Course Title: Principles of Play 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Principles of Play 1

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017

Course Coordinator: Christian McCrea

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2531

Course Coordinator 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

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

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

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.

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 relevant to the focus of your own learning.

The University Library has extensive resources for Games students. The Library has produced a subject guide that includes quality online and print resources for your studies

The Library provides guides on academic referencing: and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarian.

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 may include essays, reports, reflective papers, creative projects and presentations, individually and in groups. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning.

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 the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: