Schedule

Week 1: Introductions - Playing, Evaluating and Making Games
Discussing: Workshop goals, key themes and organization. Formation of groups for assignments.
Presentation/guest visit by TPL's Cameron Ray and Jackson Zelig Radish on Game Cube.

Reading:
  • Gaming Consoles @ Your Library (report produced by/for Toronto Public Library, 2010]: SITE HACKED. Nevermind for now.
PlayingKodu (PC), Gary's Mod (PC), GameStar Mechanic (www), Alice (PC), Scratch, GamemakerOther?



Week 2: Rated "E" for Everyone v. Child-Friendly Designs
Discussing: Notions of child-friendly designs, universal designs, usability and "playability." Introduction to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board, its impact and surrounding controversies.

Reading:
Playing: World of Goo (PC)



Week 3: Digital Games and Storytelling
Discussing: The role and importance of narrative in games, new narrative forms, transmedia intertextuality, characters. Storytelling as entry point to game design, programming, etc.

Reading:
Playing: Nancy Drew: Curse of Blackmoor Manor (PC)



Week 4: Children's Games for Education, Hope & Celebration
Discussing: The hopes and hype around gaming for "good," education, informal learning, prosocial causes - function, foundations, etc. Linkages to broader IT discourses. Current research, applications, and gaps in the discussion.

Reading: 
Playing: Portal/Portal 2 (PC)



Week 5: Digital Games and Controversy 
Discussing: Recurring controversies around gaming and kids. Censorship, unfair/questionable targeting of certain game titles, contrasted with similar trends found throughout child/youth culture (e.g. Sherman Alexie, J.D. Salinger). Should there be a game equivalent to "Freedom to Read Week"?

Reading:
Playing: Bully: Scholarship Edition (PC)



Week 6: Results and Group Projects
Presentations and Demos of Group Game Levels/Creations
Free Play