PROD221-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020

Game Design in Context

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 February 2020
End Date: Sunday, 21 June 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 28 February 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 29 May 2020


This course explores a wider view of games and society. Topics include: 1. Ethics, Social Issues, and Games: How are various segments of the population portrayed in games? Specific focus will be on the representation of women and minorities in games, discussions of violence in games, games addiction, and how design choices affect, and are affected by, society. 2. Applied Games: Games are primarily used for entertainment purposes. But many argue that they could and should also be used for other purposes where motivation is important, such as games for learning, games for training, games for health, and games for behaviour change. 3. Bi-culturalism in Games: Maori themes and motivations in games are important in the New Zealand context. How can game designers better support a Maori audience specifically, and various cultures more generally?

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to describe the portrayal of various segments of society in games, in particular underrepresented groups.
  • Students will be able to critically discuss the use of violence in video games, issues of game addiction and how game choices affect society and vice versa.
  • Students will be able to discuss how game designers can better support diverse audiences and needs
  • Students will be able to discuss game design decisions for the bicultural context in Aotearoa - New Zealand, for Māori audience in particular, and international cultures more generally.
  • Students will understand the application and theory behind the use of game technologies and design elements for entertainment as well as non-entertainment purposes such as therapy, rehabilitation, education, health etc.


one of COSC101 or
PROD121 or

Timetable 2020

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 - (23/3, 20/4)
Online Delivery (4/5-25/5)
Ernest Rutherford 260 (17/2-16/3)
17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 26 Apr
4 May - 31 May
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 - (25/3, 22/4)
Online Delivery (29/4-27/5)
Ernest Rutherford 260 (19/2-18/3)
17 Feb - 29 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 - (23/4-21/5)
Online Delivery (28/5)
Ernest Rutherford 260 (20/2-19/3)
17 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 13:00 - 14:00 17 Feb - 22 Mar
20 Apr - 31 May

Course Coordinator

Simon Hoermann

Course Administrator

Alison Lowery


David Khan , Hamuera Kahi and Heide Lukosch

Contact Person

Wendy Zhang


Historical Context Blog Post        15%
Ethics Case Analysis Essay        25%
Cultural Critique Essay        25%
Game Evaluation and Redesign    35%
(Group project)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $777.00

International fee $3,375.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see School of Product Design on the department and colleges page.

All PROD221 Occurrences

  • PROD221-20S1 (C) Semester One 2020