No technology better defines the digital media experience than the video game. What was once the domain of the maladjusted introvert has become the dominant new media experience, with whole generations of console and PC gamers competing against other players online, crafting avatars and walking the halls of virtual worlds, playing, cheating, and building their “second lives.” This course will explore these virtual environments, mapping the communication that happens within and through this new medium. We will ground the class through a variety of game-playing, both in and outside of the classroom, and will do so in a way that works for “noobs” as well as hardcore gamers. Speakers will include those that live, breathe, and design video games right here in the Seattle area, one of the hubs for national and international video game production. Emphasis will be placed on determining strategies by which new video games may solve old communication problems.
“I rediscovered an old passion in the MCDM’s course Gaming and Virtual Worlds. I rediscovered that I like to make learning fun. I consider fun and play fundamental qualities in a full life experience. Up until this class, the focus of my career and passion had been in the classroom and in the edit suite. My experience in Dr. Rufo’s class gave my lifelong passion new direction in analog games and the Kinect. I now apply the theories I learned in this class most everyday as I work as a Producer and PM for Microsoft in the IEB division and as I pursue personal projects to ensure learning stays fun for people of all ages. My new favorite VUI command is ‘Xbox! Get me a victory milk!’”