Three interviews in the past week regarding the Game Studies course and three times the same basic question.
Why Are You Teaching Game Studies?
Why do you think it is important that we study games?
What led you to help launch this new class?
I really had to think about these questions. How would I answer it? I had to really ponder my reasoning beyond just personal interest. Gaming has been a passion of mine since I was a kid, from the early days of card and board games with my family, to our first Home Pong, to an Atari console, to being introduced to roleplaying in junior high school, to computer and console games, to an ever-growing passion for tabletop games recently. But why Game Studies and why now? Why was I interested? Why was Dr. Denning? Why did the course get approved by the University?
What are games? It is true they entertain us, they challenge our minds, and they can teach us cooperation or to be gracious competitors. Ultimately, though, I feel games are social. We gather around a table, floor space, or through a headset chatting online for a shared experience. Games bring us together. Playing a game together gives us a reason to talk, interact, and just be alongside others. What I hope to accomplish in this course is to help students understand why games draw us in, why we like playing them, and why they work. Games are also used today to impact our lives through gamification. We can be encouraged or even “tricked” to do something through our passion to play games and our competitive nature. Studying games, game theory and gamification in a game studies course helps us understand more than just how to create games to make money, but also how games impact our society and culture.
If you are a freelancer, designer, or publisher…why games? What draws you to working on games rather than another job? Why put so much of your time and energy into gaming?