Semester(s) Offered: Spring
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-GT 234
Prerequisite(s): None
Taught By: Greg Trefry

What happens to games when they escape the boundaries of our tabletops, desktops, TV screens and even living rooms? From massively multiplayer online games to networked objects that turn the city into a gigantic game grid, new forms of super-sized gaming and play are quickly opening up vast new spaces in which to play. Whether these games are measured in terms of number of players, geographical dimensions, or temporal scope, they represent a new trend in which the ‘little world” created by a game threatens to merge or even swallow up the “real world.”  

This class focuses on the particular design problems of large-scale games and playful systems.  In this class students develop a foundation in game design fundamentals from which to approach the specific issues particular to big games.  We will analyze existing digital and non-digital large-scale games and playful experiences, taking them apart to understand how they work.  We will also work on a series of design exercises that explore the social, technological, and creative possibilities of large-scale games and play. 

The class will be broken into three sections: Space, People and Time. During the first section, we will look at how games operate in space, how they stand apart or blend in with the world around them. The second section, People, will focus on games that bring together large numbers of players into one game. In the third section, Time, we will focus on games that stretch over long periods of time and begin to integrate with our everyday lives.