New Game of Virtue Rewarded and Vice PunishedCourse Description

From “Royal Game of Ur” (2500+ BCE) to “Monopoly” (1933) , “Pac-Man” (1980), “Magic: the Gathering” (1993), and “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” (2011), tabletop games have been a constant form of entertainment, enlightenment, and cultural propaganda in human history. The forms of games, their experiential qualities, and their cultural significance have varied enormously from era to era and place to place. This class will examine particular games and game genres in their historical context using a case study format. We will focus on “board” and “video” games—those of chance and skill as opposed to physical games and sports.

The Rules

  1. Everyone plays.
  2. Do your job.
  3. Don’t judge.
  4. No whining.


  • Show up and participate every day (see Rule 1).
  • Lead a game by learning the rules ahead of time and explaining it to fellow players (see Rule 2).
  • One session report — a story of a game, including player moves, theme, mechanic, etc.
  • Final project and presentation