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NEWM-N 131 Game On! A History of Video Games

3 credits

  • Prerequisites: None
  • Delivery: On-Campus
  • This course examines ancient and traditional games to inform a history of video games from their humble birth in the 1940’s to the present. Students design and evaluate aspects of games to understand the historical development of game designs.

    This course is approved for the Arts and Humanities component of the General Education core.

    Learning Outcomes

    • Create their own 8-bit videogame pixel characters using visual creation tools to experience “creation through technology limitation” as early 1980’s game designers had.
    • Write an in-depth backstory for a videogame character in the style of a 1980’s videogame so that the character is believable and engaging for players.
    • Create a series of videogame enemies to engage and test the character’s abilities while maintaining game balance to simulate game making experiences of the 1980’s.
    • Develop a game design that uses created assets in a logical and fun manner for player engagement. This assignment simulates 1990’s game design practices by using game design templates from the era as guides.
    • Create as a group an original “ancient game” from prehistoric times that explores how games first arose using natural objects (e.g., rocks, sticks, leaves, shells, seeds).
    • Create an in-depth history and analysis of the culture that inspired the “ancient game” and study how this cultural mindset was manifested in the game creation.
    • Understand the history and development of games, particularly videogames, and their subsequent facts, stories, technologies, personalities, and developments of games.
    • Analyze the videogame culture of the early 1980’s in relation to the videogame culture of the early 2000’s through discussion and paper writing.
    • Create videogame items and objects that enhance life for people in real situations. This assignment simulates the use of power-ups and items in games from the 2000’s and will include both a visual creation and an accompanying explanation.
    • Write an assessment of their favorite game and why it is important to them. This will explain the student’s personal interest in gaming and shape discussions in the class.

    This course is approved for the Arts and Humanities component of the General Education core.

    Extended Course Description

    Game-On! Spring edition is a comprehensive examination of the History of Video Games, the people who created them, the technologies that power them, and the various trends and aspects of culture and players that have shaped them. We start with ancient games to show how they have influenced modern video games and then begin a journey from the mists of pre-history all the way through the middle ages, the industrial revolution, the start of games in the 1940's, and then onto the core of the class: looking at games from the 1970's until today!