I just received an interesting newsletter from MIT's OpenCourseWare service. For those not in the know, OpenCourseWare is a selection of MIT’s material, made free online for your learning pleasure. It’s a fantastic little thing, and the wealth of free educational material available there only keeps expanding.

Point in case, the newsletter I received from them listed one very interesting new course: Introduction to Videogame Studies.

The course description reads as follows:

This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of videogames as texts through an examination of their cultural, educational, and social functions in contemporary settings. Students play and analyze videogames while reading current research and theory from a variety of sources in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and industry. Assignments focus on game analysis in the context of the theories discussed in class. Class meetings involve regular reading, writing, and presentation exercises. No prior programming experience required. Students taking the graduate version complete additional assignments.

It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the course material is rather sparse right now, offering only lecture notes in pdf format (the kind that professors use to prepare for class, so they’re very abstract), and a list of the assignments offered in the course, with no solutions available.

Other, more complete courses go as far as offering lecture videos, recitation videos, course notes, quizzes, and exams; with time, the “Introduction to Videogame Studies” will hopefully become comparably complete. If you want to stay informed in regards to this, or if you are just impressed by OpenCourseWare in general, I suggest you sign up for their newsletter.