from this course. Students will be given opportunities to discuss, review and reflect on their learning in their undergraduate work relative to an eSociety and will be provided the mechanisms through which their coursework can be applied to `real-world' contexts (e.g., internships, interviews with leaders in their area of study, professional shadowing experiences, service learning projects, or community-based event planning). Ultimately, this course provides students the opportunity to learn about what it means to be prepared in an eSociety as well as reflect on their own skill sets and the professional preparation needed for career satisfaction and success.

This course surveys eSport as an activity, as a site for groups or teams building community, and as an emerging digital industry worldwide. Students will learn about differing stakeholders and organizations converging in eSports. Learners will also consider eSports from differing lenses, perspectives, and academic disciplines. Emerging employment opportunities in eSports as well as potentials for professional players will be discovered and examined.

This course aims to give students fundamental knowledge and hands-on experience about the ways of earning money through video games independently. The course will include content-based lectures that cover information about relevant aspects and platforms along with best-practices and real-life examples. There will be discussions, hands-on activities, research and case studies, reading and video assignments followed by quizzes, a midterm exam, and a final project that emphasizes hands-on application of the learned content. In the course, the tools of the trade and various channels for monetizing independent gaming will be introduced. After completing this course, students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to be able to pursue independent money-earning activities in gaming.

This course explores the social, legal, and cultural fallout from the exponential explosion in communication, storage, and increasing uses of data and data production. In this class, we emphasize the opposing potentials of information technologies to make knowledge widely available and to distort and restrict our perceptions. In a world of rapid technological change, topics include (but are not limited to): eavesdropping and secret communications, privacy; Internet censorship and filtering, cyberwarfare, computer ethics and ethical behavior, copyright protection and peer-to-peer networks, broadcast and telecommunications regulation, including net neutrality, data leakage, and the power and control of search engines.

This course provides an introduction to game design and teaches students the fundamental concepts for creating games. Students will survey many different games, exploring the issues game designers face when designing games in different genres. Students will participate in a series of game design challenges and will be responsible for designing and prototyping simple games using a game building tool. Students will present their solutions to these challenges in front of the class for general discussion and constructive criticism.

Games & Behavior Electives:

  • Choose four courses

Intensive Game Programming

The field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) encompasses the design, implementation, and evaluation of interactive computing systems. This course will provide a survey of HCI theory and practice. The course will address the presentation of information and the design of interaction from a human-centered perspective, looking at relevant perceptive, cognitive, and social factors influencing in the design process. It will motivate practical design guidelines for information presentation through Gestalt theory and studies of consistency, memory, and interpretation. Technological concerns will be examined that include interaction styles, devices, constraints, affordances, and metaphors. Theories, principles and design guidelines will be surveyed for both classical and emerging interaction paradigms, with case studies from practical application scenarios. As a central theme, the course will promote the processes of usability engineering, introducing the concepts of participatory design, requirements analysis, rapid prototyping, iterative development, and user evaluation. Both quantitative and qualitative evaluation strategies will be discussed.

Game Futures

This course will look at how commerce in information content (websites, books, databases, music, movies, software, etc.) functions. We will discuss things like switching costs, net neutrality, the long tail, differential pricing, and complementary goods. We will address the following sorts of questions: - Why do so many information producers give away content (such as "apps" for mobile phones) for free? How do companies (such as Google and Facebook) stay in business when no one has to pay to use their services? - What are contemporary practices with regard to purchasing access to information content? For instance, why do we tend to buy books, but only rent movies? Also, how do new modes of content provision (such as Pandora and Spotify) change the way that creators get paid for their work? - Why are there restrictions on how information content can be used? For instance, why can you play the DVD that you bought on your trip to Europe on the DVD player that you bought at home in the United States? But why should anybody other than an economist care about the answers to these sorts of questions? The world now runs on the production, dissemination, and consumption of information. All of us constantly access all sorts of information, through all sorts of devices, from all sorts of providers. We read and interact with websites, we query databases, and we communicate with each other via social media. These sorts of activities permeate both our personal and professional lives. In order to successfully navigate this digital world, information consumers, information producers, and information policy makers need to understand what sorts of information goods are likely to be available and how much they are likely to cost. We cannot learn enough about digital commerce simply by studying the various information technologies that are now available to create and disseminate information content. What matters most is how people choose to spend their time using these technologies, and what sorts of content can provide earning potential for its creators. What also matters are the unique properties of information content that make it very different from other sorts of goods. For instance, while only one person at a time can drive a particular car or eat a particular hamburger, millions of people can simultaneously read the same book, listen to the same song, and use the same software. These are issues that are part and parcel to living, working, purchasing, and being entertained in an eSociety; these are the issues addressed in this course.

