IE 179: Gender and Computer Games
Spring 2005

T&Th 2:45-4, LAC
T 4-5:30, Parsons 1285

Marianne deLaet, Dept. of Humanites and Social Sciences
Z Sweedyk, Dept. of Computer Science

What This Course Is About
The course provides elementary instruction and practice in computer game design, paired with training and exercise in the methods of cultural analysis of gender. In the first part of the course, you will play games, and observe others playing games, then analyze if and how gameplay varies by gender. In the second part of the course, you will plan and execute an experiment on gendered nature player experience. To do this you must develop a simple computer game designed to tease out such gender differences. You will build the game using a framework we provide. In the remainder of the course you will use your new insights on gender and gameplay to conceive, design, and build a computer game that is explicitly targeted toward women. This game will be built off of a game engine we provide.

Class participation 10%
Paper 20%
Project 1: Game Observation Exercise 10%
Project 2: Flash game 20%
Final project 40%

NB. This course counts as a distribution requirement in social science (STS)

Mismeasure of Women by Carol Tavris, Touchstone, 1993.
From Barbie to Mortal Kombat by Justine Cassell and Henry Jenkins (eds.), MIT Press, 2000.
Rules of Play by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, MIT Press, 2003.

For schedule, mailing list, wiki pages, and links see