Official course description:

Full info last published 15/05-23
Course info
ECTS points:
Course code:
Participants max:
Offered to guest students:
Offered to exchange students:
Offered as a single subject:
Price for EU/EEA citizens (Single Subject):
10625 DKK
MSc. Master
MSc in Games
Course manager
Professor, Head of the PhD School
Course semester
Efterår 2023
28 August 2023
26 January 2024
Exam type
ekstern censur
Grade Scale
Exam Language
Students learn to analyse and critically engage with games and related theoretical topics.

Games and play are an increasingly important genre of entertainment, marketing, personal expression and art. This course provides a theoretical foundation for analysing game and engaging with the role of games in our society.

Students will gain an understanding of how to analyse and critically engage with games.

The seminar follows two interwoven threads: game analysis and theoretical topics in game research. The course covers central topics that addresses these issues including:

  • Games, mediation and textuality
  • Player Involvement
  • Narrative
  • Aesthetics
  • Ethics
  • Persuasive Games
  • Politics and ideologies of Games

The students' own research interests are encouraged and welcomed.

Formal prerequisites

Students are expected to have a grounding in the theoretical humanities and/or social sciences.

This course builds on Games & Culture. If the prospective student has not taken this course, but feels qualified for other reasons, please contact the course manager before applying.

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • Analyze digital games in a thorough and coherent manner, utilizing theories and methods engaged with in the course as a suite of analytical tools.
  • Engage critically with the academic literature in the field of Game Studies.
  • Refine and develop existing theories to better suit specific applied analysis.
  • Research a given topic independently in order to produce a paper that is good enough for submission to an international journal or conference.
Learning activities

14 weeks of teaching consisting of seminar presentations and discussions, hands-on analysis exercises, student presentations, reading groups and a final writing project.

The course will be run like a reading group, seminar and paper presentation workshop, where everyone will be expected to participate actively in presenting their work in progress and comment on the other presentations. During the 14 weeks students will present their term paper ideas, receive feedback and suggestions, and refine their idea into a scientific paper with a research question, methodology, literature review and analysis.

The exercises will consist of playing games and taking notes about the gameplay experience and the game analyses. We will focus on 3-4 relevant games (to be determined by the participants).

As inspiration for the term paper we will have lectures from the local teachers and other ITU researchers, as well as visiting scholars and especially invited international researchers. Students will also receive individual supervision and guidance during the entire process. In this way, research practices will be learned through the practical experience of doing actual research in an actual research environment.

Mandatory activities

1. Formulate a problem statement for your term paper, with a research question, a brief summary of method, empirical basis and relevant theories, and present this to the class, and also give feedback to other presentations.
2. Write an extended abstract, with the core moments of your paper, and a preliminary list of references, and present as above
3. Write the first draft of your term paper, and present it in the in-class end-conference, again as above.

If the students do not deliver their mandatory presentations at the scheduled times, they will be given a second chance to do so at the earliest opportunity in the following weeks, but (in the case of 1 and 2) before the next presentation is due.

The student will receive the grade NA (not approved) at the ordinary exam, if the mandatory activities are not approved and the student will use an exam attempt.

Course literature

The course literature varies from semester to semester and is determined in connection with the process of creating a schedule for the course topics and activities.

Student Activity Budget
Estimated distribution of learning activities for the typical student
  • Preparation for lectures and exercises: 15%
  • Lectures: 20%
  • Exercises: 15%
  • Assignments: 10%
  • Project work, supervision included: 20%
  • Exam with preparation: 20%
Ordinary exam
Exam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
C11: Submission of written work
Exam submission description:
The term paper is an essay on the level of a publishable academic journal article. It has to be based on a good-sized literature review, contain an original research question and a solid argument, and use (i.e. critically engage, not simply list) a substantial number of sources (15-20).
Its length should be between 4000 and 6000 words.

Exam type:
C: Submission of written work, External (7-point scale)
Exam variation:
C11: Submission of written work

Time and date
Ordinary Exam - submission Fri, 22 Dec 2023, 08:00 - 14:00
Reexam - submission Wed, 28 Feb 2024, 08:00 - 14:00