Games: Analysis and Theory

2019-2020

Course Objective

The course objectives are:
I Knowledge and understanding
1. Has demonstrable knowledge of and insight in historical and current
developments in story structured computer games
2. Has demonstrable knowledge of and insight in research methods and the
theoretical framework of story structured computer games;
3. Has demonstrable knowledge of and insight in the production,
distribution and reception of story structured computer games;

II Applying knowledge and understanding
4. Is able to critically analyze and interpret story structured computer
games; using the appropriate methods and terms;
5. Is able to research story structured computer games in a comparative
setting and situate story structured computer games in Western visual
and material culture.
6. Is able to write a plan of work according to the rules and guidelines
of MKDA Media (Media students only).

Course Content

Computer and videogames have become a common popular medium in today's
society. Despite the fact that games are a relatively young medium,
games have been studied from a humanities perspective almost as long as
narrative computer games have been around. In this course we will use
theory and practical assignments to study narrative elements of computer
and video games. The knowledge of narrative, or story-structures games
is necessary, both to get a better understanding of the medium of the
computer game itself as well as to better understand how the medium
differs from other narrative media such as books and film. In addition,
media texts are used less and less as individual entities but
increasingly function in convergence with other media texts e.g. George
Martin's book series The Song of Ice and Fire, which was adapted to the
successful TV-series A Game of Thrones, which also exists as comic book
adaptations as well as a game series. Subjects we will study will
include, but not be limited to, game studies, game history &
historiography, genre, narrative & character, space, time, sound &
music. Although the course focuses on theoretical and analytical
aspects, questions relating to production, design, distribution and
reception are inherently linked to the study of computer and videogames,
especially when compared to film.

Teaching Methods

Lectures, response lectures, viewings and weekly bring-your-own laptop
practical classes

Method of Assessment

Attendance (pass) , weekly assignments (pass), plan of work (media
students only 30%) and take home exam (media students 70%, other
students 100%), see canvas and study guide. In principle students write
in English (but if needed Dutch is also possible)

Entry Requirements

Media, Art, Design and Architecture students must have completed the 1st
year MADA course Academic English MADA (L_EABAALG102).
For MADA students the second year courses Film and Media History
(L_AABAMKD202) and Historiography of Media (L_AABAMKD205) are
obligatory. For the course Filmanalyse & -theorie (L_ZABAMKD202) you
should have followed the lectures and handed in the assignments. For non
MADA students Filmanalyse & theorie (L_ZABAMKD202) or similar knowledge
is highly recommended.

Literature

Book: Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen, et. al. Understanding Video Games: The
Essential Introduction 2nd edition (2013) or 3rd edition (2016)
game: Gabriel Knight Sins Of The Father 20th Century Anniversary Edition
(2014) other texts and specifics see Canvas and study manual.

Target Audience

2nd year students Media, Art, Design & Architecture, specialty Media.
Other students (faculty of the Humanities, other Humanities faculties as
well as exchange students from Humanities faculties) can take this
course as an elective.

Additional Information

This course is compulsory for second year students MADA Media and is a
requirement for the 3rd year course Onderzoekswerkgroep Media:
Vergelijking (L_ZABAMKD303).
Other students can follow the course as an elective. Basic computer
skills
suffice to take part, you do not need any gaming skills. Be aware that
the course includes a bring-your-own device gameplay and analysis part,
which
requires a notebook or laptop. And that apart from the book you will
also have to buy a copy of the game (ca. 20 euro).

General Information

Course Code L_ZABAMKD204
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. G.E.E. Verstraete
Examiner
Teaching Staff

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: