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Let's Rethink The History of Videogames

This project-based course presents an alternative approach to videogame history, identifying the limitations of mainstream histories oriented by commercial and technological events and milestones, pursuing instead more game-centric genealogies of paradigmatic play experiences. As a supplement to market- genre histories or general accounts of movements in videogame design, students will research and produce multimedia genealogies mapping the inspirations and enabling conditions for a specific self-selected game that has either been formative in their personal gaming histories or a current catalyst for interest in game media as cultural expression.

We will develop an understanding of the short yet complex history of videogames and an appreciation for the limitations of conventional, industry-centric histories; collaborate on multimedia projects, foregrounding reflective practices and deliberative design; and acquire deep historical knowledge of particular games and the ability to articulate and effectively communicate a network of intellectual, technical, and cultural elements that facilitate new insight into and appreciation for videogames.

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