Module UXS-2041:
Games and Virtual Environments

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Melissa Kagen

Overall aims and purpose

The purpose of the module is:

  1. to develop an understanding of the variety as well as the social and psychological implications of computer-mediated simulations and virtual environments;

  2. to develop an understanding of central philosophical and critical concepts in the areas of ludology, narratology, and cultural theory (e.g. gender, postcolonialism, social theory, deconstruction) and apply them to creative immersive environments;

  3. to acquire a large repository of (multimodal) discourse-analytical terms and techniques

  4. to explore issues of production, copyright, ownership, dissemination, marketing and consumer culture in relation to creative immersive environments;

  5. to develop the ability to distinguish between and define genre boundaries;

  6. to develop theoretical and practical skills in social and empirical research in relation to consumer needs and behaviour;

  7. to enhance a self-aware approach to creative practice.

Course content

In 'Games and Virtual Environments' you will investigate the lively contemporary field of computer/video games and virtual worlds. During the module you will define, discuss and analyse various types of games and virtual environments. You will investigate issues surrounding games narrative and ludology (the theory and philosophy of gaming) as well as look at various video game genres (e.g. 1st person shooters, adventures, civilisation and god games; online, platform and massively multiplayer games). You will also examine the social and psychological effects of playing computer games and learn to evaluate realistically the implications of game consumption with respect to education and entertainment. By the end of this module, you will have developed a broad theoretical and critical background to the analysis of games and virtual environments, and you will be familiar with empirical research methods used to evaluate consumer needs and behaviour.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Threshold

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  • Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  • Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  • Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  • Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

good

Good: 50% +.

Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  • Good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Very Good: 60% +.

Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  • Very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

excellent

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  • Has originality of exposition with the student's own thinking being readily apparent.
  • Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. a self-aware approach to creative practice.

  2. theoretical and practical skills in social and empirical research in relation to consumer needs and behaviour;

  3. an ability to distinguish between and define genre boundaries;

  4. an awareness of production, copyright, ownership, dissemination, marketing and consumer culture in relation to creative immersive environments;

  5. a large repository of (multimodal) discourse-analytical terms and techniques

  6. an understanding of central philosophical and critical concepts in the areas of ludology, narratology, and cultural theory (e.g. gender, postcolonialism, social theory, deconstruction) and apply them to creative immersive environments;

  7. an understanding of the variety as well as the social and psychological implications of computer-mediated simulations and virtual environments;

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Weekly Responses 30
Bangor Arcade 30
Research Project - Poster 8
Research Project - Essay 32

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Lecture: 2 hour per week x 11 weeks

22
Workshop

Seminar/Workshop: 1 hours per week x 11 weeks

11
Private study 167

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: