Game Studies in Practice

HNR 340 - Game Studies in Practice

MySlice Info:

Term: Spring 2017
Class #: 32887
Section: M001
Credits: 3

Prof. Chris Hanson

Counts toward:
HNR Hum, Interdisciplinary, Collaboration

Course Time(s):
MW 3:45 - 5:05 pm


Course Description:

What are the roles of games and play in contemporary culture and how are these roles shifting? How do we “read” and interpret a game such as Grand Theft Auto or Super Mario Bros.? How do we understand augmented reality games like Pokémon GO or virtual and mixed reality experiences made possible by technologies such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens? How do games shape and change our interactions with the world and vice versa? This course will explore the evolving form of digital games, tracing their historical roots in traditional board games and other associated cultural modes of play to current and possible future iterations of video games. We will employ a range of critical approaches to gaming; games will be “read” and critically interrogated as texts, and the relationships between game, player, design, software, interface, and structures of play will be discussed. As we examine the development of games and their associated genres, we will investigate the historical, social, political, cultural, and economic contexts of individual games, and consider the relationship of games to other media forms and texts. In addition to games, we will also study screen-based media texts which explicitly or implicitly engage with the concepts of game studies. The final project for this course will combine the design of a game with a critical assessment based on this project.