This class is designed to help students think critically and analytically regarding various problems they may encounter both in their gaming careers and in their professional careers. The course will explore and analyze League of Legends, a popular video game and cultural phenomenon, through a variety of lenses, some of which include gameplay, eSports, psychology, and game design. Students will spend class time discussing, analyzing, and learning about various aspects of League of Legends. During class, students will analyze and discuss professional-level games and apply what they learn outside of class to improve their own gameplay through weekly homework assignments.
Following completion of this class, we expect students to be able to:
Apply statistical analysis to make proper critical decisions.
Apply analytical thinking skills to sufficiently complicated and competitive multiplayer games.
Develop an understanding of discrete linear optimization systems, and apply them to a question within League of Legends.
As a group, answer an original research question within League of Legends using crowdsourced data (available online and through own gameplay) and quantitative analysis.
Study the competitive scene and apply trends from international play styles to analyze and improve their individual play styles.
In order to be eligible to take this class, students must be at least level 30 in League of Legends and must be active players. Students should be interested in and passionate about League of Legends, as well as the video game genre as a whole.
This class will meet for 2 hours every week, beginning with the third week of instruction. Class sections will be primarily lecture based, with discussions related to our topic for that week. Depending on the nature of the subject, discussions will either be class-wide or will be in smaller groups. Each class meeting will be supplemented with a short homework assignment, as well as potential readings or media resources that will further assist the student in their understanding of a given subject.
Methods of Instruction
Students will not be required to purchase any texts for this class. All relevant texts and media files are available online. Websites such as lol.gamepedia.com, champion.gg, and na.op.gg will provide valuable resources for students to understand the intricacies of various champions, builds, and team compositions.
Homework is assigned weekly. On most weeks, students will be required to play at least one game on Summoner’s Rift and complete a brief set of short answer questions before and after each game. On other weeks, there may specifically assigned homework related to the week’s material. There may also be additional readings or videos assigned.
There will be a major group project that spans the majority of the semester. Students will form groups, propose a research question, and investigate it. There will then be presentations at the end of the semester in which students present their question, their findings, and the numbers and analysis to back up their findings.
All course communication outside of the physical class meeting will be done through bCourses. Assignments, grades, and announcements will all be published there.
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