since 1965  (really?)

The Gamer Condition

This course listing applies to a Spring 2010 course. To find current courses, check out the Find a Course page.

Spring 2010
CS 98 / 198
2 Unit(s)

Human friendly URL (OBSOLETE)


About the Course:

The Gamer Condition (CS 98/198) seeks to facilitate discussion about the people behind the controllers, including both developers and players.  It will investigate a myriad of topics in the modern, social side of gaming, such as:


What makes games so fun?

Who plays video games?

Why video games (rather than board/card games)?

How do players influence the development of games?

What is our relationship with our virtual self?

Why do games make us angry (rage)?

Why do players cheat?

What makes a tactic or technique "cheap"?


Over the fifteen week course, the class will unravel the nature of those who create games, play games, and study games.

The class will be designed to parallel the format of the Video Games as Interpretable Media DeCal, but cover a different set of topics.  Rather than the video game as an art form, it will be explored as a social catalyst.  There will be weekly two-hour discussions, with a break in the middle.  


There will be short weekly assignments, generally consisting of writing a full page reflection on the current week's topic, supplemented by online articles, or the playing of a particular game.  There will also be a final project, which we have yet to decide on, but it ideally will be more interesting than writing a big final paper.  Just about everything will be submitted through bSpace.

To pass The Gamer Condition, students must meet 3 criteria:

Participate at least once per weekly discussion.   If we see you're falling back on participation, we will probably call on you directly to give your input in class.  In general, we will allow no more than three unexcused absences.

Turn in weekly assignments.  Up to three weekly assignments may be missed.  As with the previous requirement, if you have something in particular making it difficult to meet these requirements, just talk to a facilitator and we can work something out to help you cover for missed work.

Complete the final project.

The full syllabus will be posted eventually, with specifics.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, or questions, feel free to send the facilitators an email!


How to Enroll:


Due to the overwhelming response we've received and lack of spots available we have decided to close applications at midnight this day (Wednesday 1/20/10 11:59pm).  Applications will no longer be accepted for this term.

You must attend the first day of class and submit the application to get priority on admission.  If many applications are submitted and they all attend the first day of class, not everyone may be guaranteed admission.

Please note that the class size will be on the order of 30 people, as this is our first time facilitating a DeCal.  If all goes well, we plan to hold the DeCal in coming semesters with a potentially larger class size.

CCN's will be distributed after you have been accepted.

Course Contact: CrimsonZen AT, lilisliph AT

Faculty Sponsor: Dan Klein

Time & Location:

Section 1Andrea Onwiler
Christopher Woytowitz
30109 DwinelleM 6:30p-8:30p1/25full

Uploaded Files:

Syllabus: Syllabus - The Gamer Condition (Final).pdfDec 20507kbAdobe PDF (Viewer)View Download

Course info last modified January 22, 2010. This page has been viewed 6698 times.

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