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:

Friday 11:00 - 12:00 am
Wednesday 2:00 - 3:00 pm

Syllabus

PSYC 445: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

DateTopicReadingsAssignments
8/31/2009
Introduction to the Course and Classroom
Manual

9/2/2009
Introduction to Video Games
Reading 1
Proj_01: Class Profile
9/4/2009
The Psychology of Games and Role Play
Reading 2
Proj_02: Game Choice
9/7/2009
Game Theory

Proj_03: Game Journal
9/9/2009
The History of Video Games
Reading 3
Discussion 1
9/11/2009
Game Play and Discussion


9/14/2009
More History


9/16/2009
A Taxonomy of Games
Reading 4

9/18/2009
Team 1: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_04: Game History
9/21/2009
Types, Genres, Factors, etc.


9/23/2009
Psychological Attraction to Games
Reading 5
Proj_05: Game Analysis
9/25/2009
Team 2: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Input for Team Projects
9/28/2009
Video Game Addiction

Discussion 2
9/30/2009
Human Factors of Controllers and Displays
Reading 6

10/2/2009
Team 3: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/5/2009
More Human Factors Issues

Proj_06: Wikipedia Entry
10/7/2009
Cognitive Processes in Game Playing
Reading 7
Discussion 3
10/9/2009
Team 4: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/12/2009
Cognitive Abilities


10/14/2009
Team Project Meetings and Reveiw


10/16/2009
Midterm Exam


10/19/2009
Orientation and Virtual Reality
Reading 8
Proj_07: Immersion
10/21/2009
Immersion and Engagement


10/23/2009
Team 5: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/26/2009
Transfer of Training
Reading 9
Discussion 4
10/28/2009
Transfer of Training


10/30/2009
Team 6: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/2/2009
Gender Issues
Reading 10

11/4/2009
More on Gender

Proj_08: Stereotypes
11/6/2009
Team 7: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/9/2009
Social, Cultural, and Ethnic Issues
Reading 11
Proj_09: Violence
11/11/2009
Violence and Video Games
Reading 12
Discussion 5
11/14/2009
Team 8: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/16/2009
Special Presentation


11/18/2009
Digital Convergence
Reading 13

11/20/2009
Team 9: Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/23/2009
Edutainment
Reading 14
Proj_10: Spillover Behaviors
11/25/2009
Playing to Learn


11/27/2009
Thanksgiving Break


11/30/2009
Special Presentation


12/2/2009
The Future of Games and Media
Reading 15
Discussion 6
12/4/2009
Special Presentation


12/7/2009
Team Project Presentations (1, 2, and 3)


12/9/2009
Team Project Presentations (4, 5, and 6)

Course Feedback
12/11/2009
Review Day


12/19/2009
Final Exam (8:00 am-10:00 am)



Special Presentations