HISTART 194 - First Year Seminar
Section: 001 Video Games: Cultures in Play
Term: WN 2017
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Other Course Info:
May not be used to meet the prerequisite requirement for the History of Art major.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Beyond serving as a popular form of entertainment for global mass consumption, video games reflect the play element of culture as an artistic medium, narrative format, and social platform. This course introduces undergraduates to video games and the subfield of game-studies. In order to provide appropriate context, the course situates video games in the history of the visual and material culture of games and examines the fundamental premises of the agonic and ludic stemming as far back as Plato and Aristotle. Deep critical reading on theories of play through authors such as Kant, Gadamer, and Huizinga will link game-studies to core debates in the humanities.

A main focus of the course will be the development of videogames from the 1970s to present. Students will learn to use art historical methodology and close looking to analyze video games not merely as texts, as they are often taught, but rather as interactive experiences seen though formal analysis, reception theory, and narrative structure. In addition to reading and writing about video games, students will also play video games followed by discussions that will touch upon how video games reflect important issues in art and society. To this end we will consider the significance of avant-garde art videogames as well as current debates on issues of gender, race, and commercialization in gamer culture.

Course Requirements:

This course will not require previous experience with gaming. It is a course on history and theory and will not involve coding or writing video games.

HISTART 194 - First Year Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.
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 HISTART 194 (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 Office of Academic Innovation, 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)