2019 - 2020

  History and Critical Theory of Videogames                                                            
Renard GluzmzanGilman-humanities3261600-1800 Sem  1
University credit hours:  2.0

Course description

Video games are one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry today. In the past 50 years this emerging media source managed to transcend its traditional role as an economic commodity and make a significant impact on society. Game culture changes the way we tell stories, the way we interact with one another, and the ways in which we understand the world and our own roles in it. The objectives of this course are therefore: (1) to provide a broad sense of the history of video games as an art form and as an industry; (2) to contextualize the emergence of this new medium within historical prisms; (3) to develop a critical approach to game culture and its social impact.

Being a relatively new field, the essential vocabulary for interpreting, criticizing, and analyzing video games is still being developed. In the interim, approaches for the study of other cultural forms are tentatively applied. In this way, for example, we will examine the concept of "play" using methods from literary criticism, cultural anthropology, post-structuralism, social science and technology, and cinema and theatre studies. We will subsequently examine approaches to the philosophy of action, ludology, and theories of machinic and gamic visuality. Such methodological approaches create a platform for the production of new critical perspectives on video games and game culture.

This course is inspired by lectures given by leading analysts and theorists in the field. The lessons include screenings and require watching video-based walkthroughs.


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tel aviv university