CCTP-628-01 Arcade Theory
Fall for 2013-2014
During the first few weeks of 2010, the World Bank launched a Net-based alternative reality game (ARG) dedicated to crowdsourcing novel approaches to global problems; the South Korean Supreme Court effectively decriminalized the flow of currencies between real and virtual worlds; Zynga's Farmville, a popular "casual game," boasted the participation of over 1% of the world's population; and the GDP of Azeroth, a virtual state in the game World of Warcraft, eclipsed that of Hungary.
Conventionally, games have always been relegated to special places, sites separate and apart from the everyday world: The casino, the gridiron, the playground, the court, the arena, the diamond, the arcade. But the advent of digital games in a networked environment is quickly eroding the previously sacred boundary between games and the real. Students are learning from historical simulations; the military is recruiting via first person shooters; politicians are campaigning in virtual worlds; newspapers are publishing games as online op-eds.
Videogames and digital simulations represent rich sites for interdisciplinary interrogation. In this course, we will consider these technologies from a number of positions. Topics include:
* Procedural rhetoric and the polis;
* Cognition and simulation;
* Games and embodied learning;
* Simulated science;
* The phenomenology of gaming and the persistence of the body;
* Virtual-world governance
* Hacking, modding, and digital play
* Ubiquitous games and ubiquitous computing
* The end of the interface
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