Game Studies Minor
YES! YOU CAN MINOR IN VIDEO GAMES!
Well Game Studies, to be more accurate. We have updated our curriculum to fit the changing needs of the world's media landscape. New Media majors can pursue a concentration in game studies or majors from any program can minor. A minor in game studies is especially appropriate for those pursuing degrees in education and business.
The video game industry earned nearly $135 billion dollars worldwide in 2018. The ascendancy of gaming as a mainstream, professional endeavor offers opportunities that require new media skill sets and acute awareness of contemporary issues, debates, and controversies related to this industry. Students in the game studies concentration or minor will learn media production skills, practices, and ethics related to careers in Esports, live-streaming, machinima, games journalism, game design and more. These courses ready students for video game careers outside of production alone through immersive and hands-on learning experiences. Student work culminates in an e-portfolio of their own design showcasing their skills as a games professional.
Game Studies concentration is designed to pair media production with theory, teaching students not just how to design games, but how to critique, research, and innovate with them to achieve concrete educational goals. The concentration's focus on fostering critical awareness of game-centric practices, skills, and issues is meant to prepare students for an array of career opportunities in emergent new media industries. This critical awareness is meant to foster interdisciplinary interest and student involvement across the liberal arts and sciences.
NMD 2550 - Introduction to Game Studies
This course provides students with a critical introduction to games studies. Students will play and critique games from historical, cultural, and theoretical perspectives. Students will also critically analyze games' modes of play, including but not limited to: practices of play, gamer culture, narrative structure, genre, hardware, software, race, gender, class, and violence. Finally, students will be exposed to team-based game design as a means of implementing the critical thinking skill developed throughout the duration of the course.
NMD 2560 - Game Design for Social Good This course teaches students how to use game design elements to communicate and persuade players to make changes in their lives toward greater societal good. As playful systems, games are ideal vehicles to teach varying audiences about how complex societal issues like xenophobia, human trafficking, or sexism arise, exist, or could potentially be solved. Students will choose a cause or organization to design a game on behalf of as they learn gamification techniques that cultivate intrinsic motivation. Individual students or pairs will work on a single game design project over the course of the entire semester with the end goal being a balanced, marketable game for social good. No programming skills are required for this course.
NMD 2850 - Playful Media This course introduces students to a broad range of theories, concepts, and applications of play in media contexts. Looking beyond games and gamification, students will explore use-cases for play in various domains such as business, education, and public service. Students will discover histories of multiple forms of playful media ranging from toys and games to puppetry and how past and future play practices work within and against our contemporary media landscape. Students will design and implement playful media artifacts and strategies including but not limited to innovative game peripherals, gamified marketing or non-profit incentives, and other play-based projects.
NMD 2860 - Gaming and Identity
Building on themes introduced in the introduction to Game Studies course, this course examines the relationship between gaming and identity. Identity factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability impact the experiences of individual players, their communities, and the contexts in which they play. Policies, practices, and community norms will be analyzed and theorized. Students will explore contemporary issues and debates that gaming populations face and hypothesize research-driven solutions. Written, oral, design, and research skills will be practiced and honed.
NMD 3400 - Research Methods for Game Studies The goal of this course is to provide students with in-depth understanding of qualitative research methods, data collection techniques, and their analysis and interpretation. Understanding how to read and interpret academic research is as important as being able to competently perform research methods. Specifically, students will learn how to apply qualitative methods such as observation, interviews, and autoethnography to the study of gaming, play, and virtual worlds. Students will analyze extant data provided by the instructor or collect and analyze their own original research projects. Student work will culminate in a pilot study of play and/or virtual worlds.
NMD 4350 - Professionalization of Play The ascendancy of gaming as a mainstream, professional endeavor offer opportunities that require new media skill sets and acute awareness of contemporary issues, debates, and controversies endemic to this industry. Students will learn media production skills, practices, and ethics related to careers in Esports, live-streaming, machinima, games journalism, game design and more. This course readies students for video game careers outside of production alone through immersive and hands-on learning experiences. Student work will culminate in an e-portfolio of their own design showcasing their skills as a games professional
Academics By The Numbers
Students earned 128 certifications
via our dual certification programs
Student retention rate
is among the nation's highest rates
of our education students earned their
NYS teaching certification
their degree last year