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Harvard J-Term Course: Playful Media Instructor

  • Frances Loeb Library 48 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 United States (map)

“For every Way,” wrote the renowned game designer Bernie DeKoven, “there’s a way of following that Way that’s fun.” Playable Media is a 4 day course which brings this insight and philosophy about play into the design fields present at the GSD. Game Design, from systems thinking to playtesting with others, is a powerful design methodology which breaks down complex networks of causal relationships into digestible processes accessible within a low-stakes space of “play”. Through Game Design, we are able to distill such problems into constituent components and communicate their significance to our audiences (and each other) in a context conducive to failure, teamwork, bargaining, cheating, generosity, competition, and more. Aided with an introduction to notable works in the field of Game Studies and with playtime in other games, students will develop and showcase physical games around the theme of “Coming of Age.” They will complete every step of the game design process from ideation to packaging, and will leave with the conceptual, theoretical, and technical skills needed to assemble a meaningful game from a larger web of systems.