CTL Faculty Seminar @ LaGuardia Community College

Game Design, New Media

Can Videogames Be Art?

Created by: Jeremy Couillard

Intended Course: HUW 169 – Internet Game Design

Course Level: 100 level, mostly 2nd year students at LaGuardia Community College

Student Difficulty: Difficult – this is the final for a game design class so students will already be familiar with the game engine software.

Teacher Preparation: Power Point presentation and discussion points

Class Size: 25

Semester Time: Spring Semester 2017

Writing Component: Planning for a videogame: in-game dialogue, description, goals, explanations.

Estimated Time: 2 hours for lecture and videos and a few weeks to work on the project

Learning Objectives: To have students think critically about game design and then implement new concepts into a game of their own.

Related Competency: Digital

Materials: Computers and the Unreal Engine 4 software


Activity Description

First there is a powerpoint presentation on videogames and art. The slides are available at this link:


We discuss the various topics and lectures that are on the slides. We discuss how the two lectures, one on game design and another on artificial intelligence, fit together. There is a similarity in how AI is designed to track and sell things to internet users and how some games are designed to hook players so they spend more time and money on them. These design practices are contradictory to the way art can function in culture as art can challenge our tastes and give us new analogies to the human condition rather than try to exploit weaknesses in our condition in order to profit.

After the lecture students get together and look at the game sharing site http://www.itch.io and find some games that could be considered art by touching on the “human condition” talked about in the first powerpoint video, and some that could be considered bad design practice.

The class then gets back together and looks at and plays some of these games.

Then the students are given the assignment to design a game using the design practices discussed in the talk.


I designed this to be used as the final project for game design class. I want to have the students think more critically about what videogames are, what they could be and different ways they are currently being consumed in our culture.

I have not given this assignment yet besides in the CTL seminar.

Header image: “Alien Afterlife” by Jeremy Couillard.

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