CMS 4800: Introduction to Game Studies

Course Info.

  • CRN: 24418
  • Days and Times: TR 2:10-2:35 p.m.
  • Classroom: Clayton Hall T212

CMS 4800 Introduction to Game Studies examines the idea of a “game,” including the common structures and types of fun found in things like sports, card and table-top games, and—most importantly—video games.

The course satisfies elective requirements for both CMS and Film Production majors.

Links to other sections of this syllabus can be found in the General Class Policies menu. The “General Class Policies”  menu also includes a link to information related to the pandemic. Additional course materials are accessible to enrolled students through D2L.

The course is scheduled for Spring 2022, and it meets in a traditional, face-to-face format. This syllabus is not complete; check here frequently to make sure that you have the most current information.

Spoiler Warning

Unfortunately, we will not be able to avoid spoilers in our discussions of either games or movies.

Required Games

Required games and games of interest will be listed on a separate page.

Required Textbook

  • The Game Design Reader, Katie Salen Tekinbas and Eric Zimmerman, eds. (2005).

In addition, we will read a variety of PDF and online resources, all linked through the Content panel in D2L.

Required Viewing

All required films will available to enrolled students through Swank, Kanopy, and/or other free streaming services. In addition, multiple YouTube videos will be required. All required videos will be linked from the Content panel in D2L.

  • TBD

Required Software, Hardware, and Technical Capabilities

Webcam and Microphone

For quizzes and exams, you may be required to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser, which includes video monitoring. If your laptop does not have a built-in webcam, you will need to invest in or borrow one to use with your university-mandated laptop computer. (Wikipedia has a useful entry on webcams.)

Also, you will create a video recording for a major assignment and upload this recording to YouTube.  If your laptop, digital camera, or phone does not include these capabilities, you will need both a microphone and webcam to use with your laptop.

Lockdown Browser
You may be required to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser for quizzes and exams. You will download and install this on your laptop from within D2L. Please complete this process by taking the Sample Quiz during the first week of class.
Web Browser: Firefox or Chrome or Safari
In this media-rich class, using a modern browser is mandatory. Note that Internet Explorer is not recommended for use with Desire2Learn.
Microsoft Teams
Students should download the Teams app to their computer, since the Web-based version doesn’t support screen- and video-sharing the Hub’s Knowledge Base article details the necessary steps.
PDF Reader (Adobe Reader)
Students must be able to read PDF files.
Media Player: VLC or equivalent
Students must be able to play mp3 and mp4 files. Many software tools will enable this, including VLC, which is available for free download.
Microsoft Word word processing
Students must be able to compose and read documents saved in the Microsoft Word “docx” format.
Clayton State email
Students must access their CSU email accounts on a regular basis. They must be able to use these accounts to attach and retrieve attached files.

Contact Information

My contact information including office hours is collected on separate page.

Violence, Vulgarity, and Profanity

A note of warning: We are all adults, and we are studying a culture that is often violent, vulgar, and profane. As a result, you may hear or see adult content in the materials assigned for our class. Nothing assigned by me or submitted by other students should exceed the MPAA rating of R. When engaging in class discussions, if you submit material that is Not Safe For Work (NSFW) or other venues and audiences,  please note this in your subject line as a convenience to your classmates. Please also be aware that your contributions should conform to the class’s rules regarding  Online Etiquette.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

It is my intent that students from diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity along multiple dimensions, including ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups.

Disability Services

Students with disabilities who need to request accommodations should contact the Disability Resource Center, Edgewater Hall, Suite 255; 678-466-5445;