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Game Studies

Program Description

This concentration is for students who intend on pursuing graduate school or entering academia. In addition to the core courses in game design, students will conduct research on the aesthetic, cultural, and communicative aspects of games, and their players. Students will explore the interdisciplinary nature of games through many different lenses, including history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and modern culture. As games grow and change they become a more important academic field, and as such many universities are hiring game studies faculty. Students will also be in a position to pursue a multitude of career options that require strong writing or analysis skills, as well as law school.

Course Requirements


ENG 120 Expository Writing (English Composition 1)

LIBR 170 Writing and Library Research Methods (English Composition 2)

RUSS 293 Folklore: A Comparative Study (World Cultures & Global Issues)

HIS 3209 History of Technology (US History)

MATH 101 College Algebra [or higher] (MQR)

COM 2404 Interpersonal Communication (Individual & Society)

SOC 101 Intro to Sociology (Individual & Society)

A Scientific World course chosen from below:

SCI 11100 Brains, Minds, and Machines 

ISP 255 Technology and Culture 

CSCI 100 Information and Intelligence

A Creative Expression course chosen from below:

GRMN 241 German Fairy Tales in Translation

HUM 201 Explorations in the Arts

ISP 134 Alternate Worlds 

ENGL 25038 Comics and Graphic Novels

ARTH 3311 The History of Graphic Design

RUSS 29500 The Vampire in Lore and Literature

LIT 241 Murder on Screen and Stage

HUC 127 Sports Communication 

Any Lab Science Course


GD 102 Beyond Games

MEDIA 180 Intro to Media Studies

MEDIA 260 Internet & Society

MEDIA 280 Understanding New Media

SCI 31921 Games and Their History

SCI 31106 Game Design 1

SCI 31920  Intro to Game Programming 

SCI 31923 Game Programming 2

SCI 31924 Level Design

SCI 31926 Playing with Stories

SOC 3251H Sociology of the Internet and New Media

You will discuss with your advisor what your research and academic interests are and choose your remaining courses from an extensive list, but here are some examples:

MEDIA 29941 Ethics and Artificial Intelligence

SOC 277 Sociology of Gambling

LIT 353 Comic Books and Graphic Novels: Investigating a Literary Medium

FTS 218 Animation and Anime Narrative

CLAS 2117 From Utopia to Dystopia

SSN193 Ideal Societies

ENGL 39995 Zombies

ENGL 3190 The Literature of Fantasy ENGL 3196 Orality, Literacy, and Computer Technology ENG 377 Literature, Media, and the Digital Humanities

HIS 247 Medieval Civilization

PHILO 20005 The Philosophy of Horror

REL 21100 The Sacred Sky: Astrology in World Religions

HIST 3532 Mysticism, Magic, and Ritual in Ancient China

RUSS 295 The Vampire in Lore and Literature

SOC 229 Sociology of Leisure

PSY 3407 Psychology of Visual Perception

ANTH 2320 Texting and Talking

ENN195 Violence in American Art and Culture

ENG 337 Science Fiction

Featured Course Descriptions

GD 102 - Beyond Games

This course explores how games are used beyond entertainment by artists, storytellers, educators, and others. The class will be divided into four sections focusing on: games as art, games as story, games as social interaction, and games as tools for learning and social change. Students will read a variety of articles as well as play games relating to these topics. Students will develop educational games and learn about game analysis and criticism.

MEDIA 28000 - Understanding New Media

This analytical course explores the convergence of media, communications technologies, art design, and culture. This course is intended to familiarize students with important approaches in new media, focusing on the history of the computer as a medium and the conceptual history of interactivity in art and communication. Artists are at the forefront of technological revolutions. Whether designing computer games, producing web sites, writing software, or working on intelligent systems, artists work on a daily basis consuming and producing electronic cultural artifacts. Cybertechnologies have created new contexts for understanding culture. Referring to popular media, science fiction, computer games, and artists's projects, we'll explore how technology has been and will cotinue to be a key component of culture.

ISP 124 - Alternate Worlds

This course explores the ways that creative artists, writers, and thinkers envision parallel universes and alternate worlds: utopias, dystopias, microscopic universes, worlds of the future, and invisible inner worlds. Drawing on a fascinating array of narratives about imaginary worlds beyond the physical world around us, the course examines the manifold nature of such worlds and the purposes for which artists and dreamers create them.

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