The lab recruits members from the following undergraduate courses offered at the University of California, Berkeley. Lab members are encouraged to complete all of these courses.

ART 178: Game Design Methods

This course offers an introduction to game design and game studies. Game studies has five core elements: the study of games as culture generators, the study of play and interactivity, the study of games as symbolic systems, the study of games as artifacts, and the design of games. One process which is crucial to all these elements is to play. We will study the core elements of game studies through play, play tests, and the study of people playing. There will also be a close examination of classical game studies as well as practice-oriented texts. The final exam for this course is to design, test, and evaluate a playable game. Also listed as Film and Media C181.

ART 23AC: American Cybercultures

This new course will enable students to think critically about, and engage in practical experiments in, the complex interactions between new media and perceptions and performances of embodiment, agency, citizenship, collective action, individual identity, time and spatiality. We will pay particular attention to the categories of personhood that make up the UC Berkeley American Cultures rubric (race and ethnicity), as well as to gender, nation, and disability. The argument threading through the course will be the ways in which new media both reinforce pre-existing social hierarchies, and yet offer possibilities for the transcendence of those very categories. The new media — and we will leave the precise definition of the new media as something to be argued about over the course of the semester — can be yet another means for dividing and disenfranchising, and can be the conduit of violence and transnational dominance.

ANTHRO C146: Mobile City Chronicles

This course studies the city through cases of 19th and 21st century urban detection, including detective fiction, epidemiology, urban planning, surveillance, ethnography, and related technologies. Students develop and playtest cellphone games that in turn require players to investigate cities. This “gaming the city” uses smart phones not only to read existing databases but also to write to them, producing new urban practice and knowledge. The course is organized as a research and game lab. Also listed as Practice of Art C179.

all descriptions taken from the UC Berkeley course catalog


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