Telecommunications | Topical Seminar in Telecommunications
T195 | 10693 | Castronova, E.


TEL-T 195 The Videogame Industry (Topical Seminar in
Telecommunications) Spring 2005

Course Number: 10693

Syllabus (Preliminary)

Instructor: Edward Castronova, Associate Professor of
Telecommunications Contact information: castro@indiana.edu
Office Location and Hours: TBA

Course abstract. Videogames are becoming a dominant force in
contemporary culture. Games on computers and consoles have become a
standard feature in every home; revenues from game sales are at $10
billion annually and outsell the Hollywood box office; the average
gamer is now almost 30 years of age. Thousands of college students
are now pursuing professional training for this exploding industry,
through the many Game Design programs now appearing around the
country and the world. This course explores the market for
videogames, examining the companies that make games and the
processes they use to make them. This information will be valuable
for students thinking about careers in any area of entertainment and
media production. The course will also be good for students with a
very general interest in media and culture, because as games grab a
bigger and bigger share of our cultural attention, we will all want
to know more about how they are made.

Prerequisites: None. This is a 100-level course and is open to
anyone with a general interest in these topics. Familiarity with
computers or videogames is not required to do well in the course.

Format and meeting times: This is a seminar-style course, relying on
small group discussions of the readings and course material. It
meets MWF 9:00a - 9:55a.

Grading: Grades will be based on three short papers (minimum 1500
words or 5 pages, 25 percent each) and class participation (25
percent). The papers will be: 1) Report on an assessment of a
videogame's production process, 2) Report on a beta test of a multi-
player, virtual world game, and 3) a take-home final examination.
Class participation is based on your overall behavior in class:
attendance, plus whether you contribute regularly in a friendly,
respectful, sincere way.

Required texts and materials: No books to purchase. Students may
have to buy some games or temporarily borrow them from friends.

This course counts toward Social and Historical Studies distribution
requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences. It may, or may
not, also count toward other degree requirements. For more
information about which requirements this course could fulfill see
the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin at
http://www.indiana.edu/~bulletin/iub/coas/index.html . If you have
questions, or need additional help, see your academic advisor.