Designing Social Values in Board Games (53622) D-List: At Scheduled Wednesdays at 9:30 AM 2/2, 2/23, 3/16, 3/30, 4/13, 4/27 - Final at BVW Show on 4/29 2nd Floor Conference Room Prerequisite: Game Design
Drew Davidson, Ph.D. email@example.com 412.268.9469 ETC 5107 Office Hours: 9-5 and by appointment
Introduction This course explores integrating social values into the game design and gameplay of board games. The course will incorporate the Grow-A-Game cards from the Values @ Play project (http://valuesatplay.org/) to help with the designing and developing of board games.
General Course Objectives 1. To foster skills associated with “reflective design”. Upon completing this course, students should be better able and more predisposed to reflect on their own design practices. 2. To develop and support “values conscious” design practices. Upon completing this course, students should be able to use the Values @ Play methodology for integrating social, moral, and political considerations into the design process.
Email The course will function with email d-lists. I will always use email to make course announcements. You should check your CMU account daily, otherwise you will miss these messages. Discussions Note: our discussions are meant to be opportunities for open dialogue and discussion. If readings are assigned, you are expected to read prior to course meetings in order to best join in the conversation. Throughout the semester, we will review material, introduce new or related material, and help you with areas with which you are having difficulty. Please ask questions. Your contributions to discussion should help make the course more stimulating and educational. You can achieve this through relevant questioning, establishing connections between seemingly diverse subjects or experiences, recognizing synthesis, pointing out synergies, bringing into the course news stories, articles, features, boardgames, etc, that build upon what we are studying. Assignments There will be 5 graded activities for this course. The following is a list of what students will be asked to do for the course. 1. Keep a journal to reflect on your experiences in the course. You should write about your game design process with the Grow-A-Game cards, as well as on the boardgames, and relevant video games, that you play.
2. Develop a Game Design Document for a playable board game prototype. Students should keep this document updated throughout the semester to reflect the initial goals and the final implementation. Students should refer to The Game Crafter website in order to design board games through their system, the following links are particularly helpful: http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/templates http://www.thegamecrafter.com/shop/game-parts http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/file-preparation http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/uploading http://www.thegamecrafter.com/publish/production http://www.thegamecrafter.com/demo http://www.thegamecrafter.com/shop/game-designers and we also have deck and part samples for your reference. http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/deck-sample http://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/part-sample
3. Students will work individually or in small teams to create a playable board game prototype as a final project for the course. Students are expected to produce a fully playable board game and publish it through The Game Crafter (http://www.thegamecrafter.com/).
4. Student will critique two boardgames, and also each other’s work throughout the semester, both in class and in their journals.
4. Write a post-mortem on the game and experience. The post-mortem should include an introduction and overview, a look at what went well and what could have gone better, and a conclusion and lessons learned.
Projects Date Time % Design Journal All Semester 25 Game Critiques All Semester 15 Game Design Document Week 5 20 Final Board Game Prototype Week 15 25 Post-Mortem Finals 15
Grading Scale 100 to 90 = A | 89 to 80 = B | 79 to 70 = C | Below 69 = F E-mailing Assignments
Students will deliver all written final assignments as e-mail attachments. Please name the electronic copy of the assignment as follows, without the brackets: [Your last name], [Your first initial] [Name of assignment].
Due Date Policy: All assignments are due on the day they are scheduled in the course calendar below. These due dates will be enforced. Any graded assignment turned in after the due date will automatically be lowered 10 out of 100 points each week it is late. If a graded assignment is turned in more than 2 weeks late it receives a 0. If you know an assignment is going to be late, it is strongly recommended that you contact me through e-mail before the due date. If necessary, I may renegotiate the due date to accommodate whatever problems you are having. I will be very flexible if problems with due dates are identified prior to the date. I will be much less flexible about renegotiating due dates when notified about problems after the date has passed. Attendance Attend course meetings regularly and you should have no problem passing this course. You are expected to be at all meetings; however, life happens and you miss course meetings. I will not be taking attendance throughout the semester, but I expect your regular attendance. Excessive absences could mean an "F" may be earned for the course. Falling behind in this course is a serious problem with very little opportunity to catch up due to the in-class critiques and discussion. If you must miss a course meeting, it is the your responsibility to contact me prior to the missed meeting. You will also be responsible for getting missed notes from the other students. Special Circumstances Should you have a learning, sensory, or psychiatric disability or challenge, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs can be appropriately met. Honor Code I would like this course to operate under an honor code. This code will require you, as students, to complete your own work and to accept "no unauthorized assistance." When you sign your name to your work, it is a pledge that you have followed this honor code. If you have any questions about what constitutes "authorized" and "unauthorized" assistance, please feel free to talk with me. Special Note 1 Changes may be made in the schedule and assignments throughout the semester. All changes will be made in writing and given to you in advance. Hopefully, it will not be necessary to make any changes, but if unforeseen problems arise, we will deal with them at that time. Special Note 2 Issues addressed in any course can sometimes arouse strong and diverse opinions, which represent opportunities to learn. We will all benefit from considering experiences, beliefs and opinions that differ from our own. Therefore, all members of the course are expected to show respect for each other and the ideas expressed. I hope we will actively appreciate and encourage the free expression of a variety of diverse points of view. Special Note 3 Please be conscientious with your computers, mobiles, portables, etc. in course meetings. While in meetings, keep the volume off. Problems? Questions? If you have any problems, questions, or you just want to talk, I encourage you to see me, email me, or call me. I am here to help you, and if I can't, I will try to point you in the right direction.
