Games & Playfulness

Subject CCDP10001 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24
Total Time Commitment:


Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:



Subject Overview:

Play is fundamental to the human condition. This breadth unit seeks to unpack the nature of games and playfulness within the everyday. By playing, analysing and creating games, the subject unpacks these various elements and encourages students to take a ‘hands on’ approach in reflecting upon the creative and playful aspects of both their everyday life and their chosen discipline. It considers the interactions between play and culture; how playfulness binds communities and how culture determines both the structure and content of play. Though there are some references to the videogame industry, the subject is not simply a valorisation of this history. Rather it looks at the rise, fall and rise again of public playfulness and the ways in which the medium has both industrialised and democratised. The subject aims to encourage student to explore what games can be, rather than what they currently are.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this unit, students should

  • Understand the notions of play, playfulness and games
  • Understand the history of play and games theory
  • Understand how to read play elements within their daily lives
  • Develop skills for making and inventing simple and complex games for both individual and collective engagement
  • Develop the skills to explore the play elements of their chosen discipline

ASSIGNMENT 1 (1000 word paper), due in Week 5 (30%)

Creative task – Describe a problem in your discipline and propose a playful solution


Research task – Research and describe a playful aspect within the history of your discipline.

ASSIGNMENT 2 MIXED MEDIA ASSIGNMENT (3000 words or equivalent), due 2 weeks after Week 12 (70%)

Use the concepts covered in class to design and describe a project that is new and playful. Concepts include input/output, affordances, architecture, poetic motion, narrative, systems etc. Ideas and concepts to be fully referenced.

Prescribed Texts:

None - A Reader will be provided for the course.

Recommended Texts:

At the end of this course, students should

  • Have a degree of competence in recognising play elements in culture
  • Have competencies in understanding the play elements in their chosen disciplines
  • Be able to recognise playful and game-based elements in their discipline and work with them
  • Understand play and games as forms of problem solving
  • Understand the history and roles of play and games in culture
  • Be able to make and design simple games.
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Fine Arts (Animation)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Contemporary Music)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Film and Television)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Screenwriting)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre Practice)

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