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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Critical Games, Play and Design (GAD232)

Organisational Unit Creative Media, Arts and Design
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal
OUA: OUA1-external, OUA3-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This unit will critically explore game design and playful digital content production in contemporary culture. Areas of focus will include: games (console, computer, mobile, casual and multiplayer), user-created content and playful media produsage (e.g. Indie game development, modding, web and app development). These practices will be examined from a number of perspectives, including game studies, critical design and new media theory. Students will learn key concepts emerging from these fields, and how to apply them.
Unit Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
ULO1. Understand the influence of digital games on contemporary culture, and how games are positioned within the media environment more broadly.
ULO2. Apply key concepts, theoretical perspectives and core principles related to games, play and design.
ULO3. Think critically about the game experience, and creatively about the possibilities of game creation.
ULO4. Critically analyse game design, game practices and playful media produsage in terms of their cultural and creative effects.
ULO5. Persuasively, cogently and coherently describe and evaluate games and game-specific perspectives in both oral and written forms.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 1 hour per week; tutorials: 1.5 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences The broad aim of this unit is to familiarise students with the cultural, social, design and research aspects of game development and gameplay. The approach to learning in this unit revolves around the exploration and application of concepts delivered in lectures and readings. Students are expected to apply a wide range of concepts relating to games, play, creativity, design and aesthetics through discussion in tutorials and written assessment, and will be given an opportunity to create and critically reflect on their own game designs.
This unit uses a structured timetable as a framework for learning. Students are required to attend a lecture and tutorial for 11 weeks of the semester. To successfully study this unit, students are encouraged to plan their study schedule, devoting set time each week to class preparation, assignments and revision. The best preparation for lectures and tutorials is completing the required and recommended reading as well as the study questions and tasks before coming to class. The assignments in this unit require students to undertake independent research, including searching the library catalogue, journal databases and the internet for relevant game industry and peer-reviewed sources.
Assessment Assessment in this unit is comprised of a continuous process of engagement and participation in tutorials, a closed-book concepts test and a short research essay. Finally students will select between either a major written theoretical essay (recommended for those students interested in pursuing further academic study such as honours or postgraduate degrees), or a practical game design project (recommended for those students wanting to add to their portfolio).
Prerequisites Nil.
Exclusions Students who successfully completed MCC232 Video Game Studies may not enrol in this unit.
Previously 2014: 'Video Game Studies'
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Communication + Creative Media [Combined] (BCommun)+(BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Games Art and Design (BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Graphic Design (BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Photography (BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Screen Production (BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Sound (BCrMedia) [New in 2018]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


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