In this course, we will explore the principles and concepts behind game design and game studies. We will begin by exploring some concepts related to the history of game design, the place of games within different lineages of activities, and explorations of game genres, mechanics, and storytelling. We will also study the cultural, historical and psychological dimension of gaming, including ideas about motivation and immersion. Throughout the course, we make connections to practical design techniques and analyze existing games from different design perspectives. Additionally, we will cover topics such as game mechanics, level design, player feedback, documentation, prototyping and game economics. By the end of the semester, the students will be able to understand games within a bigger context better, and video games within a bigger context of playing. They will also be able to analyze existing games and distill what makes them tick.