Game Studies, Entertainment & Cityscape

Subject 107-258 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture, a 1.5-hour tutorial per week and no more than five 2-hour lab sessions over the semester
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first-year cinema studies.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Angela Ndalianis

Subject Overview:

This subject will analyse the dramatic impact that computer games have had in transforming contemporary entertainment media and the urban environment in general. The subject will deal with the historical development of computer gaming from the earlier two-dimensional experiences offered by the era of Pong to the current 3D and online environments of the Final Fantasy games and Everquest series. Focus will be on the new visual and narrative formations that are offered by a variety of formats, including computer, Playstation 2, and X-Box. Industry and aesthetic connections with the cinema will be explored, as will the game genres' transformation of cinematic and other entertainment genres. The increased reliance on artificial intelligence engines will be considered, as will the artificial beings, avatars and virtual creatures that populate game environments like Black and White, the Sims and the Quake series. The subject will examine the emergence of such beings in light of their history and their fictional depiction in science fiction cinema. In addition the subject will look more broadly at the way culture reflects our society's fascination with embracing more experimental, interactive and invasive screen experiences on a wider social level - both in the public and private spheres. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of the historical development of computer game forms, genres and technological and material histories, and be able to critically evaluate the applicability of various theoretical models, such as theories of spectatorship, myth, hypertext/media, ludology to computer game technology and related screen media. They will also be able to account for the complex conglomerate overlaps and marketing principles that drive entertainment institutions - the game industry being one of the most lucrative.

Objectives: Stufents who successfully complete this subject will have an understanding of the historical development of computer games and the new area of game studies;
evaluate how other entertainment forms like the cinema and comic books have informed their formal properties;
be able to critically examine applicable models of analysis and interpretation in the area of game studies;
be able to account for the complex conglomerate overlaps and marketing principles that drive entertainment institutions;
have an understanding of the aesthetic and industrial ramifications of the interrelationship with the film industry.

A 1500 word tutorial paper 40% (due during the semester), and a 2500 word essay or website 60% (due during examination period). Students are advised to consult the following web address for details of assessment penalities which apply to this subject

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be skilled in critical thinking and analysis;

  • possess effective written communication skills;

  • have an understanding of social, ethical and cultural context.

Notes: This subject is available to students enrolled in the BA prior to 2008 at either 2nd or 3rd year level and can be credited to a major in either Cinema or Cultural Studies.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cinema & Cultural Studies
Cinema Studies Major
Cinema and Cultural Studies
Cinema and Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies Major

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