Bachelor of Science Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies - Game Studies and Design Major

Kevin Moberly, Program Coordinator and Advisor

The interdisciplinary studies Game Studies and Design major is for students who are interested in three specific aspects of game production and criticism (programming, designing, or studying games and game-related productions), but who are also interested in a larger understanding of the game design and development  process. Students may choose a focus in either Development and Criticism or Design and Criticism.

Graduates of this undergraduate degree will be strong candidates for jobs in the mainstream gaming industry, game journalism, and graduate programs in game studies.

Lower-Division General Education
Written Communication *6
Oral Communication3
Mathematics (MATH 102M or MATH 103M)3
Language and Culture0-6
Information Literacy and Research3
Human Creativity3
Interpreting the Past3
Philosophy and Ethics **0-3
The Nature of Science8
Impact of Technology ***0-3
Human Behavior3
Total Hours35-47
Interdisciplinary Studies Core9
Interdisciplinary Theory and Concepts
Select two of the following:
Digital Writing
Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies
IDS Electronic Portfolio Project
Total Hours9

Game Studies and Design - Development and Criticism Focus

GAME 201TIntroduction to Game Studies3
GAME 240Game Criticism3
GAME 450Game Development and Design Workshop3
CS 150Problem Solving and Programming I4
CS 250Problem Solving and Programming II4
MATH 163Precalculus II3
Select three of the following:7-9
Introduction to Unix for Programmers
Object-Oriented Programming and Design
Data Structures and Algorithms
Computer Graphics
Introduction to Game Development
Entrepreneurship in Game Studies, Development, and Design
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
Object-Oriented Programming with C++
C# and Applications
Cybersecurity Ethics
Total Hours27-29

Game Studies and Design - Design and Criticism Focus

GAME 201TIntroduction to Game Studies3
GAME 240Game Criticism3
GAME 450Game Development and Design Workshop3
ARTS 204Foundational Concepts in Studio Art3
COMM 260Understanding Media3
ENGL 355Game Design and Rhetoric3
Select three of the following:9
Ancient and Medieval Art
Renaissance and Modern Art
Survey of Modern and Contemporary Art
Asian Art
Three-Dimensional Design
Drawing I: Fundamentals of Drawing
Sound Design for Stage and Camera
Media and Popular Culture
Writing for Games
Writing in Digital Spaces
Game Balance, Rules, and Mechanics
World Building
Entrepreneurship in Game Studies, Development, and Design
Cybersecurity Ethics
Philosophy of Technology & Innovation
Philosophy and Video Games
Total Hours27


Elective courses may be taken for the remainder of the minimum 120 credits required for the degree.

Upper-Division General Education

Met in the major.

Requirements for Graduation

Requirements for graduation include a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 overall and in the major with no grade less than C- in major courses, 120 credit hours, which must include both a minimum of 30 credit hours overall and 12 credit hours of upper-level courses in the major program from Old Dominion University, completion of ENGL 110C, ENGL 211C or ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C, and the writing intensive (W) course in the major with a grade of C or better, and completion of Senior Assessment.

Four-Year Plan - IDS - Game Studies and Design Major - BS

This is a suggested curriculum plan to complete this degree program in four years.  Please consult information in this Catalog, Degree Works, and your academic advisor for more specific information on course requirements for this degree.

GAMING Courses

GAME 201T. Introduction to Game Studies. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the core concepts and methodologies that inform game design, development, and criticism. This course will provide students with a critical overview of each of these content areas and will demonstrate how their specific concerns intersect in the design, production, and reception of contemporary games. It will also teach students hands-on methodologies through which to translate these concepts into creative and critical praxis.

GAME 240. Game Criticism. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to introduce students to the major theoretical approaches and debates that comprise game studies as an academic discipline. It will teach students how to research, evaluate, analyze, and construct persuasive arguments about games and game-related artifacts.

GAME 333. Game Balance, Rules, and Mechanics. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the complex question of how game designers produce balance through rules, mechanics, aesthetics, and other formal and informal gameplay elements. This course will provide students with an analytical framework to better understand how these elements are not only manifested in specific games, but how they work to simultaneously distinguish genres of games. More significantly, it will provide students with a practical methodology that will help them understand how to apply the insights gained through this analysis to their own games. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.

GAME 395. Topics in Game Studies. 3 Credits.

A study of selected topics designed for nonmajors or for elective credit within a major. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.

GAME 450. Game Development and Design Workshop. 3 Credits.

This workshop affords upper-division students the opportunity to tackle a wide variety of advanced projects on their own recognizance. It provides students working in game design and development with practical, individualized guidance in crucial aspects of the design and development process, including ideation, research, prototyping, implementation, documentation, and playtesting. Likewise, it provides students working in game criticism with instruction in the scholarly process of identifying, researching, drafting, and revising critical arguments about games and game-related issues. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.

