Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Videogame Theories
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written Essay  2000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Critical auto-ethnographical account  of gameplay 2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Written Essay  2000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Critical auto-ethnographical account  of gameplay 2000 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an analytical understanding of a range of theories, methodologies and video game case studies.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the cultural, social and political aspects of contemporary video games and their historical contexts.

Apply an understanding of analytical methodologies to the study of videogames including auto-ethnographical approaches.

Make links between classic and contemporary game theory.

Brief description

This module will critically examine the relationship between contemporary videogames and their cultural, social, political and historical context. Students will be introduced to the medium and culture of contemporary videogames through a series of lectures and workshop/seminar sessions. Students will be introduced to key theoretical texts and research questions pertaining to this newly emerging field of research and develop a critical vocabulary through which they will examine videogames. Students will encounter key research tools and methodologies which will help them to examine videogames, such as games theory, intermedial theory, content analysis, semiotic analysis, discourse analysis and auto-ethnographical methodologies. Every student will also be expected to apply these insights to a case study of a contemporary video game as part of their ‘Critical auto-ethnographical account of gameplay’ assignment.


There will be teaching on suggested topics as follows:

Theories, games and play
Narrative and ludology
Game genres
Games, politics and society
The medium of videogaming
Gender and Games
Violence and Games
Alone together: the case of MMORGs
Pervasive games and mixed reality performances
Educational games

(This is an indicative list)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication The ability to communicate ideas effectively is developed in the seminars and assessed directly through Assessment 1 and 2.
Improving own Learning and Performance Self-regulation, motivation and time-management skills are developed through the module and are demanded for the successful completion of its assignments.
Information Technology The ability to utilize information technology both in the research for and delivery of written assignments.
Personal Development and Career planning Transferable skills (managing personal workloads and meeting deadlines, designing and realizing research project) are developed through the completion of assessment tasks. Career awareness does not of itself constitute an assessed element of this module.
Problem solving Analytical problem solving, outcome recognition and the identification of appropriate strategies and procedures are encouraged across the duration of the module.
Research skills Appropriate personal research and the development of effective personal research practices are directly assessed through Assessments 1 and 2.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Communication, Media, Film & Cultural Studies’ QAA benchmarking statement (2008): The following subject specific skills are developed and partly assessed. Students will demonstrate an ability to:• engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and put them to productive use • understand forms of communication, media and culture as they have emerged historically and appreciate the processes through which they have come into being, with reference to social, cultural and technological change • examine such forms critically with appropriate reference to the social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society, and have an understanding of how different social groups variously make use of, and engage with, forms of communication, media and culture • analyse closely, interpret and show the exercise of critical judgement in the understanding and, as appropriate, evaluation of these forms
Team work Effective group work through negotiating ideas and opinions is addressed through the seminars. Seminar discussions demand the application of skills necessary to conduct collaborative activity.


This module is at CQFW Level 6