Somebody please hold us, it has finally happened. Our dreams have come true! Someone has made a history class that fuses the academic study of history with the playing of video games. That’s right; a professor by the name of Joseph November of the University of South Carolina has crafted a history class that features video games as the main way students engage with course material.

According to a handout of the course description posted on reddit, the major focus of the class is to examine each game’s portrayal of its respective time period as well as consider how video games as a medium can help provide new perspectives on history. The playing list for the class features a variety of video games based in historical settings such as Assassins’ Creed II, Railroad Tycoon, Age of Empires III, Fallout 3 and many more.

With the announcement of this class, read more »

mmm... sleepy time

Another summer gone, another school year begins.

No worries, because we at the Clog are here to make sure that at least one of your fall semester classes will be worth waking up for. Because we love our readers so dearly and would hate for you procrastinators to add a boring, soul-gnawing class just to reach that 13 unit mark, we present to you a short list of noteworthy classes we’re convinced you will enjoy immeasurably.

So … read more »


Being just a few hours away from the start of spring classes, some of us may realize we need a couple more units to make the minimum. We may end up feeling like Brian Regan the day his science project was due: “Oh no. That’s due today. I had nine months to work on it; I did nothing. I have a cardboard box.” It’s times like then when we resort to DeCals.

But what’s that? It looks like the DeCal site has been streamlined. If it wasn’t before, it should now be blindingly obvious where to find the list of offered classes, which is the only thing anyone really cares about anyway.

Still not sure what you want to take? Check below the jump for our choice for just a few of the winningest of the winning: read more »

Earlier this week, mental_floss highlighted the most unique, most interesting college classes in the country. UC Berkeley’s “Simpsons” DeCal clocked in at No. 2. Woohoo.

We think, though, that the site missed a few good ones from our crazy campus. Plus, a DeCal doesn’t really count, does it?  Instead, we thought of some awesome classes we took or heard lots about. Add your own submissions in the comments section.

Seriously, These Are Real Classes?
* Drugs and the Brain
* What’s so great about “The Wire”?
* A Film Studies class on pornography

DeCals (But They Don’t Really Count)
* Female Sexuality
* Batman
* Sacha Baron Cohen
* James Bond

Image Source: Joits under Creative Commons
12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered
[Mental Floss]

One of the things that separates UC Berkeley from most campuses is the DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal) program, which can usually be summed up as classes “by students, for students.” Now is around the time DeCals start, so we figured we’d give the rundown on a (somewhat random) few. A word of warning, though—the DeCal list changes every semester, and some classes start before others. Oh, and did we mention you can get units? read more »

After months of anticipation, the DeCal site now lists 36 courses for the fall semester. The DeCal courses range from one to four units each, graded on a pass/no pass system. They’re a good way to pad your schedule if you need a fun and easy way to get a pinch of units.

Most importantly, you’re less likely to fall asleep in these classes, and they can supplement your education and provide valuable internship or community service experience.

There are the usual suspects, like Iran: 25 Years of Revolution and, on the opposite spectrum, The Simpsons and Philosophy.

As for every year, many newcomers vie for popularity and acceptance. Our very own Daily Cal features a brand-spankin’ new DeCal, primarily for (but not limited to) the new hires to the paper. Maybe Beetle would like to infiltrate the class. He might even have some wisdom to impart on the art of writing editorials. Better yet, he should just join the Clog.

There are sure to be many more DeCals (they’re added on a rolling schedule), but right now we have some top picks:

* Raptors and Sea Monsters: An Overview of Mesozoic Saurischians and Marine Reptiles: We don’t know what the hell that means, but we understand raptors. Wanna bet “Jurassic Park” is on the syllabus?

* ”Talkin’ Tobacco”: OK, this wasn’t supposed to be a post about Beetle, but seriously, man, did you see who’s teaching this? It’s our relentlessly active DC op-ed contributor, Betty Yang! Holy smokes! Har har.

* The Star Wars Galaxy: Oh my God. This is just too nerdy. The DeCal page greets us with the factoid that

bq. the Emperor did in fact discover how to cheat death, and returned in a clone body to terrorize the galaxy once more 10 years after his ‘death’

That’s too much nerd going on. Now back to chapter 18 of our Harry Potter book.

Come to think of it, it’s slim pickings right now, but just you wait. More will come, many will fill beyond capacity and we will forever lament the demise of Male Sexuality. Never again will a strip club become a learning environment–but there are always raptors and sea monsters!

Fall 2007 Courses [DeCal]