COM 597: Games as Communication: Online Strategies for Engaging Users and Customers (Lingle)

Former Tags: Summer 2014, MCCN, Research Methods

Course Description:

Gamification has had its turn in the spotlight, promising new levels of user interaction and attracting both advocates and critics. While its successes are compelling, media professionals know it’s never easy, and often impossible, to apply generic solutions to your own communication challenges. Looking beyond the badges and buzzwords, the core ideas of games and play do tap into powerful human instincts. Drawing on those principles, we can think more deeply about users and customers, and build more rewarding experiences for them as real people. Digging into research and real-world cases, students in this course will develop insights into games and gaming as a mode of communication. In addition to critically evaluating “gamification” as a marketing strategy, we will go further by exploring such concepts as crowds, rules, identity, and social control. In a world where environments are increasingly digitized and datafied, students will analyze what’s behind our impulse to count, compare, and compete, whether with friends, strangers, or the objects around us. By the end of the course, we will have a more grounded understanding of what games are and how we can strategically and successfully apply them to communication.