For anyone out there who’s been perusing the VGA site and saying, “Hmm, this is all very nice. Clever little podcasts and lectures and all, but where is the curriculum?” This is the class Steph and Erin taught in the first year of Expanse, their online school also known as The Socratic Experience. Great band names.

The prospectus:

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the scientific and mathematical concepts at play in their favorite video games. From basic electrical engineering and computer science that undergird game hardware and software, to the neural and psychological principles driving player behavior, we will introduce students to the many strands of theoretical and practical knowledge which come together in the world of video game development and appreciation. Case studies from particular games, such as Portal and Stardew Valley, will accompany readings, discussions, projects, and presentations chosen and designed by students to pursue their passion and demonstrate their learning. 

Some specific concepts covered include basic electricity principles and introduction to circuits; optics including a study of the human eye, visual pathways, and light; basic neuroscience as pertains to memory and problem solving; kinesthetics including hand-eye coordination and reflex; the origins of computer; foundations of computer science including basic formal logic, binary numbers, and discrete mathematics topics; basic psychology including video game addiction; physics with trigonometry and parabolas; basic game theory; introduction to AI; and environmental ethics.

More of an overview here.

The daily agenda. Of course it’s 42 pages long.

Designed as an integrated HS STEM course, highly student-driven and increasingly project-based as the year goes on, it shouldn’t be too hard to adapt to an in-person teaching setup, revamped for other age ranges, etc. Please let us know if you do, and how it goes.