This is the website and blog maintained by the students and instructor of Emory’s FILM 373 Special Topics course on Video Games. We use this website as a place to discuss things from class and other relevant topics concerning video game experience, industry, and theory.

Students can frequent this website to post about their gaming experiences as well as ask questions and make comments about other posts, assignments, and in-class discussion.





Week 1

1/15: First day of class, introduction to course What Is a Video Game? 1/17: AYB Introduction, Prelude, and Ch. 1 

Week 2

1/21: NO LAB—MLK Day The Video Game Industry

1/22: UVG Ch. 2

Setting up WordPress and Twitter

Early Gaming History

1/24: AYB Ch. 2-5; UVG “The Issue of Genre” (p. 45-50) and Ch. 4


Week 3

1/28: Atari 2600, various games; Super Mario Bros, Tetris, etc. (NES) Theory of Games and Play

1/29: UVG Ch. 1 and Ch. 3

The Magic Circle

1/31: AYB Ch. 4-5; *“The Magic Circle,” from Rules of Play by Zimmerman and Salen; *“Jerked Around by the Magic Circle,” by Eric Zimmerman http://bit.ly/RDtKLn


Week 4

2/4: Colossal Cave Adventure, Myst, BioShock Narrative in Games

2/5: UVG Ch. 7

Presentation: Nikhil Amaram


Adventure Games

2/7: AYB Ch. 7, Ch. 9, Ch. 12; *”Ludonarrative Dissonance in BioShock,” by Clint Hocking, http://bit.ly/RDOIcY

Presentation: Aliy Ahmed

Article Report due before midnight on Friday 2/8

Week 5

2/11: Max Payne, Madden NFL 2/12: Test #1 Ludology vs. Narratology

2/14: AYB Ch. 6; *”In Defense of Cutscenes,” by Rune Klevjer; *“Games Telling Stories?” by Jesper Juul http://bit.ly/PX1OWp

Presentation: Gregory Adler


Week 6

2/18: Katamari Damacy, Portal 2    Narrative and Space

2/19: EL Ch. 2-3; *“Game Design as Narrative Architecture,” by Henry Jenkins, http://bit.ly/11zpsyw

Presentation: Neil Sethi

Action and Interactivity

2/21: Gaming Ch. 1; *“The Myth of the Ergodic Videogame,” by James Newman http://bit.ly/RDPx5J

Presentation: Monroe Hammond


Week 7

2/25: The Sims, Civilization Rules and Graphics

2/26: UVG Ch. 5; AYB Ch. 17

Presentation: Theo Rosenstein

Defining the Video Game: Simulation

2/28: Gaming Ch. 4; *“Simulation 101” by Gonzalo Frasca, http://bit.ly/PVAAks

Presentation: Andrew Tinsley

Video Game Analysis due before midnight on Friday 2/29

Week 8

3/4: Braid and other indie games Games and/as Art

3/5: Gaming Ch. 5; EL Ch. 6; *”Art,” from How to Do Things with Videogames, by Ian Bogost

Presentation: Jennifer Ashiru


Indie Games

3/7: Reading TBA

Homework for spring break: Download WoW and play serious and casual games


SPRING BREAK 3/11 – 3/15

Week 9

3/18: LittleBigPlanet, Minecraft  Serious Games

3/19: UVG Ch. 8

Casual Games

3/21: AYB Ch. 16; *“Throwaways” and “The End of Gamers,” from How to Do Things with Video Games by Ian Bogost

Presentation: Nikhil Bontha


Week 10

3/25: World of Warcraft Gaming Culture

3/26: AYB Ch. 10-11 and Ch. 13; UVG Ch. 6

Presentation: Kevin Rodriguez


3/28: Test #2

Week 11

4/1: Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Gender and Gaming

4/2: *“Gender and Videogames: The Political Valency of Lara Croft,” by Maja Mikula; “What It’s Like for a Girl Gamer,” http://slate.me/PDPc3p  “The Gender Gap,” http://bit.ly/N8U4R5


GTA and Race

4/4: AYB Ch. 14-15; EL Ch. 9; *“Racial Diversity in Video Games,” http://bit.ly/NIgZnQ

Presentation: Omar Masood

Proposal for final project due via email


Week 12

4/8: Call of Duty, Halo, fighting game (class choice) Violence and the FPS

4/9: EL Ch. 8; Gaming Ch. 2

Presentation: Paul Jang


Realism and Video Games

4/11: Gaming Ch. 3

Presentation: Sam Alefsen

Gameplay Reflection due before midnight on Friday 4/12

Week 13

4/15: Heavy Rain, Child of Eden Video Games Are Bad (Good) for You

4/16: UVG Ch. 9; *“When Gaming Is Good for You,” http://on.wsj.com/OhbLei;

Presentation: Anita Okoye


Motion Controls/The Future of Gaming

4/18: AYB Ch. 18-19

Rough draft for final project due in class

Week 14

4/22: Class choice of games 4/23: Test #3 4/25: Last day of class

Final projects presented in class