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KCOE 4100 - The video game world

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English


Knowledge in Media studies and communication analysis ; practice of videogames ; interest in new technology ; understanding of digital issues.

Course Description

Videogames have been a major entertainment industry for years, leading mass market technological changes and new cultural practices. Each kind of game introduces a specific production process, a specialized market, new design forms, emerging practices. This course aims to analyse their plurality and transformations: from arcade games to alternate/virtual reality. At the end of the course, you will be able to understand what videogames are and how they are produced and designed. Course 1 - Introduction - Videogames: from panem et circenses to the creative industry of gaming? Part 1: Video games worlds Course 2 - Arcade games: industry birth in public spaces Course 3 - Domesticate videogames: console games (1978 – 1995) Course 4- Industrializing and internationalising the chain value: production, crafts, platforms Course 5 - Violence marketing and public definitions: public problem, private regulationS Course 6 - Talking about games: from Journalism to broadcasting Part 2: Gamifying the world Course 7 – how to design a game Course 8 - [please insert an adjective] games: serious, news, documentary, hacktivist, political games Course 9 – gamification and the pervasiveness of videogame rhetoric Course 10 – alternative reality, virtual reality, neurogaming Course 11 – how to design “stuffs” with game design Course 12 – gamifying the world: gaming everywhere / everything / everybody


MAUCO, Olivier (Co-fondateur, associé, The Good Drive)

Pedagogical format

Each course will develop a specific component of game industry with a theoretical and practical approach. First part : two oral presentations by student, one dealing with a market issue (case study, market area, public issues, etc.), the other with a specific product (a game, a device). Second part : classical course. Some will hold a special speaker from the industry (to be determined).

Course validation

Because producing games is a collective matter mobilizing individual skills. Individual : 15 minutes on a subject related to the course : article or book resumé, a game content analysis, a case study, a specific market (40%) + participation (10%). Collective : with a team of 5, you will present a game project : one page game concept, market analysis, funding and investment opportunities, production planning, communication strategy, public relation agenda (50%).


For each course, student will have to read a chapter / book / article or to play a game (required readings / games).

Required reading

  • Kline (Stephen), Dyer-Whiteford (Nick) et de Peuters (Greig), “Part two : Histories: the making of a new medium”, in Digital Play. The interaction of Technology, Culture and Marketing, McGill-Queen's University Press, 2003, pp. 79 - 193
  • Bogost (Ian), « The rhetoric of videogames » in Salen (Katie), dir., The ecology of play. Connecting Youth, game and learning, MIT Press, 2001
  • Mauco (Olivier), Jeux vidéo : hors de contrôle?, éditions Questions Théoriques, 2014
  • Frasca (Gonzalo), « Simulation versus narrative. Introduction to ludology », in Wolf (Mark), et Perron (Bernard), The videogame theory reader, Taylor and Francis Book, 2003
  • Peterson (Richard A.), Berger (David G.), « Cycles in Symbol Production: The Case of Popular Music », American Sociological Review, 1975, vol. 40, n°2, pp. 158-173

Additional required reading

  • Consalvo (Mia), « Console video games and global corporations: creating a hybrid culture, New Media & Society », 2006, vol. 8, n°1, p. 117 – 137
  • Kerr (Aphra), and al., “New media – new pleasures?”, in International Journal of Cultural Studies, March 2006 vol. 9 no. 1 63-82