Over the past two years I designed the curriculum for and taught IxD Play, a junior level interaction design course at California College of the Arts. I had two fantastic co-lecturers: Santa Ragione’s Pietro Righi-Reva last year and Catherine Herdlick this year.
I’ve made my lectures available online, the first of which contains a rough syllabus. For those interested in the full syllabus, feel free to reach out and email me! I’m also not sure if the notes are showing up; some of these make less sense without that context, so let me know if you’d like the original file.
IxD Play 00 :: INTRO
This covers the basics of the class: our structure, our main deliverables, and how we analyze experiences.
IxD Play 01 :: PLAY 101
Our first lecture tackles the “what is play?” question, but first investigates why we should care at all – through the lenses of several different play theorists.
IxD Play 02 :: TYPES OF PLAY
The second lecture covers several predominant taxonomies of play, fun, and players. This analysis is used as a framework for the rest of the class in place of traditional demographic information (eg: age, location, gender). We strongly encourage player type identification and analysis, as it is more indicative of motivation than most statistics.
IxD Play 03 :: THE PLAYFUL
This lecture examines several different examples of play and questions what precise qualities make something playful (or not).
IxD Play 04 :: A THING CALLED GAME
This lecture provides an overview of the fundamentals of games, then dives into common psychological motivations and preferences that help inspire players.
IxD Play 05 :: AFFECTIVE DESIGN
The fifth lecture examines two optimal experience theories – Flow and Enchantment – in the context of affective design, or design for specific emotional impact. (Adapted from my “Affective Design and the Future of Play” presentation at UCSC)
IxD Play 06 :: SUSTAINABLE GAMES
The final lecture discusses live games and games-as-a-service, with a focus on long term retention in freemium titles and designing games for “the long haul”.