GAME 466. World Building. 3 Credits.

An examination of world building as ludic, narrative, and spatial praxis. This course will examine how games and game-related texts create playable realities through a critical examination of historical and contemporary examples of world building across a variety of media. It will provide students practical experience with how to translate these theoretical into effective gameplay across a variety of genres of games. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.

GAME 494. Entrepreneurship in Game Studies, Development, and Design. 3 Credits.

Although traditionally associated with commercial ventures, entrepreneurship encompasses a wide variety of approaches that are also relevant to the creative and critical performances that intersect in the design, production, and study of games. This course will broach the theoretical and practical questions of how entrepreneurship intersects with and is implicated in the production of game and game-based endeavors. Conceived as a studio course, it is designed to teach students a hands-on methodology through which they can translate entrepreneurial approaches into real-world outcomes. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.

GAME 495. Topics in Game Studies. 3 Credits.

A study of selected topics designed for nonmajors or for elective credit within a major. Prerequisites: GAME 201T.


IDS 300W. Interdisciplinary Theory and Concepts. 3 Credits.

An examination of the history, concepts and application of interdisciplinary study. This course includes an analysis of similarities and differences in academic disciplines and the application of interdisciplinary approaches to a specific topic of study. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: a grade of C or better in ENGL 211C, ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C.

IDS 307T. Digital Writing. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to issues of writing in various digital environments like web pages, email, blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. It also introduces fundamentals of hypertext authoring, digital and visual rhetoric, and image manipulation. Prerequisites: ENGL 110C and ENGL 211C or ENGL 221C or ENGL 231C.

IDS 368. Internship in Interdisciplinary Studies. 1-6 Credits.

An opportunity to integrate service and applied learning experience with interdisciplinary perspectives. Prerequisite: junior standing and permission of individualized interdisciplinary studies program coordinator.

IDS 369. Internship in Sustainability and Conservation Leadership. 3-6 Credits.

As part of the Sustainability and Conservation Leadership minor, this graded internship will provide an opportunity to integrate service and applied learning experience with interdisciplinary perspectives. 300 hours are required for the 3-credit option, and 600 hours are required for the 6-credit option. Prerequisites: BIOL 466W/OEAS 466W/IDS 466W and BIOL 467/OEAS 467/IDS 467.

IDS 397. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.

IDS 398. Independent Study. 1-6 Credits.

IDS 400/500. Study Abroad. 0 Credits.

IDS 466W. Introduction to Mitigation and Adaptation Studies. 3 Credits.

Students will be introduced to the science underpinning mitigation of human-induced changes in the Earth system, including but not limited to climate change and sea level rise, and adaptation to the impacts of these changes. The course will cover the environmental hazards and the opportunities and limitations for conservation, mitigation and adaptation. This is a writing intensive course. Cross listed with BIOL 466W and OEAS 466W. Prerequisites: BIOL 291 or permission of instructor.

IDS 467. Sustainability Leadership. 3 Credits.

In this class, students will discover what makes a leader for sustainability. They will consider a range of global and local crises from a leadership point of view in the context of sustainability science, which addresses the development of communities in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental system-of-systems environment. The course will be based on taking a problem-motivated and solution-focused approach to the challenges considered. The course includes a service learning project focusing on a leadership experience in solving a real-world environmental problem. Prerequisite: BIOL 466W or OEAS 466W or IDS 466W.

IDS 493. IDS Electronic Portfolio Project. 3 Credits.

The preparation of an electronic portfolio integrating the student's academic study, work experiences, skill identification and work products. Alternative formats are used for varying uses of the portfolio. Prerequisites: IDS 300W or permission of the instructor and senior standing.

IDS 494. Entrepreneurship in Interdisciplinary Studies. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to help students enhance their personal and professional development through innovation guided by faculty members and professionals. It offers students an opportunity to integrate disciplinary theory and knowledge through developing a nonprofit program, product, business, or other initiative. The real-world experiences that entrepreneurships provide will help students understand how academic knowledge leads to transformations, innovations, and solutions to different types of problems. Prerequisite: IDS 300W and approval of the program coordinator.

IDS 495. Topics in Integrative Studies. 3 Credits.

Focused study of selected topics linking perspectives, research and applications from a variety of disciplines. Emphasis is on disciplinary synthesis. Prerequisite: IDS 300W.

IDS 497. IDS Individualized Senior Project. 3 Credits.

This course is a vehicle for the execution of the senior project requirement of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program. The project will be negotiated between the student, faculty sponsors, and the program. Open only to individualized integrative studies majors. Prerequisites: IDS 300W, permission of the instructor and an approved individualized integrative studies curriculum plan.