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Last updated:

December 22, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


An historical examination and analysis of the evolution and development of games and game mechanics.

Topics include a large breadth of genres and types of games, including sports, game shows, games of chance, schoolyard games, board games, roleplaying games, and digital games. Students submit essays documenting research and analysis of a variety of traditional and eclectic games. Project teams required to design, develop, and thoroughly test their original games

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture: types of fun and game history [JJ] Unlimited
  • Lecture: game design patterns and twenty formal game questions [DR, CFV] Unlimited
  • Guest workshop, Scot Osterweil: playtesting exercise – poker variants Unlimited
  • Workshop: fortunetelling, games of chance and dice (Roulette, Bingo, Tarot) [CFV] Unlimited
  • Lecture: competition and chance [PT] Unlimited
  • Lecture: the player [CFV] Unlimited
  • Workshop: Doris’ 1000 blank cards [DR] Unlimited
  • Lecture: card and guessing games [PT] Unlimited
  • Lecture: information [PT] Unlimited
  • Workshop: initial presentation poker deck game, playtest to get feedback, and suggest changes [all] Unlimited
  • Workshop: racing games (Parcheesi, Life, Goose, Mille Bournes) [CFV] Unlimited
  • Lecture: racing games [CFV] Unlimited
  • Lecture: possibility space [PT] Unlimited
  • Lecture: feedback and emergence [JJ] Unlimited
  • Lecture: bending and breaking [JJ] Unlimited
  • Lecture: digital games [JJ] Unlimited
  • Lecture: abstraction and simulation [all] Unlimited
  • Workshop: narrative play (riddles, puzzles, and word games) [DR, CFV] Unlimited
  • Guest lecture, Sam Ford: wrestling, meaning, and symbols Unlimited
  • Guest lecture, Joshua Green: That’s Just Not Cricket! Unlimited
  • Guest lecture, Jason Haas: improv games Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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