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The unexamined game is not worth playing

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The dazzling growth of the videogame industry over the last thirty years documents an unquenchable cultural desire for game experiences. As the influence of games continues to grow in the twenty-first century there will be greater need for critical reflection and experimentation by those who will play and design the games of the next decade. This course will enable students to identify cultural value in games beyond escapist pleasure, articulate insightful criticism, and imagine new expressive goals and potentials for gameplay. Students will be introduced to the discourse of Game Studies with a special emphasis on recognizing games as expressive media and forms of cultural commentary, as well as their capacity for facilitating critical understanding of both self and society. Students will play and discuss assigned and self-selected games, create textual and multimedia-based analyses of those games informed by game studies, and produce a critical “let’s play” project.

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