1 Introduction to the course, key assignments. Quick design exercise
2 What is a game? What is play? Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 77-81 and 122-155. Philip Tan, Director of the Singapore-MIT Game Lab
3 Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 83-86 and 296-313.
4 Rules of play Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 9-13 and 476-502.
5 Gaming the game Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 9-13 and 728-753.
6 Player and character Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 27-31 and 642-669. Field trip to the Boston Second Life Offices, hosted by Pathfinder Linden (aka John Lester)
7 We will continue discussion of the Mateas & Stern chapter and choose the winning 50-word sentence. Students should also submit a potential midterm exam question and we will discuss them during class. There is no guarantee that any individual student's question will appear on the exam, but the information will help guide the construction of the exam as a whole.
8 Ludology

Frasca, G. "Simulation Versus Narrative: Introduction to Ludology."

Juul, J. "The Game, The Player, The World: Looking for a Heart of Gameness."



Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 33-36 and 670-689. Drew Harry, a graduate student at MIT's Media Lab (Social Computing group), will talk about how he's come to find a way to make games and Second Life development a part of his graduate work, despite not being in a games studies program.
10 Guest lecture Marlene Manoff from the MIT Libraries will be co-teaching with me a special session on doing games-related research. In the second half of class, we'll conduct a review for the midterm exam.
11 Midterm exam Darius Kazemi and Jeff Ward run a company called Orbus Gameworks, headquartered in Waltham, Mass. Orbus deals in game metrics, which help developers understand how their games are being played, with the hope that developers can make their games better as a result of that information.
12 Student presentations
13 Student presentations (cont.) Linda Currie and Scott Macmillan developed Zoo Tycoon 2 and its expansion packs for Blue Fang Games in Waltham, Massachusetts.
14 Student presentations (cont.)
15 Videogames and learning Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 228-267.
16 Student presentations (cont.)
17 Student presentations (cont.)
18 Massively multiplayer online games

Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 754-787.

Yee, N. "Motivations of Play in Online Games."

Jay Laird is a Lead Game Designer at Metaversal Studios in Boston as well as the Assistant Director of Game Design at Northeastern University.
19 Student presentations (cont.)
20 Race and violence in games DeVane, B., and K. D. Squire. "The Meanings of Race and Violence in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." Student presentations
21 Rules and play revisited Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 28-37 and 116-125.
22 Student presentations (cont.) Student presentations
23 Rules and play revisited Salen & Zimmerman. pp. 298-311 and 502-513.
24 Cheating and gamer culture Consalvo, M. "The Cheaters." Harmonix Games, headquartered in Central Square, Cambridge. Discussion of its Guitar Hero series and Rock Band.
25 Final exam review