Module details for Game Studies and Game Analylsis


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.


There are two broad goals for this course. The first is to provide an overview of digital games as a cultural form. This involves a historical account of their emergence in the mid-twentieth century, an enquiry into theories of play and their relationship to culture, the origins and evolution of game genres, and the changing nature of game-development and the game industry to the present day. The second is to learn contextual and formal methods for the analysis of digital games and gameplay.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Explain the historical, cultural and industrial contexts in which games are produced, distributed and played.

2.  Select an appropriate analytical framework and use them to produce contextual and formal analyses of digital games.

3.  Effectively speculate on the future of the industry and emerging creative and professional roles in it.

4.  Evaluate major theories in game studies.

Indicative Content

1 Critical theory and analysis

Through a series of lectures and readings, students will learn about and theories of play and methods for the analysis of digital games and apply them.

2 Histories of games

Through lectures, and readings, students will learn about game history from a number of perspectives, from technological and techno-social histories to genre-specific and conceptual histories, and engage in historical research on the production contexts of different games.

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, recent controversies in game culture and the political-economy of the game industry.

4 Environmental impact of the game industry

In lectures and readings, students will learn about the effects of game technologies and computing on the global climate, the problems of ewaste, and the consequences of the upgrade cycle.

5 Aesthetics of games and interactive media

In readings, lectures, and through exercises, students will become familiar with theories of aesthetics as pertain to digital games, and apply them to game analysis.


Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 92
Independent 84
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.