Terrence E Schenold
Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework. Satisfies the Gateways major/minor requirement. Offered: AWSp.
Matters of Play is an exploration of the phenomena of play, beginning with the "play" of matter at the origins of the universe and ending with the highly organized forms of play experienced in contemporary game media and network culture. We will collaboratively develop one possible map of natural and human history that highlights play as a quality of reality at various scales as well as a productive activity of intelligent life. This theme affords opportunities to make new connections across diverse material: from physicists who attempt to account for novelty in cosmology with concepts of chance to religious beliefs about the world as the ongoing result of a dice game played by the gods; work by astronomers suggesting that "Nature plays" and accounts of emergence in systems theory; psychological and biological views of play as an expressive and productive animal behavior and arguments from game studies that consider games as new forms of argument and potential catalysts for social change.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Seminar: mini-lecture, discussion of readings and media.
Class assignments and grading