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 1:00 - 2:00 pm
Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 pm


Syllabus

PSYC 445: The Psychology of Video Games and Entertainment

DateTopicReadingsAssignments
9/4/2013
Introduction to the Course and Classroom
Manual
Proj_01: Class Profile
9/6/2013
Introduction to Video Games
Reading 1
Proj_02: Game Choice
9/9/2013
The History of Video Games
Reading 2
Proj_03: Game Journal
9/11/2013
More History

Discussion 1
9/13/2013
Game Play and Discussion

Proj_04: Game History
9/16/2013
A Taxonomy of Games
Reading 3

9/18/2013
Types, Genres, Factors, etc.

Proj_05: Game Analysis
9/20/2013
Game Play, and Discussion

Input for Team Projects
9/23/2013
Development of Video Games
Reading 4
Discussion 2
9/25/2013
Theory and Psychology of Games
Reading 5

9/27/2013
Class Project Meeting


9/30/2013
Attraction of Video Games
Reading 6

10/2/2013
Video Game Addiction
Reading 7
Discussion 3
10/4/2013
Team Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/7/2013
Human Factors of Controllers and Displays
Reading 8

10/9/2013
More Human Factors Issues

Proj_06: Input Devices
10/11/2013
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/14/2013
Virtual Reality Systems
Reading 9
Proj_07: Immersion
10/16/2013
Immersion and Engagement


10/18/2013
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


10/21/2013
Midterm Exam


10/23/2013
Cognitive Aspects
Reading 10
Proj_08: Skill Coding
10/25/2013
Class Project Team Meetings


10/28/2013
Transfer of Training


10/30/2013
Individual Differences
Reading 11

11/1/2013
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/4/2013
Gender Issues

Discussion 4
11/6/2013
Social Aspects of Gaming
Reading 12
Proj_9: Violence
11/8/2013
Teams Presentations, Game Play, and Discussion


11/11/2013
Violence and Moral Choices
Reading 13
Discussion 5
11/13/2013
More Violence


11/15/2013
Class Projects (HTML for surveys)


11/18/2013
Educational Video Games
Reading 14

11/20/2013
Serious Games

Proj_10: Educational
11/22/2013
Class Project Meeting


11/25/2013
Universal Access
Reading 15

11/27/2013
No Class


11/29/2013
Thanksgiving Break


12/2/2013
Therapy and Rehab Games/
Reading 16

12/4/2013
The Future of Games
Reading 17
Discussion 6
12/6/2013
Class Project Meeting/


12/9/2013
Team Project Presentations (1 and 2)


12/11/2013
Team Project Presentations (3 and 4)

Course Feedback
12/13/2013
Team Project Presentation (5 and 6)


12/19/2013
Final Exam (1:30-3:30)







Special Presentations