This is an archive of a past course's class materials from 2011. Present "Games & Society" students should look elsewhere to find their coursework; consult your current syllabus for more information.
The designer and intstructor of this lab course, Jason McIntosh, has written notes and commentary about this course which may be of interest to other teachers. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I wish to round out the semester with a look at a recent trend in digital games: works from independent creators whose primary purpose is to express an artistic, political, or personal statement, rather than to necessarily present a challenging or “winnable” activity to the player.
Please play the following games.
McDonald’s Videogame, by Molleindustria. A simulation of running the McDonald’s fast food corporation. What verbs does this game offer the player, and what does this tell us about the designer’s purpose in creating it? Does it work as a game? (Requires Flash.)
Passage, by Jason Roher. As the page states, this takes exactly five minutes to play; feel free to play it more than once to explore its full space. (Downloadable, for Mac and Windows. Also available for $1 in the iOS App Store.)
Update: Alas, it doesn't work on the latest version of Mac OS (Lion). Please play this game if you can, but if the only computer you have access to runs Lion, then you'll have to wait until our class meeting to see Passage in play.
We’ll replay and discuss these games, and examine a few others as well. Then we’ll have a short quiz as usual.