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Game Studies and Cultural Analysis

Why game studies? For whom?

This minor, which was specifically designed for students who have a marked interest in cultural analysis, explores the cultural aspects of gaming. During this minor we will use interdisciplinary and intermedial approaches to answer the question: what is the cultural role of games? Literature and film have often been seen as media that offer critical reflections on our times.
Do video games also contribute to such a reflection? And if so, in what ways? The emergence of games went hand in hand with a paradigm shift in the humanities that had hitherto focused on questions of representation. The popularity of games invites us to think about the cultural role of play.
Gamification has transformed didactical methods; and while games, on the one hand, use the conventions of film, television, comics, literature, etc., on the other hand we can also see that the visual arts, films, and television series have changed under the influence of games. The growing influence of games asks for a contemporary reflection on the relation between games, culture and society.
Games seem to speak to the condition of our 21st society in ways no other media can.
The reflection on the relation between media, culture and society forms the context for this minor.
We will not only discuss video games and game studies, but also creative responses such as fanfic, etc.
Games are a part of a broad intermedial “convergence culture” (Jenkins) in which the difference between producers and consumers begins to fade.
To understand this “convergence culture,” and the reciprocal influence between games and older media, we will explore the many intermedial relations between games and comics, films, visual art, literature, and other cultural practices and expressions.

As the minor emphasizes theoretical discussions (in addition to analysis and history), this is a challenging minor. An interest in cultural theory is essential to complete it, just as some preliminary experience with art analysis.

NEW IN 2017-2018

In 2017-2018, the Minor Games Studies and Cultural Analysis offers three additional, new courses.
The programme will now offer students of the Humanities, Social Sciences and (Computer) Sciences the possibilities to collectively create a working computer game.
Non-science students will be able to follow a course in game making first; science students will be able to start by learning about story-telling. Non-science students will obtain practical insight in the technological restraints and possibilities of game design; science students will obtain insight in story-telling as a main human paradigm for making sense, and therefore indispensable to the analysis of data,
or computer games. They will put their new-won insights at work during a week-long hackaton.
All students can now design their own 30 ec-minor, by selecting courses from the 50 ec-programme.

Maximum number of participants:45
Prospectus number: 5000MGSCAN
Class number: 1427 Language: English


Vak EC Semester 1 Semester 2

Semester 1

Introduction Game Studies and Cultural Analysis 10
Games and Transmedia Storytelling 5
Introduction Game-Making for Beginners (Humanities and Social Sciences-students) 5
Introduction Story-Telling for Beginners (Science-students) 5

Semester 2

Game Analysis: Games and Cultural Analysis 10
Game Design, Story-Telling and Society: an Interdisciplinary Hackaton 10
Hands-on: Group Assignments 5

Meer info

Minor: voor Leidse studenten; geen toestemming examencommissie vereist
Omvang: 30 ec
Bedoeld voor: studenten uit alle disciplines
Maximum aantal deelnemers: 45
Voertaal: Engels
Webadres: keuzeruimte
Coördinator: mevr. dr. I. Hoving
Informatie: I.Hoving
Aanmelding: via uSis
Minors in English
Verantwoordelijke Examencommissie: Literatuur- en Mediawetenschappen

Vakken in de minor:

  • (Interdisciplinary) Introduction Game Studies and Cultural Analysis

  • Transmedia Storytelling

  • Introduction Game-Making for Beginners (Humanities and Social Sciences-students)

  • Introduction Story-Telling for Beginners (Science-students)

  • Game Analysis: Games and Cultural Analysis

  • Game Design, Story-Telling and Society: an Interdisciplinary Hackaton

  • Hands-on: Group Assignments