chapter  2
◾ You Are Not the Player: Teaching Games User Research to Undergraduate Students
ByCYNTHIA PUTNAM, JOSÉ P. ZAGAL, JINGHUI CHENG
Pages 22

CONTENTS Executive Summary 34 Organization Background 34 Introduction 35 Case Study Description (Course Description) 36

Course Details 36 Equipment and Labs 36

GUR Playtest Lab 36 Usability and Game Play Lab 37

Game Selection 37 Topics and Methods Covered 38

Part One: Introduction, Early Methods, and Statistics Review (Two Weeks) 39 Part Two: Usability (ree Weeks) 41 Part ree: Playtesting (ree Weeks) 42 Part Four: Guest Speakers, Final Presentations, Course Review and Final (ree Weeks) 43

Student Feedback 43 Major Challenges 45

Challenge 1: Moderating Class Size and Smaller Groups 45 Challenge 2: Student Bias 45 Challenge 3: Integration into the Curriculum 46 Challenge 4: Recruitment and Scheduling for the GUR Playtests 46 Challenge 5: Student Writing 46 Challenge 6: Short Academic Term (11 Week Quarter System) 46

Solutions to Address Major Challenges 47 Solution 1: Moderating Class Size and Smaller Groups 47 Solution 2: Addressing Student Bias 47

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Games user research (GUR) has become an important part of designing and developing games. We present a case study of an 11-week undergraduate course focused on GUR, titled “Game Usability and Playtesting,” taught at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois. e course was designed to provide students with the opportunity to practice and develop skills in GUR as it is done in industry; methods discussed and practiced include competitive review, heuristic evaluation, usability, and GUR playtesting.