I would expect to find Starcraft courses in Korea, but here in the States it comes as a surprise — a pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. UC Berkeley is offering a Starcraft course that sounds like a pretty serious class:
This course will go in-depth in the theory of how war is conducted within the confines of the game Starcraft. There will be lecture on various aspects of the game, from the viewpoint of pure theory to the more computational aspects of how exactly battles are conducted. Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course. Furthermore, the class will take the theoretical into the practical world by analyzing games and replays to reinforce decision-making skills and advanced Starcraft theory.
Here’s the course page and the syllabus, which I find interesting.
Week 1: Orientation / Competitive Gaming Industry Overview / StarCraft Boom in Korea
Week 2: Units, Strength, Weakness, Attributes, Stats
Week 3: Fighting Micro and Unit Use
Week 4: Army Movement and Positioning
Week 5: Expo and Macro
Week 6: Building Placement and Base Layout
How interesting! This really is a sign of the times. Competitive gaming and gaming in general are taking more and more steps towards mainstream culture and widespread legitimacy. I wonder if UCLA will offer a Counter-Strike course or something.
Update: A commenter notes that it’s a “DeCal” course, meaning that it’s run by other students. Would have been a little more exciting if it were standard, but it still has to be a real course and be approved. Anyway, under what school or department would Starcraft be under anyhow? Xenobiology?