Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Teaching: Ubiquitous Play and the Everyday

I'm teaching again!

Here's the course description for the BFA/MFA seminar I'm teaching at San Francisco Art Institute next semester. For those of you who aren't familiar with the school, SFAI was founded in 1871. It's one of the oldest schools for contemporary art education in the U.S., and it's known for emphasizing intense conceptual and critical work alongside the development of technique. The course I'm teaching is for SFAI's Design + Technology program, which is a really amazing interdiscipinary major that emphasizes theory and writing and a critical understanding of designed systems, while also developing a strong technology practice in terms of both hacker and maker skills. I taught Game Design as Art Practice there in Fall 2004, and I really loved the students and the creative environment. I'm really looking forward to being back there in 2007!

An Introduction to Ubiquitous Play in the Everyday

Experimental game design is the field of interactive arts that seeks to discover new platforms and contexts for digital play. This course examines the contemporary intersection of ubiquitous computing and experimental game design. The convergence of these two fields at the turn of the twenty-first century has produced a significant body of games and performances that challenge and expand our notions of where, when, and with whom we can play. This course explores how and to what ends such projects reconfigure the technical, formal and social limits of play and performance in relation to everyday life.

Throughout the semester, we will design and test a series of playful interventions and performances that seek to turn everyday life and public spaces into a “real” little game. A primary goal of students in this course will be to develop a critical gaming literacy that can be applied to ordinary, everyday life. Together, we will work to read the “real” world as rich with playful opportunities, carefully testing everyday media, objects, sites, and social situations for the positive and negative consequences of inscribing each within the magic circle of a game. Readings will concentrate on classic design manifestos from the fields of ubiquitous computing and game design, as well as theoretical essays on collective intelligence, public space, and the performance of everyday life.


Anonymous said...

I can see how that would make someone a better person in addition to a better game designer.

I'm enjoying your thesis, only gotten through chapter one so far. It could have been written more concisely, but I understand playing chord with academic discourse tends to inflate ideas with cross-reference. I'm going to write at least one blog post on the material when I finish, I'll send you a link.

Jane said...

thanks patrick! funny comment... yes it definitely could have been written more concisely, but thankfully the dissertation is the one place where you really have a lot of freedom and ability to say all the insights and arguments and references you've been piling up. but yes, already the plan is for the book to be roughly half as long as the dissertation! :)

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