This course examines the streaming platforms and their cultural impacts. Grounding the course in readings from film, media, and communication studies, we will examine the general state of writings around platforms, as well as the blind-spots of platform research. This will include attention to geopolitics (platform imperialism), attention to the new manners in which film and media industries globalize (in both production and circulation), the ways that nations or regions are born out of particular media platform configurations, and the impact of earlier formats such as broadcast television on streaming platforms. This course will introduce students to crucial texts in the expanded field of platform studies (from analyses of Netflix to theories of platform capitalism), while also extending debates from film and media studies to address lacunae in current platform analyses.
This course will focus on streaming platform research in particular, across a number of geographical and regional contexts. Adopting a case study model, this course will include, as possible case studies: YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, AbemaTV, APTN lumi, iQiyi, Alibaba, and Twitch, as well as challenges to the case study model of streaming research.
Film studies course covering digital cultures, including video gaming (the Sims!) and machinima.
Undergraduate Course in the Department of Communication Studies
This is a course that surveys the literature of player studies, focused on digital gameplay but supplemented by theorization related to non-digital games as well. It will explore the evolution of both players of videogames and the discourse surrounding them during the past several decades. By studying the diversity and changing nature of player culture, the creation and use of categories such as hardcore and casual, and shifting notions of play itself, this seminar will provide a framework for exploring how we understand and represent our relationships with and through digital games.
This course is an introduction to the design of playful activities and games in particular. Students are introduced to terminology, conceptual frameworks, and critical approaches in order to develop a precise understanding of games at a formal and pragmatic level. Students acquire and develop tools to conceive, formalize, and communicate game design ideas.
Prerequisite: Enrolment in a Computation Arts program or the Minor in Game Design or written permission of the Department.
In just a few decades, digital games have expanded from a poorly-understood entertainment niche to a ubiquitous multi-billion dollar industry. “Games, Media, and Culture” is a new course that examines the role of games as media and cultural objects. We will explore how to make sense of games, both as players and as scholars. The course offers ample opportunities for students to play, discuss, and experiment with games themselves, as well as with media about games.
Prerequisite: CART 315 or 353 or COMP 376; or written permission of the Department. This course introduces students to experimental game design, especially through the creation of their own unconventional and expressive digital games. A theoretical and critical understanding of play and games is established through lectures, discussion, game playing, game making and critiques. Students make multiple prototype games in order to better understand relationships between design, technology and the resulting player experience.