CP470a SU14 Video Game Theory

CP470a Advanced Topics: Video Game Theory

Summer 2014          6/09/14-8/1/14

Dr. Michele Leigh

Website: www.micheleleigh.net (the bulk of the coursework will be done here) and SIU Online (your grades will be posted here). You will need to check both sites regularly.

Contact Information: The best way to contact me is via email,  I will do my best to respond to you within 24 hours weekdays (M-F) – drleigh@micheleleigh.net or mleigh@siu.edu 

Virtual Office Hours: I will hold virtual office hours via Skype: mileloto

Mondays 9am-11am, Tuesdays 9pm-10pm, Thursdays 7pm-9pm

Required Texts:

The Video Game Theory Reader v.1 by Mark J.P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, Routledge, 2003   (a rentable Kindle version is available)

An Introduction to Game Studies by Frans Mayra, Sage Press, 2008

Recommended Texts:

The Video Game Theory Reader v.2 by Mark J.P. Wolf and Bernard Perron, Routledge, 2009

(a rentable Kindle version is available)

Course Description:

The last thirty years have seen the rapid growth of the video and computer game industry, coupled with expansive technological advancements and mass saturation (even my mom plays games on her iPad.) This growth has piqued the interests of scholars from a variety of fields ranging from psychology and sociology to education and cultural studies to computer science. This course will explore the rapidly growing and changing field of video game studies and video game theory.

We will explore the history of video games and the theories that evolved to understand them. In this class we will examine the games as texts, analyzing the multifaceted aspects of the games themselves. Students will interact with the various theoretical approaches to gaming through their own game play, writing and discussion. Students are encouraged to bring their own expertise to the classroom discussion, but also to be open to new ways of thinking about the significance of video games in our lives.

** Please Note: this is a compressed course. Each week of the summer session will cover roughly 2 weeks of regular session material. You will be expected to work at a face pace and complete all readings and assignments on time.

 Course Goals:

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the history of Video Games and Game Theory
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of major industrial, economic,artistic and theoretical shifts.
  • Demonstrate their skills in game analysis and writing about games.
  • Develop an understanding of their own game play in relation to the sociological and cultural implications of video games.

 Course Format:

  • This course will be taught in a fully online format, which uses computer based learning through Dr. Leigh’s website at www.micheleleigh.net, grades will be posted at SIU ONLINE (https://online.siu.edu/). During the summer session you will need to have access to a computer with high speed internet access (either your own, or SIUC’s Campus Computer Labs).
  • You MUST check the site regularly!!!
  • The course will be organized into bi-weekly Modules– discussion posts MUST be completed by Thursday (Module 1) and Sunday (Module2) at midnight.
  • We will not meet online at set times, with the exception of virtual office hours.
  • Students will be expected to complete assigned material within each week in a timely fashion.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all daily assignments for the week MUST be completed by Sunday at midnight of the week they are assigned. Late assignments will NOT be accepted. I am aware that many of you are working during the summer, it is your responsibility to plan accordingly.


For important dates and information about the summer session visit SIU Syllabus Attachment 

Course Readings and Discussions

Course Assignments

Course Announcements


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