Games have become one of the major entertainment forms of the 21st century. However, games also have tremendous transformative power as forms of artistic expression, as social spaces, as platforms for learning, and as tools for critical inquiry. Through simulation, interactivity and narrative, games can provide new ways to portray and to grapple with complex cultural, environmental, social and ethical questions. Terms such as “serious games”, “impact games”, “games for change”, and “games for learning” all point to a rapidly evolving understanding of the nature of games and interactivity in addition to entertainment.
The MS in Critical Game Design is designed to produce and graduate entrepreneurial, critical-theory savvy game developers who work to change the face of games research and the games industry. “Critical Game Design” at Rensselaer derives from the program’s home in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, with an emphasis on reflective self-assessment, the importance of subjective experience, and the social power of interpretation. Drawing on our multidisciplinary faculty’s expertise, spanning arts practice, media studies, science and technology studies, computer science, and cognitive science, our curriculum presents a unique fusion of critical, reflective, and historical approaches with game design practice combined with technological innovation.
Outcomes of the Graduate Curriculum
Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:
- Apply insights from critical studies directly to the engaged production of new types of game designs
- Be well positioned to enter either the games industry or independent game development spaces, or to continue their education at the doctoral level
- Thirty (30) credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree
- At least half of the total credit hours must contain the course numbers 6000-7999
- Must be registered for at least two terms and complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of resident instruction
- Individual course requirements can be waived or substituted - in exceptional circumstances - by the Department without decreasing the total number of credits required for the degree