Pedagogy of Game Design

This is an Archive of a Past Event

Michael John, Pedagogy of Game Design. Computer Game Design is a field whose time of practice exceeds its pedagogy more than twofold. In addition, many of those currently engaged in game design instruction (such as myself) come not from a teaching background, but from the background of a practitioner. The challenge then is how to take knowledge gained through practice, most of which is intuitive in nature, and generate a structured, thorough, and useful pedagogy of game design. After a few failures and iterations, I’ve settled upon a framework which appears simple, digestible and reasonably universal. I’ll discuss this framework, as well as some of the more ‘squishy’ parts of game design education such as emotion and mechanics for meaning, which are now the basis for my program at UC Santa Cruz.

(MJ) is the Program Director at the Games and Playable Media professional masters program at UC Santa Cruz. Prior to UC Santa Cruz, he was Game Director at GlassLab, a groundbreaking collaboration between forces in game development and learning, where he managed both game and technology development. MJ is a 20+ year veteran of the commercial games industry, having worked with companies such as Universal Studios, Sony Computer Entertainment, 2K Games, Electronic Arts, and others. His commercial oeuvre includes the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, the PSP Classic Daxter and work on the God of War series. He has been an adjunct professor in game design for USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and is a frequent speaker on the creative process, product development, and innovation, as well as advancing the field of games & learning.

Interactive media and games increasingly pervade and shape our society. In addition to their dominant roles in entertainment, videogames play growing roles in education, arts, science and health. This seminar series brings together a diverse set of experts to provide interdisciplinary perspectives on these media regarding their history, technologies, scholarly research, industry, artistic value and potential future. As the speakers and title suggest, the series also provides a topical lens for the diverse aspects of our lives.