UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2018

140-002 | CCN: 21436

Special Topics in Film: Digital Game Cultures

Jacob Gaboury,

4 Units

M/W 12:30-2:00pm; M 6:00-9:00pm, Dwinelle 188

Over the past 40 years, video games have transformed from household novelties and hobbyist toys to one of the most globally recognized forms of popular entertainment. Games are no longer marginal entertainment: they are definitive modes of experience in the 21st century worthy of scholarly and critical engagement. To this end this class offers a broad introduction to the phenomenon of video games, focusing primarily on Western U.S. histories and cultural practices. We will investigate the relationship between play and games, learn how to analyze and practice basic game design principals, examine current events around issues of race, gender and inclusivity in the contemporary game scene, study cultural practices as diverse as modding, cheating, and gold farming, and come to better understand the stakes of growing practices in e-sports and global game economies. In short, this course will transform the simple everyday pleasures of games into something new, complex, and unfamiliar.