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Program & Philosophy

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Game design is a practice that lives at the intersection of creative, technological and humanistic inquiry.

The Art & Design: Games & Playable Media BA was formally established in 2015, as a sister program to the BS in Computer Science: Computer Game Design. In order to facilitate collaboration between these two programs, we developed an interdisciplinary curriculum where students from The Arts and Engineering divisions work together to create unique game experiences.

By blending art & technology, theory & practice, the degree program aims to develop well-rounded students with the confidence to express themselves in both digital and non-digital environments. It is grounded in the idea of hands-on learning exemplified by the Bauhaus philosophy of arts education, and begins with the fundamentals of artistic practice while exploring the history of both digital and non-digital game design.

Using the Mechanics, Dynamics, Aesthetics model of game design & construction as a baseline, students learn how to talk about the way games create meaning for players and spectators alike. Then, they create a series of increasingly refined and complex prototypes as they learn to express their own views and values through games and game design.

For those of you considering what your four years at UCSC might look like in the Games: Art + Design major, we have put together a list of resources. These include:

For other questions related to declaring the major, submitting a transfer application or other administrative issues, please contact Juan Morales-Rocha, the AGPM Undergraduate Advisor.