Course description:

The dazzling expansion and diversification of the videogame industry over the last thirty years documents a seemingly unquenchable cultural desire for game experiences, and as the influence of games and the experiences they organize 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 escapists pleasure, produce insightful and provocative 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 academic discourse of game studies with a special emphasis on the expressive potentials of individual videogames and their capacity for facilitating critical understanding of self and world. 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.

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