Minor in Game Design

Explore the power of play and the unique, creative possibilities with games.

Video games are more than digital technology that requires a combination of different technical and creative skills. They are a cultural form which has the potential to educate, entertain, and move us. Video games provide a platform to explore complex topics, communicate ideas, and express truths about ourselves, each other, and the world around us. Through the exploration of games as a creative practice, you will receive an introduction to the core concepts of game design, the critical and historical analysis of games as a cultural form, and the collaborative and interdisciplinary craft of game production and development.

The NYU Game Center, established in 2008, is the Department of Game Design in NYU's Media, Technology and Arts building in Downtown Brooklyn.

Minor in Game Design Curriculum

Students must complete a minimum of sixteen units to complete the minor.

Students should contact the NYU Game Center to declare a Minor in Game Design.

Please Note: Not all courses are offered during all academic sessions. Check Albert for course schedule and work with your academic advisor to plan accordingly. 

Some courses required for the minor are open to all NYU students when registration opens and others have seats reserved for non-majors. Other courses that can be used to satisfy requirements for the minor open after a period of time in which Game Design majors have registration priority. Students may consult the registration timetable for registration dates each semester. (Students should be logged into NYU Home to access the registration timetable.) Students should also refer to the Notes sections in Albert for additional requirements and non-major procedures. Courses offered at the School of Professional Studies are not eligible to count toward the minor.

Required Core Courses

Beginning in Fall 2022, students who declare the Minor in Game Design, must take GAMES-UT 150 Introduction to Game Design.

(Students who declared the Minor prior to Fall 2022 are subject to the original requirements for the minor per their Albert degree audit, which included GAMES-UT 101 or OART-UT 1600 Games 101 as the core required course.)

Students must also take at least one of the following four courses: GAMES-UT 180 Intro to Programming for Games, GAMES-UT 120 Intro to Game Development, GAMES-UT 201 Intro to Visual Communication, GAMES-UT 101 Games 101.

The final eight credits needed to achieve the total of sixteen credits required for the minor can come from any Game Center courses (GAMES-UT) for which a student has the needed prerequisites.


GAMES-UT 150 | Lecture | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Students will be expected to have a passion for and interest in games. However, there are no specific prerequisites.

An introduction to the fundamental principles of game design. As with any form of art or design, the field of game design has fundamental concepts and skills that must be acquired as a basis for more advanced work. This course introduces students to the basics of design through the creation of non-digital games. Students will collaborate on making card games, board games, social games, and physical games, while learning about basic game design concepts such as systems, uncertainty, game goals, social play, and meaningful interaction. Readings, discussions, and analyses will link the work students are doing off the computer to computer and videogames.

The course will help students:

  • Develop a critical vocabulary around game design and games in general.
  • Understand how to analyze games as dynamic, complex systems.
  • Become familiar with essential essays and readings relating to game design.
  • Explore games as logical, rules-based systems.
  • Design games as the human experience of players.
  • Understand games as cultural phenomena that relate to larger contexts.
  • Experience the iterative process of prototyping-based game design.


Check Albert for course schedule.

Introduction to Programming for Games

GAMES-UT 180 | Studio | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Introduction to Programming for Games is a course that introduces students to the concepts, problems, and methods of computer programming, and how these apply to the creation of video games. The course assumes no prior programming knowledge, and is designed to touch on the basic principles of digital design in the form of computer code. There will be an emphasis on programming fundamentals; they will be motivated through the lens of designing and producing video games.

Check Albert for Course Schedule

Introduction to Games Development

GAMES-UT 120 | Studio | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Introduction to Game Development is a practical course that introduces students to the methods, tools and principles used in developing digital games. Over the course of the semester, students will work alone to create a two digital prototypes or ‘sketches’, before building on them to produce a final polished game, using the lessons learned in the earlier prototypes. This is a hands­-on, primarily lab­-based course, and so the focus is on learning ­by ­doing rather than on reading and discussion.



Check Albert for course schedule.

Introduction to Visual Communication

GAMES-UT 201 | Lecture | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

This course allows students to harness the power of visual language in order to convey messages and meaning. The elements of visual foundation that will be covered include components (color, texture, image and typography), composition, and concept. Although the class takes place in the Game Design department, we will be less concerned with visuals as they are applied to games and instead will look at visual communication across a wide range of disciplines, from visual art to graphic design to web and interface design. Although non-digital mediums will be addressed, the understanding and use of industry-standard software is also a primary goal. The class is about the importance of visual design, how it shapes our culture. The students will learn about and discuss widely-practiced methods of visual communication, and then find their own voice through developing their own works, driven by a clearer understanding of their own tastes and interested fields.

Check Albert for course schedule.

Games 101

GAMES-UT 101 | Lecture | 4 units | Instructor: Check Albert

Games 101 is the foundational course for the NYU Game Center.  The focus of Games 101 is game literacy – a shared understanding of games as complex cultural and aesthetic objects. The class will incorporate lectures, discussion, readings, and writing assignments, but the primary activity of the class is critical play – playing games in order to better understand and appreciate them. The class will cover games on and off the computer, including classic and contemporary board and card games, sports, and games on the PC, internet, and consoles.

Check Albert for course schedule.


A student must earn a grade of C or above for a course to count toward the minor.

Course Allocations

There are no course substitutions allowed for the minor. All courses must be GAMES-UT courses.