Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:


  • Analyze, describe, and discuss games and their structures using various concepts and theories
  • Understand a selection of research findings and scientific theories that can predict and explain player experience and behavior.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 07.12.2020 - 11.12.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Perttu Hämäläinen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Perttu Hämäläinen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course aims to develop the students' understanding of games, their structure, and how games create experiences. The course also explores the boundary between art and the science in game design, improving the students' understanding of which design decisions and aspects of games can be informed by scientific theories and evidence, e.g., psychology of motivation and emotion.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Because of the pandemic, the course will be organized using Zoom and Teams. Links will be provided via email before the course. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The assessment is based on the student's game analysis exercises/essay.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lectures during workshop (40h), independent game analysis excercises/essay and reflection (105h)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Will be announced in the beginning of the course; the contents are updated annually and lecture slides and notes are shared online. Some recommended but not mandatory books:

    Celia Hodent: The Gamer's Brain

    Zack Hiwiller: Players Making Decisions

    Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, fast and slow

    Richard A. Schmidt and Timothy D. Lee: Motor Learning and Performance