AMCULT 334 - Race, U.S. Culture and Digital Games
Section: 001
Term: WN 2014
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Video games are one of the most widespread, profitable, and influential cultural forms in the U.S. Their rise to cultural dominance comes about at the same time as changing notions of race and gender in the U.S., such as liberal multiculturalism, the feminist movement, post-racialism, post-feminism, and a growing multiracial population. This course will avoid categorizing games as having positive or negative social effects, instead focusing on how race and racism have been expressed in a variety of types and styles of video games; how video games function as a window into U.S. race relations. We will look at the history, theory, and practice of video games in the U.S. with particular attention to racial stereotyping, user demographics, racial conflict in shared world and social games. The class will end with an examination of “serious” games and the potential of game texts, environments, and communities to help remediate social inequality.

Course Requirements:

Three short papers, participation in on-line forums, a take-home midterm and final exam, as well as active class participation. Students may also be required to log gameplay time on assigned digital games.

Intended Audience:

American Culture majors, Ethnic Studies majors (APIA, DAAS, Latina/o, Native American), Screen Arts & Cultures majors, Womens Studies majors, digital environments students, as well as a general audience.

Class Format:


AMCULT 334 - Race, U.S. Culture and Digital Games
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
M 3:00PM - 4:00PM
003 (DIS)
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
004 (DIS)
W 4:00PM - 5:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

other readings will be on ctools
ISBN: 9780415896979
Understanding Video Games : The Essential Introduction., Author: Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen ; Jonas Heide Smith ; Susana Pajares Tosca., Publisher: Routledge 2. ed.
ISBN: 9781609803728
Rise of the videogame zinesters : how freaks, normals, amateurs, artists, dreamers, dropouts, queers, housewives, and people like you are taking back an art form, Author: Anna Anthropy., Publisher: Seven Stories Press Seven Stor
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AMCULT 334 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Digital Innovation Greenhouse, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)