Game Design

Course Description:
Are you a gamer? Do you enjoy playing video games or coding? Does the idea of creating and designing your own virtual world excite you? If so, this is the course for you! With Game Design, students will tap into their creative and technical skills as they learn about the many aspects involved with game design. Students will learn about video game software and hardware, various gaming platforms, necessary technical skills, troubleshooting and internet safety techniques, and even the history of gaming. Along the way, they will also explore what the Bible teaches about gaming, examine game ideas for ethics and worldview, assess the morality of video game violence and addiction, and otherwise begin to think of game design and video games from a distinctly Christian perspective. And to top it all off, students will even have the opportunity to create their very own plan for a 2D video game!

Recommended Prerequisites:

Approved by:

  • University of California (UC)

Grade Level:
9th – 12th Grade recommended

Course Types Available:
Full course (0.5 credits, 6 weeks minimum / 6 months maximum)

Biblical Integration Information:

  1. Creation: From the very foundations of the world, play is celebrated and associated with wisdom (Proverbs 8:30–31). It is among the many reasons why God created us. Indeed, our capacity to create opportunities for play reflects something of our status as image bearers (Genesis 1:26–28). As J. R. R. Tolkien once argued, the fantasy worlds of stories and games are often created not in idolatry or rebellion against God, but in imitation of the great Creator of the “primary” world.
  2. Fall: Like any other media form, video games reflect human sinfulness in a variety of ways: addiction, glorified violence, other illicit content, and a desire to substitute virtual reality for the realities of God’s creation. Even the desire to play video games is at times a result of wanting to escape the anxiety and despair of our fallen world.
  3. Redemption: Play is not only celebrated at creation, but also after the Fall—indeed, at the end of time (Zechariah 8:5). Accordingly, Scripture tacitly affirms the validity of playing games in the interim. On this basis, both a refusal to play games and an indulgence in playing games are extremes to be avoided. Indeed, games may even be useful in illustrating important lessons about the Christian life, including the need for discipline, perseverance, and focus (Hebrews 12:1–3). Moreover, as Christian game designers seek to bring their faith to bear on their work, they would be wise to create ethically and theologically responsible games; find a healthy balance of player immersion (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:24); honor both their own conscience and the conscience of others when making gaming decisions (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:25–29); and consider others’ interests and needs when designing games (cf. 1 Peter 4:10), including those on the margins of society (cf. Leviticus 19:32–34; James 1:27). They would also be wise to pursue excellence with the design process (cf. Ephesians 5:1) and steward their time and resources well (Matthew 25:14–30; Luke 15:11–32).

To see how these truths are specifically explored in this course, visit the course information page in the course and click on “Guiding Principles.”

Required Purchased Materials:
Students will be required to download and use some web-based programs including Unity and 64-bit version of Windows 7 SP1+, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Mac OS X 10.9 or newer.