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. (online draft in progress). Digital Gaming and Psychology. (use account to sign in)

Loftus, G. R. & Loftus, E. F. (1983). Mind at play: The psychology of video games. New York: Basic Books.

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.

Pop Quizzes: About 14 pop quizzes swill be given during the semester pertaining to the reading assignments with 4-5 questions each. The lowest 4-5 will be dropped.

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, quizzes 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
8/29/2012
Introduction to the Course and Classroom
Manual
Proj_01: Class Profile
8/31/2012
Introduction to Video Games
Reading 1
Proj_02: Game Choice
9/3/2012
Labor Day (NO CLASS)

Pro_03: Game Journal
9/5/2012
The History of Video Games
Reading 2
Discussion 1
9/7/2012
Game Play and Discussion


9/10/2012
More History

Proj_04: Game History
9/12/2012
A Taxonomy of Games
Reading 3

9/14/2012
Game Play, and Discussion

Input for Team Projects
9/17/2012
Types, Genres, Factors, etc.

Proj_05: Game Analysis
9/19/2012
Development of Video Games
Reading 4
Discussion 2
9/21/2012
Class Project Meeting


9/24/2012
Human Factors of Controllers and Displays
Reading 8

9/26/2012
More Human Factors Issues

Proj_06: Input Devices
9/28/2012
Team Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/1/2012
Theory and Psychology of Games
Reading 5

10/3/2012
Attraction of Video Games
Reading 6

10/5/2012
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/8/2012
Video Game Addiction
Reading 7
Discussion 3
10/10/2012
Review and Discussion


10/12/2012
Midterm Exam


10/15/2012
Virtual Reality Systems
Reading 9
Proj_07: Immersion
10/17/2012
Immersion and Engagement


10/19/2012
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/22/2012
Cognitive Aspects
Reading 10
Proj_08: Skill Coding
10/24/2012
Transfer of Training


10/26/2012
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/29/2012
Individual Differences
Reading 11

10/31/2012
Gender Issues

Discussion 4
11/2/2012
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/5/2012
Social Aspects of Gaming
Reading 12
Proj_9: Violence
11/7/2012
Violence and Video Games
Reading 13

11/9/2012
Class Projects

Discussion 5
11/12/2012
Violence and Moral Choices


11/14/2012
Educational Video Games
Reading 14

11/16/2012
Class Project Meeting


11/19/2012
Serious Games

Proj_10: Educational
11/21/2012
Optional


11/23/2012
Thanksgiving Break


11/26/2012
Universal Access
Reading 15

11/28/2012
Therapy and Rehab Games
Reading 16

11/30/2012
Class Project Meeting


12/3/2012
The Future of Games
Reading 17
Discussion 6
12/5/2012
Team Project Presentations (1 and 2)


12/7/2012
Team Project Presentations (3 and 4)

Course Feedback
12/10/2012
Team Project Presentation (5 and 6)


12/17/2012
Final Exam (1:30 pm-3:30 pm)



Special Presentations