To earn an MBA degree with a unique concentration in game design and analytics, students will complete the 16 credits of MBA core curriculum, a corporate residency, and a 12-credit concentration through courses offered in the College of Arts, Media & Design, taught by their esteemed professors of practice. You will also complete 12 credits from a second business concentration of your choosing, and 15 elective credits of which 3 must be experiential in nature.
Required MBA x Game Design and Analytics Courses
Provides theoretical background and foundation for analyzing and designing games. Examines fundamental domains that are necessary to understand what games are and how they affect players, including but not limited to interface design, level design, narrative, learning, and culture. Presents relevant concepts and frameworks from a wide variety of disciplines; psychology, phenomenology, sociology, anthropology, media studies, affect theories, learning theories, and theories of motivation for each domain. Explains the core elements of game design, introduces students to formal abstract design tools, explores several models of design process and iteration, and offers students an opportunity to practice game design in groups.
GSND5110 | 4 credits
Introduces the topic of game analytics, defined as the process of discovering and communicating patterns in data with a goal of solving problems and developing predictions in user behavior supporting decision management, driving action, and/or improving game products. Covers the fundamental tools, methods, and principles of game analytics, including the knowledge-discovery process, data collection, feature extraction and selection, pattern recognition to aid in prediction and churn analysis, visualization, and reporting. Covers analytics across game forms, notably online games and delivery platforms. Presents analytical tools recommended during development and tools designed for ongoing maintenance of games.
GSND6350 | 4 credits
Choose One Elective Course
Explores theories of perception, motivation, needs, learning, goals, and belief systems as they pertain to games and play. Examines psychological principles, including visual and audio perception, emotions, behavior, personality, and the more recent scientific discoveries around psychological models explaining play behavior or motivation theories behind play. Introduces how players learn in and from games based on the relationship of play to learning theories. Forms a solid theoretical basis for a new segmentation tool—psychographics. Explores visual and cultural archetypes, digging into comics, movie sets, and cartoons to distillate what makes people tick in certain ways relating to universal theories of perception and gestalt theories. Applies the theories through critical analysis of play behavior and games.
GSND6320 | 4 credits
Focuses on topics of player psychology—cognition; memory; emotions; attention; and game-focused theories such as engagement, fun, user experience, player-need-satisfaction model, and flow. The development cycle of any game relies on the understanding of the players, the target market of the game product. Covers game usability engineering and game-specific evaluation methods, such as play testing, rapid iterative testing and evaluation (RITE), play-heuristic evaluation, and retrospective play reviews. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to analyze qualitative and quantitative data and to apply parametric and nonparametric statistical evaluation methods, qualitative data coding and analysis, and descriptive statistics. Requires students to apply visualization techniques of data and reporting.
GSND6330 | 4 credits
Covers the domain of psychophysiological testing. Introduces theory and research in major areas of human psychology, including cognition, emotions, and attention. Studies the principles, theory, and applications of psychophysiological assessment inside and outside interactive digital entertainment. Offers students an opportunity to understand the basics of eye tracking—eye movements, fixations, saccades. Applies methods of data collection, cleaning, and analysis for both physiological and eye-tracking data. Covers all issues of using such measurements, including validity of conclusions and confounding variables. Covers the process of triangulation and repotting in-depth along the entire process of the game production life cycle.
GSND6340 | 4 credits