This course introduces key concepts and skills needed for those working with information and communication technologies (ICT). Students will be exposed to hardware and software technologies, and they will explore a wide variety of topics including processing and memory systems, diagnostics and repair strategies, operating systems in both desktop and mobile devices. As part of this course, students will consider current technological disruptions, those issues emerging as technologies and social needs collide. Students we also learn about design issues and user needs tied to mobile or computer applications and web-based tools, sites, games, data platforms, or learning environments.

This course develops and applies critical frameworks to understand diversity and bias in world-building, game mechanics, character representation, and social behavior within games. We will interrogate games to discover implicit and explicit biases, explore diversity and inclusion initiatives within the gaming industry, and develop strategies toward more inclusive game development and play experiences.

This course introduces students to the theory and practice of data mining for knowledge discovery. This includes methods developed in the fields of statistics, large-scale data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence for automatic or semi-automatic analysis of large quantities of data to extract previously unknown and interesting patterns. Topics include understanding varieties of data, classification, association rule analysis, cluster analysis, and anomaly detection. We will use software packages for data mining, explaining the underlying algorithms and their use and limitations. The course will include laboratory exercises, with data mining case studies using data from biological sequences and networks, social networks, linguistics, ecology, geo-spatial applications, marketing and psychology.

Art of Games

This course will lay a foundation for understanding how stories shape communities, identities, memories, and perspectives on our lives. In addition, this course will provide opportunities for the theoretical analysis of self representation, composite narratives on behalf of others, cultural heritage, and memories as they are preserved and performed within stories and through narrative. Influences on digital digital storytelling such as the sociocultural context, the institutional contexts of production the audience, and the needs or goals of the digital storyteller will be examined. Students will be required to call on their own intellectual, emotional, and imaginative processes, as well as to develop their own skills in digital storytelling, interviewing, oral history collection, and the use of relevant digital storytelling tools.

We are living in a time when nearly everyone has the means to make movies, music and photos using just their own personal tools like smartphones, iPads, and similar mobile gadgets. This course will develop and refine skills and understanding of multimedia in contemporary culture. Offering a survey of innovative works in film and information arts, this course will allow students a hands-on opportunity to respond to concepts covered in class using self-produced media. This course will address how information functions in time-based forms of multimedia and video in this era of interactive information and displays. Drawing on historical precedents in the media and computational arts, this course focuses on both linear and non-linear approaches of using image, sound and text to create critical and creative works that function in a the context of social media and our contemporary digital society. How and why do certain images, music or films affect us so profoundly? We will address this question through a study of the components of media literacy that include: Production, Language, Representation, and Audience. These concepts will be examined through a cross-section of writers including: Marshall McLuhan, John Berger and Susan Sontag.

This hands-on project-based course centers on advanced simulation environments, their development, evaluation, and importance in contexts ranging from education, health care and emergency response, exploration and mission planning, and entertainment. Understanding the objective of simulation will involve information gathering, problem exploration, and multimethodological analysis of complex problems. The emphasis of this course will be on the effective design and integration of diverse elements and will include practical and theoretical applications, of: mobile, virtual, augmented, mixed, and extended reality simulation; storyboarding and narrative development; collaborative participatory design; modeling methods; and a variety of human-computer interaction (e.g., affect and context aware systems) and learning science (embodied learning and designed based research) methodologies.

This course examines the ways in which computing and information science support and facilitate the production and creation of art in current society. A particular focus of the course will be to discuss how artists have used advances in technology and computing capacity to explore new ways of making art, and to investigate the relationships between technical innovation and the artistic process. This class satisfies a Tier II: Arts General Education Requirement. Alternatively, this class can be applied towards the ISTA BA/BS and ISTA minor. Tier II Gen-eds can be double-dipped with a minor but not a major. 

This course will provide the student with the information and experience necessary for the creation and manipulation of digital audio. Students will have the opportunity to experience the music-making process with the technology tools and techniques that are common in both home and professional studios. The class will make use of a variety of software packages designed for contemporary music production, explaining the universal techniques and concepts that run through all major software programs. Topics will include musical analysis, MIDI control, synthesis techniques, audio editing, and audio mixing. Lab assignments will emphasize hands-on experience working with musical hardware and software to provide the necessary skills to create music based on today's musical styles. The course provides the foundation for further study, creative applications, and personal expression.