Monday, March 10, 2014

Course catalog at Radiator University, Fall 2014

If I had a university, these are some of the courses I'd run:

PE822 -- CS:GO SPORTIFICATION INTENSIVE (2 units, Detroit campus)
In 1999, Counter-Strike changed the face of multiplayer shooters -- sci-fi gothic fantasy died and "realistic" squad maneuvers became the dominant discourse. The series then languished until 2012, when Counter-Strike: Global Offensive triggered a renaissance in player and level design theory. In this studio intensive course, we will critique this development history and "sportification" of the series while iterating on small levels designed for public and competitive play. (PREREQUISITES: Sculpture I, War Crimes seminar, Basketball II or higher.)

KL72 -- MAKER MAKER (3 units)
Tools like FPS Creator or RPGMaker bring new blood into development communities while manifesting structural critiques of game genres. If something is difficult to do in RPGMaker, can it be said that RPGs should generally not implement that feature? How do the workflows and "grains" of our tools affect our abilities to make things? This course argues that making a new generation of "maker" tools, grounded firmly in new genres, is imperative for articulating a new praxis of game development. (PREREQUISITES: at least 1 linguistic determinism seminar.)

R20A -- COLLAB WORKSHOP, "PERVASIVE ARGS" (2 units, Montana campus)
The "magic circle" refers to the idea that many games clearly demarcate the boundaries between players and those not playing -- e.g. you must be playing a game in order to score a goal, otherwise you're just some person kicking a ball on a grass field. Taking cues from David Fincher's thriller "The Game" (1997), we will act as "puppetmasters" to construct elaborate "alternate reality games" that surround / swallow our players' lives, blurring the line between playing and living. (PREREQUISITES: Metalworking II, Improv Studio 201, and/or equivalent professional experience)

E100 -- ENGLISH 1
Writing expository, analytical, and argumentative essays; developing critical reading and research skills. Review of sentence structure and grammar.