Telecommunications | Interactive Storytelling and Computer Games
T580 | 10615 | Castronova, E

Telecommunications T580 ("Interactive Storytelling and Computer
Games"), a graduate course in Principles of Game Design, will meet
Tuesdays from 2:30 - 5:15 this fall. The course teaches students how
to design and analyze games using quantitative and formal methods in
Psychology and Economics. These tools are normally used to
understand a social phenomenon that exists, but we will use them to
create social phenomena that meet our design goals, whether those be
attention, revenue, research, learning, or making the world a better

The course will cover two broad subject areas: Game Design proper,
and Game Telemetry, the quantitative analysis of game outcome and
behavioral data. There will be active and passive learning
components for each. All learning will be collaborative; teamwork is

Game Design
Passive component: Lectures and readings on theories of intrinsic
motivation ("fun"), mental modules of play, and attention markets.
Teams: Play intellectually stimulating games together.

Active component: Students will design and publish a GameSalad game
for the iPhone or a boardgame to be released on Kickstarter. These
tasks can be accomplished by students with no experience in coding
or game publishing. Teams: Design and produce a game together.

Game Telemetry
Passive component: Review and application of statistical and
experimental methods to game data. Example analysis using student-
generated data. Teams: Scrape data from your game and analyze it.

Active component: Students will initiate a research study using a
large data set from a game, or an experiment within a game. Teams:
Write a research paper.

Questions? Shoot me an email. Thanks for your attention!