PROD221-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Game Design in Context

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


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
  • 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 2021

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00 Jack Erskine 446
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 11:00 - 12:00 A7
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 Psychology - Sociology 210
22 Feb - 4 Apr
26 Apr - 6 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 17:00 James Logie 214-Language Lab
1 Mar - 4 Apr
3 May - 6 Jun

Course Coordinator

Simon Hoermann


Wendy Zhang


Historical Context Blog Post        15%
Ethics Case Analysis Essay        25%
Cultural Critique Essay        25%
Game Evaluation Proposal (15%)
and Game Redesign
(Group project 20%)                  35%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $785.00

International fee $3,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, 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

  • PROD221-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021