Nathaniel Torson, Adjunct Professor/STEM Teacher, Tarrant County College/Creek Valley Middle SchoolHIGHER EDUCATION
Game Design, the mechanical and thematic elements of a game, is an esoteric, abstract form of representation that goes beyond simple visual and aural characteristics, and provides an alternative lens through which we can teach aesthetics and art appreciation. By teaching game design aesthetics, we can not only communicate a highly esoteric subject through a medium that many students will find more familiar, but also broaden their creative and critical thinking skills, providing a more well-rounded education for future game designers. I currently run a class that is attempting to do just that and would like to share what I have learned, some of the curriculum I have put in place, and the system by which I have them critically analyze game designs.
+ A potential 16-week curriculum for teaching Aesthetics of Game Design at a post-secondary institution.
+ A system for breaking down game designs into a set of 7 Aesthetic Dyads for critically analyzing their characteristics of play.
+ An example of some of the aesthetic analysis projects I use to connect aesthetics and gaming criticism.