course description and syllabus

CTCS 505 Syllabus 2017 Fall

CTCS 505 Survey of Interactive Media
Units: 2.0
Spring 2017—Mondays 10:00 – 13:50
Course Website: ctcs505.com

Instructor: Kiki Benzon
Office: SCI 101c
Office Hours: by appointment
Contact Info: kbenzon@cinema.usc.edu

Teaching Assistant: Manouchka Labouba
Office / Office Hours: by appointment
Contact Info: labouba@usc.edu

Course Description

In this course, we will examine the history, aesthetics, and cultural implications of interactivity through media. Pursuing a spectrum of interactive avenues—cinematic, literary, artistic, virtual, ludic, communicative—we will consider the ways in which media work to mobilize creativity and extend individual and collective agency. Our exploration will involve critical analyses of media artifacts and the representation of the cultural effects of these artifacts in cinematic, online, and exhibitory contexts. We will also experience, play, and create interactive media works, and discuss practices in the field with industry, academic, and artistic specialists.

Learning Objectives

You will emerge from this course with

  • an enhanced understanding of interactive media modalities and their function in cultural evolution and exchange
  • a grounding in media theory in the contexts of critical theory and art history
  • insight into the interactive affordances of digital technology
  • familiarity with important interactive media applications in cinema, games, documentary, mixed-media/immersive storytelling, and installation/environmental art
  • critical writing on media theory, cultural studies, and interactive practices and artifacts
  • a creative work employing production technologies and software in interactive cinema, video games, augmented reality, digital narrative, or another media platform

Required Readings and Supplementary Materials

Readings will be provided as PDFs, which can be accessed on the course website, ctcs505.com.

Course Notes

A special consideration in taking this course is participation in a field trip to an escape room or other immersive/interactive experience. You will be asked to pay for at least part of the admission cost, probably around $25. You will also be asked to purchase one or more apps or games; this expense will come to less than $50.

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