To facilitate a common set of game design references and have fun, we will play at least one game a week.  By Monday of the second week of class you are asked to play several games using the FireNes Firefox add-on. The FireNes download is a Java based Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator.  This allows us access to 2500 NES games. That’s a lot of history. Since NES games arrived shortly after the infamous video game industry crash of 1983 we can begin by diagnosing why these game designs revitalized the industry.

If you are having problems installing Firenes please visit

You may aslo need some basic instructions

The keys are: (for VirtualNes you must mouse click the game screen to give it focus)

As you play the following games (for a minimum of 10 minutes), ask these questions:

The games to play: (click on the letter in the VritualNes navigation menu)

These games will help us establish our basic history. We will cover computer and video game history from the late 50’s to the late 90’s. 

Feel free to play others and bring your experience to class.  Some games in the collection were never released in the US and some reflect very small publications.  Not surprisingly, many of the game types we talked about in class were available on the NES. 

I chose this list of games for teaching-related reasons yet to be revealed.

Here's the digg on Fireness, although it seems Mozilla dropped this as an official add on.

****A note about installing any software for this course *****

Please use caution whenever installing any software. If possible, install software under an admin stator login. Do not download software from "questionable resources." In general I will recommend sources from which I have downloaded and installed software without a problem. I maintain a test machine, aka junk machine, for questionable installations. Please use caution when installing anything. If you are worried about an installation please contact me so that we can figure out an alternative solution.

Always keep your anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date.

All suggested downloads will be free. Do not follow any links for pay-per-use downloads, increased speed, etc.


last revised: 8/14/09