INTRODUCTION TO GAME STUDIES
The dazzling expansion and diversification of the game industry over the last thirty years documents a seemingly unquenchable cultural desire for game experiences, and as the influence of games continues to grow in the twenty-first century there will be even greater need for critical reflection and insight, especially by those who will play and design the game experiences of the next decade. Our historical moment calls for the development of critical perspectives that enable gamers to identify cultural value in games beyond escapist pleasure, produce insightful criticism, and imagine new expressive goals and potentials for gameplay and design. This course will introduce students to the critical study of videogames and the discourse of game studies with a special emphasis on the expressive potentials of individual videogames and their capacity for facilitating critical understanding of both self and society. Students will have the opportunity to play and reflect on assigned and self-selected game experiences, create textual and multimedia-based analyses of individual games informed by game studies, and produce a critical “let’s play” video project.