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Courses

Our courses on digital games and play are part of the BA programs of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and Communication and Information Studies, as well as the MA program New Media and Digital Culture and Research MA program Media and Performance Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, Utrecht University. You can also choose game or play as the main subject for your BA and MA thesis.

Minor in Game Studies
Starting in college year 2011-2012, we will also be offering a full-fledged Minor in Game Studies. In this minor program, students will follow three compulsory courses, and a choice of one out of two noncompulsory courses, all of which can be found among the courses listed below. Students who participate in this minor will meet the requirements to qualify for admission in the New Media & Digital Culture MA program. More detailed information about the Minor in Game Studies can be found here.

The Minor in Game Studies is meant for students with a broad interest in play and games, with an emphasis on computer games. As such, the minor provides ample opportunity to investigate play and games from various perspectives, including art history, communication studies, literature studies and (new) media studies. The minor program offers an overview of different ways to study games as objects, but also games and play as cultural phenomena which have become an important part of popular culture.

For more information about the individual courses, follow the links provided below, or refer to the Faculty of Humanities' Course Prospectus.

Bachelor (also a compulsory part of the Game Studies minor):
Title: Computergames: geschiedenis en analyse.
Coordinator: Dr. Sybille Lammes.
Teachers: Dr. Sybille Lammes, Dr. René Glas.
Course Description: In this course, students will learn: 1. to analyse digital games using different methodological approaches of game analysis. 2. to understand and describe games from different perspectives as provides by game historians. 3. to use these analytical and historical academic instruments critically.
Language: Dutch
Block: 1
More info...

Bachelor (also a compulsory part of the Game Studies minor):
Title: Nieuwe media en populaire cultuur: computergames
Coordinator: Dr. René Glas.
Teachers: Dr. René Glas, Dr. Sybille Lammes, Prof. dr. Joost Raessens, Prof. dr. Jeffrey Goldstein.
Course Description: In this course, students will learn: 1. to understand and describe digital games from a variety of theoretical perspectives from game studies and beyond. 2. to approach these theoretical perspectives both critically as well as creatively.    
Language: Dutch
Block: 2
Bachelor (a compulsory part of the Game Studies minor):
Title: Geschiedenis en theorie van de nieuwe media
Coordinator: Dr. Mirko Tobias Schaefer
Teacher: Dr. Mirko Tobias Schaefer
Course Description: This course provides an overview of developments in new media from the second half of the 20th century untill the present. In the course, the relationship between old and new media is discussed, as is the impact of new media on culture, politics, the economy and ordinary life.
Language: Dutch
Block:  3
More info...

Bachelor (an optional part of the Game Studies minor):
Title: Nieuwe Media en participatiecultuur
Coordinator: Dr. Mirko Tobias Schaefer
Teacher: Dr. Mirko Tobias Schaefer
Course Description: Digital technologies offer users more and/or different forms of access to cultural production which can furthermore be easily dispersed through networks. This course investigates the discours around participatory culture, including participatory game culture, critically engaging with new forms of interaction, production and community formation. 
Language: Dutch
Block:  3

Bachelor (an optional part of the Game Studies minor):
Title: Interface cultuur
Coordinator: Dr. Imar de Vries
Teacher: Dr. Imar de Vries
Course Description:  In this course, the focus is on the interface as a membrane between humans and computers, but also between humans themselves and between humans and culture. We will investigate how we can understand interfaces as cultural phenomena, with an emphasis on game interfaces, touch screens, augmented reality and the interfaces of operating systems. 
Language: Dutch
Block:  3

Master:
Title: Game Studies: Serious/Game/Play
Coordinator: Dr. René Glas.
Teacher: Dr. René Glas.
Course Description: In this course, students will be asked to participate in the ongoing research topics of the GAP research group, including digital games and participatory culture, serious and educational games, and play as a conceptual framework to analyze media use. 
Language: English
Block: 1

Master:
Title: Game Studies: Rules of Play
Coordinator: David Nieborg.
Teacher: David Nieborg.
Course Description: In this course, students will investigate both the formal and informal "rules of play" which control the perception and use of digital games. Students will investigate how rules are implemented into game design and contracts, as well as how rules are negotiated, manipulated and even created by players through a variety of social and technological practices. 
Language: English
Block: 4

Research Master:
Title: Game Studies: Serious/Game/Play
Coordinator: Prof. dr. Joost Raessens.
Teacher: Prof. dr. Joost Raessens.
Course Description: The aim of the course is to enhance students' theoretical understanding of issues of playful identity, serious gaming, and the notion of play as a conceptual tool for the analysis of media use. Students should be able to read literature in the field thoroughly and critically, frame theoretical discussions in the field and develop new ways of conceptualizing the aforementioned issues.
Language: English
Block: 2
More info...

Research Master:
Title: Media and Performance Theory
Coordinator: Prof. dr. Joost Raessens.
Teachers: Prof. dr. Joost Raessens, Dr. Chiel Kattenbelt. 
Course Description:  This seminar will discuss the ludic/performative turn in today’s media and performance theory/culture.  The focus of the course will be on ‘Homo ludens 2.0’: The notion of play as a conceptual framework for the analysis of media use (film, television, new media).
Language: English
Block: 3