MEVIT2725 – Video Games: Aesthetics, Industry and Culture

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Video games are one of the most popular and most important modern cultural forms and entertainment media, and offer a wide variety of content, genres and forms of interaction and participation. This course is a comprehensive introduction to video games’ technological and aesthetic forms of expression, and industrial and cultural contexts. How are games similar to and different from other media? What are the most important developments in game history, and what are their impact on games, game development and society? How do we analyze, interpret and understand games? How do games explore, reflect and challenge culture through representations of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ethics, politics and ideology? What are the central possibilities and challenges for contemporary game industry and game culture?

In this course, you learn about theories, terms, concepts and models from game studies and game design literature. You learn to analyze and interpret structure, content, meaning and interaction in different types of video games and to discuss critically the game industry and game culture. You will practice the ability to convey academic and professional knowledge about video games in journalistic and academic genres. The course is well suited if you want in-depth academic and professional insights into video games as a phenomenon and field of research, and if you wish to work with or research games further.

Learning outcome

When you have completed the course, you will be able to

  • Understand, discuss and critically reflect upon:
    • Important developments in game history and their impact on games, game development and society
    • Video games’ technological and aesthetic forms of expression, including structures, mechanics, interfaces, interaction, worlds, storytelling, characters, fiction, simulation, genre
    • Representation and cultural contexts in video games
    • Contemporary game industry and game culture
  • Write game journalistic texts
  • Write academic essays on the game industry and game culture
  • Write academic textual analyses in which you critically interpret content and meaning in video games

Prerequisites

Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that you are familiar and have practical playing experience with different types of video games and game genres, and that you are familiar with introductory level media studies/humanities/social science (from courses like MEVIT1010 – Medieanalyse: Tekst og fortolkning, MEVIT1110 – Audiovisual Aesthetics, MEVIT1700 – Digital kultur, or MEVIT2700 – Medietekster: teori og analyse, or similar).

Teaching

The course consists of workshops that combine lectures and student activities. Attendance is mandatory. The workshops alternate between lectures, individual and group assignments, game analysis, presentations, discussions and practical playing. The workshops require that you meet prepared and actively participate in class.

This course has three mandatory activities. In order to qualify for the exam, you must:

  • Attend at least 80% of the teaching.
  • Write and get approved a game feature story/news story/review.
  • Write and get approved a textual analysis of a video game.

Examination

Three-day home exam of up to 10 standard pages (of 2,300 characters without spaces)

Front page, reference list and attachments should not be counted.

You need to have all three mandatory activities approved in order to take the exam.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course

Credits

10

Teaching

Every autumn

Examination

Every autumn

Teaching language

English