Spring 2018

Videogames and the Boundaries of Narrative

Listed in: English, as ENGL-277  |  Film and Media Studies, as FAMS-333


Marisa Parham (Section 01)


(Offered as ENGL 277 and FAMS 333)  In this course we will engage in a comprehensive approach to narrative video gaming–-play, interpretation, and design–-to explore how video gaming helps us to conceptualize the boundaries between our experiences of the world and our representations thereof.  We will ask how play and interactivity change how we think about the work of narrative.  What would it mean to think about video games alongside texts focused on similar subjects but in different media?  How, for instance, does Assassin’s Creed: Freedom’s Cry change how we understand C.L.R. James, Susan Buck-Morss, Isabel Allende, or others’ discussions of the Haitian Revolution?  And how do video games help us to reconceptualize the limits of other media forms, particularly around questions of what it means to represent differences in race, gender, physical ability?  Finally, how might we more self-consciously capitalize on gaming’s potential to transform the work of other fields, for instance education and community development?      

In this course, students will play and analyze video games while engaging texts from a variety of other critical and creative disciplines.  Assignments for this course will be scaled by experience-level.  No experience with video games or familiarity with computer coding is required for this course, as the success of this method will require that students come from a wide variety of skill levels.

Spring semester.  Professor Parham.

ENGL 277 - L/D

Section 01
M 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM CONV 108


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2015, Spring 2018