Video Games as/and Popular Culture

If you're looking for a fall course, a new topic for SAC 366 (sections 006/007) has just been added! This course is open to students of all levels.

Course Description: 

This course examines the medium of video games as a cultural form in its own right and as a component of popular culture in general. The first half of the class will explore video games as historical, aesthetic, industrial, and cultural objects. By playing a variety of games and placing them within their historical and cultural contexts, we will develop analytical tools for understanding video games as a specific form of popular culture. In the second half of the class, we will use these tools to look at how the iconography and logics of gaming intersect with popular literature, film, and television. We will analyze the convergence of media industries as well as the supposed "gamification" of popular media in order to consider how and why video games function as a central part of the contemporary media landscape. As part of our inquiry, we will pay close attention to how various audiences engage with games and gaming culture throughout the entirety of the course. No background in gaming is required. 

Possible objects of analysis include (but are not limited to): Portal, Cibele, Undertale, Her Story, Kentucky Route Zero, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Pokémon, Candy Crush, The Last of Us, Bioshock, Quantum Break, the Final Fantasy series, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Ready Player One, You, Hardcore Henry, Snowpiercer, Community,The Guild, Defiance, and South Park.