Psyc 445: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

Course Description: 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. (Optional)

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 (20%), the final (20%), assignments and class discussions (30%), team project (20%) and team game presentation (10%).

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

Office Hours:

Monday 11:00 - 12:00 am
Friday 1:00 - 2:00 pm

Syllabus

PSYC 445: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

DateTopicReadingsAssignments
8/31/2011
Introduction to the Course and Classroom
Manual
Proj_01: Class Profile
9/2/2011
Introduction to Video Games
Reading 1
Proj_02: Game Journal
9/5/2011
Labor Day (NO CLASS)


9/7/2011
The History of Video Games
Reading 2
Discussion 1
9/9/2011
Game Play and Discussion

Proj_03: Game History
9/12/2011
More History


9/14/2011
A Taxonomy of Games
Reading 3

9/16/2011
Game Play, and Discussion

Input for Team Projects
9/19/2011
Types, Genres, Factors, etc.

Proj_05: Game Analysis
9/21/2011
Development of Video Games
Reading 4
Discussion 2
9/23/2011
Class Project Meeting


9/26/2011
Theory and Psychology of Games
Reading 5
Proj_04: Game Choice
9/28/2011
Attraction of Video Games
Reading 6

9/30/2011
Team Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/3/2011
Video Game Addiction
Reading 7
Discussion 3
10/5/2011
Human Factors of Controllers and Displays
Reading 8

10/7/2011
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion

Proj_06: Input Devices
10/10/2011
More Human Factors Issues


10/12/2011
Review and Discussion


10/14/2011
Midterm Exam


10/17/2011
Virtual Reality Systems
Reading 9
Proj_07: Immersion
10/19/2011
Immersion and Engagement


10/21/2011
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/24/2011
Cognitive Aspects
Reading 10
Proj_08: Skill Coding
10/26/2011
Transfer of Training


10/28/2011
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/31/2011
Individual Differences
Reading 11
Proj_09: Stereotypes
11/2/2011
Gender Issues

Discussion 4
11/4/2011
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/7/2011
Social Aspects of Gaming
Reading 12
Proj_10: Violence
11/9/2011
Violence and Video Games
Reading 13

11/11/2011
Class Projects

Discussion 5
11/14/2011
Effects of Video Game Violence


11/16/2011
Educational Video Games
Reading 14

11/18/2011
Class Project Meeting


11/21/2011
Serious Games

Proj_11: Education
11/23/2011
Optional


11/25/2011
Thanksgiving Break


11/28/2011
Universal Access
Reading 15

11/30/2011
Therapy and Rehab Games
Reading 16

12/2/2011
Class Project Meeting


12/5/2011
The Future of Games
Reading 17
Discussion 6
12/7/2011
Team Project Presentations (1 and 2)


12/9/2011
Team Project Presentations (3 and 4)

Course Feedback
12/12/2011
Team Project Presentation (5 and 6)


12/19/2011
Final Exam (1:30 pm-3:30 pm)



Special Presentations