Game Changers builds upon the Critical, Cultural & Contextual Studies module. Through a series of current debates you will be introduced to the expanding, diverse, expressive and meaningful cultural phenomenon that is games, in an analytical and critical manner. The talks and debates will extend your knowledge and comprehension of the current and contextual issues that revolve around games today. We will broaden your consideration of what is considered play and what is a game. Through the lens of current game making, games will be investigated as not just entertainment but as a social and cultural medium.
The module introduces concepts, issues and ‘bleeding edge’ games practice through a series of talks and debates from a range of guest speakers. These talks will include professors and experts across Winchester School of Art and the University of Southampton along with invited external guests.
You will communicate your own response to one of the topics in a written form, using relevant visual material, as an academic essay. The module will embed the importance of academic integrity, i.e. Not misrepresenting the work of others as your own, and will use strict academic conventions.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- contemporary games artists and or designers relevant to your work and area of study.
- how to critically reflect on the work of others and inform your own work;
- concepts related to current debates in games design & art;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- critically assess and evaluate different perspectives on relationships between contexts, theories and practices within the broad definition and concerns of games design & art.
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- use extensive research to underpin your work;
- apply some key principles of time-management;
- develop an argument using a clear, coherent structure in written form;
- use the Harvard referencing system.
This module has been designed to facilitate your development of skills necessary for the critical development of well-informed contemporary Games Design and Art practice. The perspectives provided by this module can also offer both intellectual and career orientation for the next stages in studying your programme.
This module will explore the main themes of the day surrounding game culture and game practices. In order to understand the bigger picture, you will be introduced to some relevant theory surrounding the whole notion of games and gamification. The module will draw from contemporary games designers, artists and writers. The range of differing ideas and schools of thinking will help you to develop your own response to the ideas presented.
Talks and discussion will be used to convey representations and information on the contemporary scene of Games Design & Art. You will be encouraged to read widely to supplement your knowledge.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
Teaching methods include
Learning activities include
- group discussion
Relationship between the teaching, learning and assessment methods and the planned learning outcomes
This module will be directed by talks that will broaden your understanding of Games Design & Art and consider practical creative possibilities. The material in this module will allow you to consider areas but not limited to gamification, quantified self, games as art, games a social commentary, serious games, esports and contextual concerns. The learning and teaching activities focus on helping you to investigate, question and analyse the nature of Games Design & Art contexts, related theories and how these influence Games Design & Art practice, including your own. Feedback on your progress and development will be given within the session discussions.
Your thoughts and selection of one key topic presented will be demonstrated through the selection of a research question and the production of an illustrated academic essay with applied Harvard writing conventions.
All talks will be supported and enhanced through the use of guidance and material distributed via our virtual learning environments such as Blackboard, Panopto, Bob National, Library Study Skills Site and Lynda.com.
|Completion of assessment task||26|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||10|
|Wider reading or practice||90|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Lynda.com (via Blackboard).
Panopto. Panopto Recordings (via Blackboard)
Games and Culture.
Games and Culture Journal - Games and Culture.
The International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS.
Rush, M (2005). New Media in Art. London: Thames and Hudson.
Mäyrä, Frans (2008). An Introduction to Game Studies: games in culture. London: SAGE.
Melissinos, C. (2012). The Art of Video Games: From Pac-Man to Mass Effect.. London: Welcome Enterprises.
McGonigal, J. (2012). Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. London: Vintage.
Flanagan, M,. (2009). Critical Play: radical game design. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Dovey, J, & Kennedy, H (2007). Game Cultures: computer games as new media. McGraw-Hill Education.
Bittanti, M and Quaranta, D (2006). GameScenes: Art in the Age of Videogames. London.: John and Levi:.
Bissel, T. (2011). Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter.. London: Vintage.
Schell, J. (2008). The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. London: CRC.
Bogost, I, (2011). How to Do Things with Videogames,. Minneapolisa: University of Minnesota Press.
Chatfield, T. (2011). Fun Inc.: Why Games are the 21st Century's Most Serious Business. London: Virgin Books..
Kirkpatrick, G. (2011). Aesthetic Theory and the Video Game. Manchester: MUP.
Jenish, J. (2008). The Art of the Video Game.. New York: Quirk Books.
King, G. & Krzywinska, T, (2002). ScreenPlay: cinema/videogames/interfaces. London: Wallflower Press.
Nitsche, M,. (2008). Video Game Spaces: image, play, and structure in 3D game worlds. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Rush, M (2005). New Media in Art. London.: Thames and Hudson.
Tavinor, G. (2009). The Art of Videogames.. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell..
Bogost, I,. (2007). Persuasive Games: the expressive power of videogames. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Dyer-Witheford, N & de Peuter, G,. (2009). Games of Empire: global capitalism and video games. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Solarski, C. (2012). Drawing Basics and Video Game Art. London: Watson.
Atkins, B,. (2003). More Than a Game: the computer game as fictional form,. Manchester: University of Manchester Press..
Formative assessment descriptionIllustrated essay In-class activities
Summative assessment description
Referral assessment description
Repeat assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External