Game Design as Culture and Business | Abertay University

Game Design as Culture and Business


This module is designed to provide the student with a sophisticated understanding of the concepts and theories which inform game design, and to evaluate emergent trends in several sectors of the game industry.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with a foundation in the concepts, issues and texts for the study of digital and non-digital games and related cultural forms, so that they can form and disseminate cogent analyses and critiques.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Understand game history and its relevance for emerging trends in the game industry.

2.  Describe and evaluate existing and emerging markets and audiences for interactive media.

3.  Reflect on the function of games and play in different cultural contexts.

Indicative Content

1 Critical theory and analysis

Through a series of lectures and readings, students will be familiarized with recent theories and controversies in the field of game criticism.

2 Histories of games

Through lectures, readings and film screening, students will learn various models of game history, from technological and techno-social through genre-specific and conceptual histories.

3 Culture and politics of games

In discussion groups and through appropriate readings, students will become familiar with contemporary issues in representation and inclusion in cultures of digital gaming.

4 Game development roles.

Understanding the emergence and change of different roles in systems of game production.

5 Culture and intellectual property

Evaluating issues around the ownership and licensing of games and related content.

6 Recent controversies in the culture and industry of games.

space, time, lighting, sound, the level designer (person), the level designer (software).

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

A series of lectures will form a basis from which students will be expected to build a foundation in the relevant themes and issues. Tutorial sessions will clarify key issues and provide opportunities for peer-driven discovery of knowledge drawn from individual research. Students will research historical and contemporary game studios, and present this research to the rest of the module. Students will each write an academic essay on an approved theme.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 24
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 80
Independent 84

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2018/19 , and may be subject to change for future years.