Game Studies & Design Minor

for the Undergraduate Minor in Game Studies & Design

Contact: Lisa Bievenue, Director  PH: (217) 333-4930

Game Studies & Design Minor website:


The Game Studies & Design Minor is intended to foster critical skills in academic game studies, and technical skills in game design. The minor will serve undergraduates who are interested in the study and design of games, gaming, game design and the digital, extended and virtual reality (XR/VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies involved with the crafting of interactive systems and interfaces relevant to the game, film, education, and media industries, as well as a range of other emerging professions. Through this minor, students will learn to think critically about the history, cultural meaning, social impact, ethics, and increasingly significant role of games, gaming, and interactive media in a diverse society; they will develop the logical, algorithmic, narrative, and design capacities needed to make games, interactive narratives, and simulations; and they will become prepared for graduate work, if desired, on a path to pursuing a career in the game industry or in academic game studies research.

for the Undergraduate Minor in Game Studies & Design

The program requires 18 credit hours of undergraduate coursework, for which students must complete 9 credit hours of foundational coursework, and 9 credit hours of elective coursework.

Core Required Foundational Courses
Introduction to Game Studies and Design
A minimum of one 100-200 level historical/social perspectives course.
Choose from the following:
Introduction to the Videogame Industry
Undergraduate Open Seminar (section SHG: Social History of Games & Gaming)
Interactive Media & You
A minimum of one 100-200 level introductory game design course.
Choose from the following:
The Basics of Game Design
Introduction to Digital Learning Environments
Electives Courses
Students must choose a minimum of three elective courses, at least 2 at the 300-400 level.
Minimum Total Hours18

for the Undergraduate Minor in Game Studies & Design

The elective coursework requirement allows students either to generalize across game studies fields, or to specialize by taking elective courses concentrated in one of our nine advising pathways which correspond to different professional specializations in the game industry and in game-related academic research. The current advising pathways are Design, Programming, Education & Research, Film & Media, Music, Sound & Dance, Narrative, Play Studies, Theater, and Visual Arts. Students do not need to declare a pathway and may even elect to take courses from three different pathways if they wish a general survey of the field. Pathways do not need to be declared. 

Only one experiential (independent study, studio, internship, or capstone) course will be accepted as an elective towards the minor degree.

From the College of Applied Health Sciences

CHLH 441Health Behavior and Technology3 or 4
KIN 346Case Study: Endless Summer3
KIN 369Coaching Strategies3
KIN 442Body, Culture & Society3 or 4
KIN 474Tech-Driven Health Intervention3 or 4
RST 199Undergraduate Open Seminar (Section ESF only)1 to 5

From the College of Education

CI 210Introduction to Digital Learning Environments (Can only be used for either a foundational required course OR an elective course, but not both)3
CI 437Educational Game Design3 or 4
CI 439Critiques of Educational Technology3 or 4
CI 483Computer Systems for CS Teachers2
CI 499Issues and Development in Education (Sections "Attention Learning & Tech" and "Technology Apps for Teachers" only)2 to 4

From the College of Fine & Applied Arts

FAA 499Special Topics (Section "Escape Rooms as Interactive Theatre" only)0 to 4
ART 310Design Thinking3
ART 350Writing with Video3
ART 499Special Topics in Art1 to 4
ARTD 318Interaction Design2
ARTD 418Advanced Interaction Design3
ARTD 451Ethics of a Designer in a Global Economy4
ARTD 499Special Topics in Design1 to 4
ARTJ 301Manga: The Art of Image and Word3
ARTJ 302Intro to Japanese Animation3
ARTS 320Fashion and Textiles Design3
ARTS 340The Art of 3D Imaging3
ARTS 444Interaction II3 or 4
ARTS 445Special Topics in New Media3 or 4
ARTS 499Special Topics in Studio Art1 to 4
DANC 256Choreographic Laboratory I (Section JT only)1
DANC 268
DANC 330Dance Documentation1
DANC 451Ind Study and Special Topics (Section "Social Impact thru Arts Tech" only)1 to 4
DANC 465Screendance3
MUS 209Music, Sound, Technology (Acoustics for Musicians)3
MUS 407Elect Music Techniques I3
MUS 409Elec Music Techniques II2
MUS 499Proseminar in Music (Sections "Audio Coding with SuperCollider", "Audio Recording Techniques I", and "Critical Audio Listening for Audio Engineers" only)0 to 4
THEA 409Stage Management Workshop3 or 4
THEA 410Dramaturgs Workshop3 or 4
THEA 411Playwrights' Workshop3
THEA 418Devising Social Issues Theatre3 or 4
THEA 426History of Decor3
THEA 427Scenic Painting I3
THEA 428Scenic Painting II3
THEA 445Costume History I3
THEA 448Costume Crafts3
THEA 453Introduction to Theatre Sound3
THEA 455Sound Design II3
THEA 456Properties Design3
THEA 461Introduction to Media Design3 or 4

From the Grainger College of Engineering

CS 418Interactive Computer Graphics3 or 4
CS 419Production Computer Graphics3 or 4
CS 498Special Topics (Section "Game Development" only)1 to 4

From the School of Information Sciences

GSD 399Advanced Individual Study0 to 3
GSD 403An Introduction to Top Down Video Game Design3
GSD 405Introduction to the Video Game Development Process3
GSD 409Design & Programming of Narrative Games & Simulations3 or 4
INFO 303Writing Across Media3
INFO 416Makerspace: Game Studies3 or 4
INFO 418Makerspace: Escape Rooms3 or 4
INFO 490Special Topics (Only sections: "Musical Informatics", "Computer Music")1 to 4
IS 145Mapping Inequalities3
IS 199Undergraduate Open Seminar (Section SHG only; Can only be used for either a foundational required course OR an elective course, but not both )1 to 5
IS 357Introduction to Data Storytelling3
IS 410Storytelling2 to 4
IS 426Museum Informatics4
IS 490Topics in Info Foundations (Section "Playful Design Methods" only)2 to 4

From the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

ENGL 253Topics in Literature and New Media3
ENGL 277Gender in Gaming3
ENGL 396English Honors Seminar (Section "Games Telling Stories" only)3

From the College of Media

ADV 390Content Creation3
JOUR 101Interactive Media & You3
JOUR 430Augmented and Virtual Reality3 or 4
JOUR 460Special Topics (Section "Basic Video Production" only)1 to 4
MACS 323Studies Film/Media Production1 to 3
MACS 326New Media, Culture & Society3
MACS 370Cinematography and Sound Design4
MACS 371Editing and Post-production for Cinema4
MACS 372Screenwriting3
MACS 480Advanced Filmmaking3
MACS 481Advanced Filmmaking Studio3
MACS 485Making Video Essays3 or 4
MACS 496Advanced Media/Cinema Topics (Sections "Collaboration in Interactive and Immersive Media" and "Advanced Media Practicum" only)3 or 4