COURSES TOPICS OF DISCUSSION - ACTIVITIES ASSIGNMENTS DUE Week 1 Introduction and Semester Goals
Grow-a-Game Draw Week 2 Values through Design Grow-a-Game Cards Design Journal Grow-a-Game Exercise Week 3 Brainstorming on Game with Values Design Journal Paper Prototyping Week 4 Paper Prototyping Game Mechanics and Testing Design Journal Paper Prototyping Week 5 Design Iterations and Testing Game Design Document Game Design Document Design Journal
Week 6 Developing the Prototype Testing Design Journal Critiques Week 7 Development Design Journal Week 8 Development Alpha Design Journal Critiques Week 9 Development Design Journal Week 10 Development Design Journal Week 11 Beta Testing Design Journal Critiques Week 12 Development Testing Design Journal Critiques Week 13 Development Testing Design Journal Critiques Week 14 Gold Candidate off to The Game Crafter Game Prototype Design Journal
Week 15 Gold Submit to Conferences, Contests Design Journal Finals Archive Post-Mortems Post-Mortem Design Journal
Information on this timeline is subject to change without notice. ETC General Calendar: http://www.etc.cmu.edu/calendar/
Recommend Readings: Bogost, I. (2006). Playing Politics: Videogames for Politics, Activism, and Advocacy. First Monday, 11(9), Special Issue #7: Command Lines: The Emergence of Governance in Cyberspace. http://firstmonday.org/issues/special11_9/bogost/index.html “Saving the World, One Video Game at a Time” (New York Times, July 23, 2006): http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/arts/23thom.html?ex=1185076 800&en=2365cab8f8972ab8&ei=5070
Frasca, Gonzalo. (2004) Videogames of the Oppressed: Critical
Thinking, Education, Tolerance, and Other Trivial Issues. In: Harrigan, Pat & Wardrip-Fruin, Noah (Eds.) First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Cambridge, The MIT Press. http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/firstperson/Boalian VAP FAQ & Quick Reference. http://valuesatplay.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/vapfaqquickref.pdf Mental Health Alliance Blasts Manhunt 2 http://kotaku.com/gaming/bang-your-head/mental-health-allianceblasts-manhunt-2-318129.php
Flanagan, M. & Nissenbaum, H. (2007). A game design methodology to incorporate social activist themes. Proceedings of CHI 2007. New York: ACM Press, 181–190. http://www.valuesatplay.org/classreadings/VAP-CHIfinal06Sub.pdf Friedman, B. & Nissenbaum, H. (1996). Bias in computer systems. ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 14(3), 330–347. http://epl.scu.edu:16080/~stsvalues/readings/biasincomputers.pdf Zimmerman, E. (2003). Play as research: The iterative design process.http://www.ericzimmerman.com/texts/Iterative_Design.htm Donald Norman’s, The Design of Everyday Things. You can also look at the following page on his web site: http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/affordances_and.html.
Belman, J. (2007). Game reviews. http://www.valuesatplay.org/classreadings/jbgamereviews.pdf Winner, L. (1988). Do artifacts have politics? In L. Winner, The whale and the reactor: A search for limits in an age of high technology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 19–39. http://epl.scu.edu:16080/~stsvalues/readings/Winner.pdf Desurvire, H., Caplan, M., & Toth, J. A. (2004). Using heuristics to improve the playability of games. CHI 2004, Vienna, Austria: http://www.valuesatplay.org/classreadings/desurvirePlayabilityHeurist. pdf Orr, M. (2005). User-centered design. http://linuxgazette.net/116/orr.html
Latour, B. (1994). Where are the missing masses? Sociology of a door. In Wiebe Bijker and John Law (Eds.) Shaping technology/Building society: Studies in sociotechnical change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 225–259. http://www.brunolatour.fr/articles/article/050.html Weber, R.N. (1997). Manufacturing gender in commercial and military cockpit design. Science, Technology, & Human Values, 22(2), 235–253. http://www.valuesatplay.org/classreadings/weber_cockpit_design.pdf Sweester, P. & Wyeth, P. (2005) GameFlow: a model for evaluating player enjoyment in games. ACM Computers in entertainment, 3(3), 1–24. http://www.valuesatplay.org/classreadings/Sweetser.pdf Brathwaite, B (2009). The Mechanic is the Message. http://mechanicmessage.wordpress.com/
Belman, J., Flanagan, M. & Nissenbaum, H. (2009). Instructional Methods and Curricula for “Values Conscious Design.” Loading… Vol 3, No 4. http://journals.sfu.ca/loading/index.php/loading/article/view/60
Belman, J. & Flanagan. M. (2010). Exploring the Creative Potential of Values Conscious Design: Students’ Experiences with the Values at Play Curriculum. Eludamos. Journal for Computer Game Culture. 4 (1), p. 57-67. http://www.eludamos.org/index.php/eludamos/article/view/83/156