PROD221-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Game Design in Context

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


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

1. Students will be able to describe the portrayal of various segments of society in games, in particular underrepresented groups
2. 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
3. Students will be able to discuss how game designers can better support diverse audiences and needs
4. 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
5. 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 DIGI101

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 14:00 - 16:00 Ernest Rutherford 465
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 13:00 E5 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 19 May
Lecture C
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 12:00 - 15:00 West 213A (21/5)
West 323 (28/5)
20 May - 2 Jun
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 13:00 - 15:00 Rata 216 CAD Lab
26 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 19 May

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Simon Hoermann


Wendy Zhang


Historical Context Article                                 15%
User Models                                                   15%
Cultural Critique Essay                                    25%
Ethics Case Analysis                                        25%
Game Evaluation Project (group assignment)    20%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* 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 .

All PROD221 Occurrences

  • PROD221-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024