Instructors: Professor James Dawes, English; and Professor Bret Jackson, Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science 

Course snapshot: Students will work in interdisciplinary teams to bring world-building narrative techniques to an immersive visual setting while exploring technical challenges involved in programming and game development through hands-on projects. 

Why should I take this class? The interdisciplinary nature of this class allows students to build creativity, develop teamwork, and hone their ability to communicate across disciplines. Each student, regardless of their background, will become a bit more of an artist, author, humanist, computer scientist, engineer, and mathematician. Plus, you get to play video games as part of your homework. 

Fun fact: Play is critical to how we learn. A study found that physicians who spent at least three hours per week playing video games made about 37 percent fewer mistakes in laparoscopic surgery and performed the task 27 percent faster than their counterparts who did not play. (Rosser et al. 2007)

Tech to connect: Students are using the Unity3D game engine to develop game ideas for their projects. They are also using the CodeTogether plugin that allows them to collaboratively write code in a similar way to a shared Google doc by trading off control of the mouse/keyboard when working remotely. We’re also using Git, a professional version control system, that facilitates working on a shared set of files and handles merging changes mostly automatically, and we encourage the teams to communicate using instant messaging with Slack and Zoom meetings.

December 15 2020

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