Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session

Course Overview

This course examines the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of digital games. Topics include the socio-technical aspects of digital gaming, embodiment and space, communities, spectatorship and performance, gender, race, sexuality, e-sports and sports games, and the politics and economics of production processes, including co-creation and intellectual property. After successful completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate, through discussion and written work, an understanding of major areas within sociological computer game research.
  • Situate that analysis within a broader social theory framework.
  • Independently identify critical questions / problems / domains in the social and cultural analysis of computer games and select an appropriate method for examination.
  • Undertake a scholarly literature review relevant to the area.
  • Provide original analysis and argumentation via discussion and written work.


This course has no prerequisites.

Learning Activities

The course will be made up of a mix of lectures, discussion (including peer-led sessions), group work, and classroom exercises. In addition to course participation, there will be several written assignments.


Your final grade will consist of the following components. Your hand-ins must reflect your sole work and authorship (rather than a group effort).

Participation (including weekly keywords, in-class group work, and final presentation) 20%
Mid-term Paper (2500 words, web-based with AV components) 30%
Final Paper (4500 words, web-based with AV components) 50%

Graduate students will be expected to perform at a level commensurate with advanced study and will complete additional work if taking the course for graduate credit.


1 Introduction  
2 Socio-technical Systems  
3 Embodiment & Materiality  
4 Gender (Basics)  
5 Gender & Gaming  
6 Race, Sexuality, and Queering Game Design Mid-term Paper due
7 Community  
8 Co-creativity & Labor  
9 E-sports & Competitive Gaming  
10 Performance & Spectatorship  
11 Sports Videogames  
12 Final Presentations  
13 Final Presentations (cont.)  
14 Last Session Final Paper due