Course Title: Principles of Play 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Principles of Play 1

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017


City Campus


370H Design


Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023,
Sem 1 2024


RMIT University Vietnam


370H Design


Viet1 2023,
Viet2 2023,
Viet1 2024,
Viet2 2024

Course Coordinator: Douglas Wilson

Course Coordinator Phone: Please email

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Please email

Course Coordinator Availability: Please email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course introduces you to the concepts necessary for the critical study and analysis of digital games. You will critically examination of the development and design of video games and delve into their pre-digital historical role in culture and society.

Introductory concepts of game design, mechanics, narrative and character will be explored with reference to both traditional and new media. The course acts as an introduction to the field of game studies more generally.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:  

  • Critically analyse how games and play have specific local and global contexts.
  • Communicate using diverse formats and strategies to audiences within and external to game art and design.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Explain core principles of play as described in game studies.
  2. Identify and analyse the practices and social dynamics involved during different kinds of play.
  3. Apply non-digital game design skills to design problems and contexts across media.
  4. Change rules and play forms to manage and change play behaviours.
  5. Critically experiment with play design to build understanding of a game form’s overall qualities and actual impact.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will be actively engaged in learning that involves a range of activities such as studios, project work, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, individual and group activities.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided by your lecturer, including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources that are relevant to the focus of your own learning.

There are services available to support your learning, including the University Library and Study Support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 


Assessment Tasks

Assignments for this class consist of three group projects that involve game making and analysis:

  1. Principles Analysis Project 25% CLO 1, 2, 3
  2. Principles Development Project 35% CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  3. Principles Portfolio Project 40% CLO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.