Results for: gaming history

Gaming History

  • Course Level: Undergraduate
  • Department: Media, Art, and Design, IRHUM
  • Year: 2021-22
  • Term: Spring
  • M W 4:30-5:50pm
  • IRHU 27010 / KNOW 27010 / MAAD 17010
  • Brad Bolman and Katherine Buse

How do games reflect, theorize, and alter history? This interdisciplinary research seminar will explore the history, design, and function of games, drawing on strategies from history, media and game studies, and cultural anthropology in order to understand the place of games in the history of knowledge and our knowledge of history. How have historical simulations, such as Civilization, represented scientific, social, and cultural progress? How do games, such as Settlers of Catan, invite players to perform and inhabit historically specific subjectivities? What is the role of popular titles, such as Call of Duty: Cold War, in the pedagogy of public history? By representing alternate and future histories, games articulate theories of historical change. They even change the future by suggesting and popularizing modes of political, economic, and social agency. In this course, we will play games about history, including video games, tabletop games, and other analog game formats, to consider how they represent the structure of time, causality, and choice. Through class discussions, example games, and theoretical readings, we will learn about methods, theories, and case studies for gaming history and historicizing games. Students will practice original archival, ethnographic, and media archaeological research into the history of games, and gain experience writing about and critically analyzing media objects. The seminar will emphasize practice-based research alongside traditional humanistic research, including critical game play and game design. The course will culminate in a solo or collaborative game design project that intervenes in gaming culture and its histories.