Video Games During Class Time? Only at UNO!

Chaeli Fortina February 17, 2006

Princess Toadstool, Donkey Kong, Sonic the Hedgehog or Mario.
Most people have known these names for as long as they have known their ABCs. Games like Punch Out, Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt are games most college students have grown up with.
But if you are clueless, there's a course at UNO that can help.
Topics in Computer Science: Gaming History is a three-credit hour course at the sophomore level intended for those interested in a career in game programming.
According to instructor Patrick Cavanaugh's syllabus, "Students will have a better idea of where the gaming industry is going by learning where it came from. They will come away with more knowledge in all genres of gaming, instead of just what they are personally interested in, giving them a wider base of understanding."
UNO student Sean Cappel is currently enrolled in the course, which meets twice a week at the Peter Kiewit Institute. He says that even though the class is called "Gaming History," it's not all fun and games.
"The class is not as easy as one might think," he says. "You actually have to learn the history and there is a lot of technical information to be memorized. You don't just sit and play video games all day. The class is interesting to a true gamer, however."
The class is taught in both a lecture and a discussion format. As for homework, both written and spoken assignments are required. These aspects are very important as grades are based on project scores, exam scores and participation in class.
There is not a prerequisite for this class. A textbook, "The Ultimate History of Video Games" is required, and according to E-BRUNO, students also need access to a current generation game console such as Xbox, PlayStation2 or GameCube. Students may also need to rent video games.
The syllabus states that the class is "an overview of the history of video gaming, its evolution and different genres and how they relate to the audience." Topics include origins and history of the gaming industry, an exploration of gaming genres, console evolution, gaming milestones and exploring subcultures such as online or computer games.
The class is a sect of a broader class: Topics in Computer Science. This class ranges from one to three credit hours depending on the topic. If you are interested in taking this class, keep checking E-BRUNO, as the topics will vary by semester.

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