Special Topics in Information: Critical Game Studies


INF2303H (summer 2018, summer 2020, and summer 2021) — Special Topics in Information: Critical Game Studies

This course critically examines technological, social, cultural and political-economic issues within the interdisciplinary study of games. This course focuses on the play, production, and analysis of games while reading current research and theory from a variety of sources in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and industry. Topics will focus on issues important to the study of games such as defining games, play and players, game production, cheating, violence in games, and the potential educational benefits of games. Classes and assignments engage students in the critical arguments within Game Studies and expose them to the unique contributions of games to everyday life. Throughout the course, students regularly read, write, play, and design games. No prior programming or art experience required.

Notes: Effective September 1, 2021, it is now a regular course with course code INF2255H.

INF2303H (winter 2020) — Special Topics in Information: Big Data and the City

This course addresses issues of data and the city, looking at intersecting frameworks such as smart technology, civic engagement, and municipal policy. The aim of this course is to introduce students to a range analytical methodologies, such as Science and Technology Studies, Critical Data Studies, Critical Policy Studies, as well as applied work in Interaction Design, in order to produce a critical understanding of the complex domain called “the city.” Students will use the city of Toronto as a living lab for the course, engaging case studies, urban data, and site visits. Throughout the course, students will produce analytical writing and prototype interaction and experience design. Students are expected to participate in class discussion and produce a final project. No prior experience in the course methodologies or design technique required.

INF2303H (summer 2019) — Special Topics in Information: Automation and Creativity

What happens when computers learn to create? This course explores past and current trends in automation to address this question. Various critical themes will be addressed including authorship, materiality, authenticity, judgment, and expertise. The course is organized around a studio project in which students will produce objects using computer-aided design (CAD) and digital fabrication technologies (e.g. 3D printers). As part of this studio project, students will engage with generative design tools as a means of “automating” elements of the design process. This project offers students the opportunity to develop applied skills while also presenting a site for critical reflection on the themes of the course