Psyc 309V: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

Course Description: This course is totally experimental at this point. We will be experimenting with the materials, the subject, readings, types of assignments, everything. I hope that this will be hard but fun course. The psychology of video games is actually a very big topic, bigger than one semester, but we will try to cover as much as possible. We will pool our resourses. Many of you may be experts in particular video games but know nothing about others.

Textbook and Materials:

Norman, K. L. (2008). Cyberpsychology: An introduction to the psychology of human/computer interaction. Cambridge Unviersity Press.

Assigned readings should be completed by the day listed on the syllabus so that lectures and discussion will be relevant.

Exams: A midterm and a final will be given. Each exam will be a combination of multiple choice, short answer, and essay. Both exams will be given online in the Teaching Theater.

Assignments: Periodic assignments will be given. These must be completed online and submitted online. These will involve small projects, short writing assignments, and online discussions.

Class Participation: You are expected to attend all classes. If you are or plan to be absent, you are to submit an electronic excuse. You are to log into the system at the beginning of each class period and participate in all online exercises and discussions in class and out of class.

Course Grade: The course grade will be based on a weighted combination of the midterm (25%), the final (30%), assignments (25%), and class discussions (10%), and two class presentations (5% each)

Instructor: Dr. Kent L. Norman
Office: BPS 3123F
phone: (301) 405-5924
email: klnorman@umd.edu

Office Hours:

Monday 1:00 - 2:00 am
Wednesday 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Syllabus

psyc 309V: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

DateTopicReadingsAssignments
9/3/2008
Introduction to the Classroom
Manual

9/5/2008
Introduction to Video Games
Reading 1
Proj_01: Class Profile
9/8/2008
The Psychology of Games and Role Play
Reading 2
Proj_02: Game Choice
9/10/2008
(continued)

Proj_03: Game Journal
9/12/2008
Game Play and Discussion


9/15/2008
The History of Video Games
Reading 3
Discussion 1
9/17/2008
(continued)


9/19/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_04: Game History
9/22/2008
A Taxonomy of Games
Reading 4

9/24/2008
(continued)


9/26/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_05: Game Analysis
9/29/2008
Psychological Attraction to Games
Reading 5

10/1/2008
Video Game Addiction

Discussion 2
10/3/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/6/2008
Human Factors of Controllers and Displays
Reading 6

10/8/2008
(continued)

Proj_06: Wikipedia Entry
10/10/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Discussion 3
10/13/2008
Cognitive Processes in Game Playing
Reading 7

10/15/2008
(continued)


10/17/2008
Midterm Exam


10/20/2008
Orientation and Virtual Reality
Reading 8
Proj_07: Game Survey Design
10/22/2008
(continued)


10/24/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/27/2008
Skill Acquisition and Learning
Reading 9
Discussion 4
10/29/2008
(continued)


10/31/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/3/2008
Gender Issues
Reading 10

11/5/2008
(continued)


11/7/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_08: Research Ideas
11/10/2008
Social, Cultural, and Ethnic Issues
Reading 11

11/12/2008
(continued)


11/14/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_09: Survey Sampling
11/17/2008
Violence and Video Games
Reading 12
Discussion 5
11/19/2008
(continued)


11/21/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_10: Spillover Behaviors
11/24/2008
Digital Convergence
Reading 13

11/26/2008
(continued)


11/28/2008
Thanksgiving Break


12/1/2008
Entertainment and Media
Reading 14
Discussion 6
12/3/2008
(continued)


12/5/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


12/8/2008
The Future of Games and Media
Reading 15
Proj_11: Predictions
12/10/2008
(continued)


12/12/2008
Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_12: Course Feedback
12/17/2008
Final Exam (8:00 am-10:00 am)