These are recommended courses from the 2011-12 MIT catalogue for students who are interested in studying and making videogames and maybe pursue a career in the field. The following courses are grouped by area of interest independently of their major. There is some overlap between specialties, and students are encouraged to take courses from different areas if they are relevant to their interests, even if they are not on the list.

Many of the courses offered through Comparative Media Studies count towards general HASS requirements for all undergraduate degrees. Be sure to check the actual Student Catalog listing, linked to for each class, for up-to-date details. We have also included links to OpenCourseWare versions of these classes. These OCW versions of the class may be out of date since lecturers update their class syllabi and materials more regularly than OCW captures them.

For all areas, most recommended

CMS.300/841 Introduction to Videogame Theory (HASS, on OCW)

CMS.301 Introduction to Game Design Methods (HASS)

CMS.608/864 Game Design (HASS, on OCW)

6.073J/CMS.611J Creating Video Games (Pre-Req: 6.01 or CMS.301, on OCW)

For all areas, also recommended

6.00 Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

CMS.100 Introduction to Media Studies (CI-H, HASS-D 4)

CMS.309/809 / 21W.763J Transmedia Storytelling: Modern Science Fiction (HASS)

CMS.610/922 Media Industries and Systems: The Art, Science and Business of Games (HASS, on OCW)

CMS.627/827 Imagination, Computation, and Expression Studio (HASS)

21M.703J / CMS.403J Media and Methods: Performing (HASS, Pre-req: CMS.100/21L.011)

21M.840/841 Performance Media (HASS)

Game Design

2.00B Toy Product Design

6.813/6.831 User Interface Design and Implementation (Pre-Req: 6.005)

CMS.615/CMS.815 Games for Social Change (OCW)

CMS.842 Playful and Social Interaction Design (grad)

MAS.110 Fundamentals of Computational Media Design (HASS, CI-H)

STS.044/STS.444 Technology and Self: Things and Thinking (HASS)

STS.360/21A.820J Ethnography (grad, Pre-Req: 21A.750J)


21M.604 Playwriting I (HASS)

21W.764J / CMS.846/609J The Word Made Digital (HASS)

21L.489J / 21W.765J / CMS.845 Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice (HASS, on OCW)

21W.772 Digital Poetry (on OCW)

Educational Software and Games

CMS.590J/863J Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education

4.350/4.351 Introduction to Video and Related Media (HASS)

9.85 Infant and Childhood Cognition (HASS, Pre-Req: 9.00)

MAS.111 Introduction to Doing Research in Media Arts & Sciences

MAS.714J / STS.445J Technologies for Creative Learning (graduate course)

STS.360/21A.820J Ethnography (grad)

STS.044 Technology and Self: Things and Thinking (HASS)

Management & Production

15.279 Management Communication for Undergraduates

15.358 The Business of Software and Digital Platforms (grad)

15.390 New Enterprises (grad)

Programming & Software Engineering

6.005 Elements of Software Construction (Pre-Req: 6.01/6.042)

6.006 Introduction to Algorithms (Pre-Req: 6.01/6.042)

6.034 Artificial Intelligence (Pre-Req: 6.01)

6.170 Laboratory in Software Engineering

6.837 Computer Graphics (Pre-Req: Calculus II (GIR), 6.005)

6.838 Advanced Topics in Computer Graphics (Pre-Req: 6.837)

6.853 Topics in Algorithmic Game Theory (Pre-Req: 6.006/6/046)

8.351J/6.946J/12.620J Classical Mechanics: A Computational Approach (Pre-Req: Physics I (GIR), 18.03)

11.252J/CMS.863J/11.127K/CMS.590J Computer Games and Simulations for Investigation and Education

21W.785 Communicating with Web-Based Media (on OCW, on MITx)

21W.789 Communicating with Mobile Technology (on OCW)

Art Direction and Visual Design

4.111 Introduction to Architecture and Environmental Design

4.301 Introduction to the Visual Arts (HASS-D3)

4.341/4.342 Introduction to Photography and Related Media (HASS)

4.500 Introduction to Design Computing

4.504 Design Scripting

4.566 Advanced Projects in Digital Media (Pre-Req: 4.562/4.564)

4.580 Inquiry into Computation and Design

4.601 Introduction to Art History

4.602 Modern Art and Mass Culture (CI-H)

4.606 Visual Perception and Art (CI-H)

21M.645 Motion Theater (Pre-Req: 21M.600)

21M.732 Costume Design for the Theater (HASS)

21M.733 Scenic Design (Pre-Req: 21M.603)

21M.734 Lighting Design for the Theater (HASS)

Audio Design

6.551J/HST.714J Acoustics of Speech and Hearing (Pre-Req: 8.03/6.003)

21A.360J/STS.065J The Anthropology of Sound

21M.065 Introduction to Musical Composition

Culture and Society

21A.275 Fun and Games: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

21A.350J/STS.086J/WGS.276J Cultures of Computing

21W.768J/CMS.616J/CMS.868 Social and Cultural Facets of Digital Games

24.222 Decisions, Games and Rational Choice

CMS.314J/21W.753J/CMS.814 Phantasmal Media: Theory & Practice

CMS.616J/CMS.868/21W.768/WGS125 Games and Culture (HASS)

CMS.628/CMS.828 Advanced Identity Representation

STS.044 Technology and Self: Things and Thinking (HASS)

STS.085 Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier

STS.360/21A.820J Ethnography (grad)


CMS.617 Advanced Games Studio

6.100 Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Laboratory (independent study requirements)

6.UAP Undergrad Advanced Project

6.UR Undergraduate Research in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

CMS.603 Independent Study (undergrad)

CMS.994 Independent Study (grad)

CMS.UR/CMS.URG Research in Comparative Media Studies (MIT Game Lab, The Education Arcade, Center for Future Civic Media, Imagination, Computation, and Expression Lab, Trope Tank)