This theory-based course dives into the role of fun, play, and games in society. Students will look at ancient theories of fun as well as learn about some of the earliest games ever played and examine their influence on modern games. Current tabletop and video games will also be analyzed by students through theories learned in class. Major topics covered may include: the magic circle, game rules, social games, definitions of fun and play, playing to order, edugames, serious games, chocolate-covered broccoli, cheating, spoilsports, variable ratio rewards, timed rewards, loot boxes, games for change, dark play, uncertainty, and more!
Prerequisites: WRIT 131 AND WRIT 231 or Writing requirement fulfilled.
2 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 15, 2022 to present
Meets graduation requirements for
- Students will be able to describe how fun, play, and games have evolved throughout human histories.
- Students will be able to explain predominant theories of fun and play in Game Studies.
- Students will be able to explain the role of fun and play in society.
- Students will be able to apply theories (and components of theories) of fun and play when analyzing a game.
- Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
- Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
- Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
- Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.