Video Gaming: Play and Players - MSTU5006

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15)







This module aims to provide students with a broad-based knowledge of the history and development of video gaming, alongside an understanding of the technological and industrial advances in game design. Students will learn about game theory and be able to use it analyse a wide range of game types. They will learn about intersecting questions of narrative, interactivity, space, play, players, game genres and representation. They will gain an understanding of how formal and informal regulation works to control game content, and be able to conceive of all of this through a range of critical theories.
One of the assessment methods employed on this module is a Digital Portfolio. The Digital Portfolio platform allows students on theoretical modules to create practical implementations of scholarly ideas and


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 48
Private study hours: 252
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Critical Essay (3000 words) (60%)
Digital Portfolio (40%)

Indicative reading

Adam Chapman (2018) Video Games as History (Routledge).
Steven Conway and Jennifer DeWinter (2017) Video Game Policy: Production, Distribution and Consumption (Routledge).
Katherine Isbister (2017) How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design (The MIT Press).
Christopher Hanson (2018) Game Time: Understanding Temporality in Video Games (Indiana University Press).
Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea Russworm (eds) (2017) Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games (Indiana University Press).
Daniel Muriel and Garry Crawford (2018) Video Games as Culture (Routledge).
Mary Flanagan (2013) Critical Play: Radical Game Design (The MIT Press).
Mark Wolf and Bernard Perron (eds) (2016) The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies (Routledge).

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history and development of digital game forms;
- Demonstrate understanding of how technological developments impact and determine game forms;
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of game theory;
- Demonstrate a critical appreciation of theories pertaining to game playing;
- Demonstrate an ability to engage with how games are regulated by industry, society and media debates and discourses;
- Demonstrate ability to apply narrative theories in debates relating to game analysis;

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