Understanding Video Games STS 351: Student Signup


Calendar Description

Understanding Video Games is an 11-lesson course teaching a comprehensive overview of analytical theory pertaining to video game media.

Topics covered include:


  • play and game
  • emergence versus progression
  • game mechanics
  • story
  • interpretive theory
  • the culture of games
  • violence, sex and race in games
  • serious games

Estimated workload: 3-5 hours/week for non-credit; 7-10 hours/week for credit.

About the Course

In this course, students will learn how to study games and engage in informed discussions about them. Ultimately, this course is about understanding the literacy of video games.

The three main parts of the course are:


  • developing the terminology that enables us to talk about video games;
  • exploring how these terms are used in theoretical frameworks to interpret games, and;
  • turning these theories toward cultural aspects of games in order to understand how the medium has impacted society.

These modules will give users the opportunity to design their own video game avatar, as well as explore the short but fascinating history of video game releases.


This course's unique lesson delivery, combined with classic quiz structure, will enable students to quickly gain a solid foundational understanding of video games within the context of modern culture.

Course Format

One of the most important insights students will gain from the course will be an understanding of the interplay between video game designers, players and the games themselves. Course material is delivered in a student-friendly short-form fashion, with numerous formative feedback sections. Students will gain access to a number of special interactive modules designed specifically for this course.

Register now in Bear Tracks


  • Instructions on How to Register

    1. Login to Beartracks and Search for Classes.
    3. Search for additional criteria: "Video Games"
    4. Choose: STS 351 - Understanding Video Games

    Register now in Bear Tracks

    Find Course in Beartracks Dino101 UAlberta