This course introduces students to the fundamentals of games as cultural phenomena. Beginning with a seemingly obvious question which has frustrated generations of scholars and theorists – what is a game? – we will go on to examine games in terms of function, purpose, mechanics, design, and audience. Students will learn how to talk about games and then how to put that knowledge to work in designing their own games. This course satisfies the Department’s Theory requirement and may satisfy an elective requirement for the New Media & Culture Certificate.