Filmmaker John Grierson famously described documentary cinema as “the creative treatment of actuality.” Documentary films can illuminate unseen processes, broaden our awarenesses of the past and present, and challenge us to make a better future. How might games achieve similar ends? What can interactive media do in the realms of non-fiction, documentary, and activism that other kinds of media cannot? How can we use games and interaction design not only to document “actuality,” but also to intervene on it, and to shape the world to come?
This course explores the past, present, and future of documentary and activist interactive media and games. Students will approach the topic from a variety of perspectives, drawing on art practice, cultural studies, game studies, cinema studies, urbanism, and more. Informed by these historical and theoretical contexts, students will workshop documentary and activist games of their own.
Coding experience welcome but not required. Limited enrollment. Course open to graduate students and upper level undergraduates.