Explore how video games have been influenced by literature and film.

Intended for newcomers who are curious about video games and experienced gamers who want to reflect on their passion, this course will explore what happens to stories, and films when they become the basis of video games. The Lord of the Rings trilogy—the novels, films, and video game—are our central example.

This course is a multi-genre, multimedia tour of how literature, film, and games engage in the basic human activity of storytelling. Our journey will enable us to learn something about narrative theory, introduce us to some key topics in media studies and cover some of the history and theory of video games.

Drawing on centuries of romance narrative conventions, the twenty-first century gaming industry has become a creative and economic powerhouse. It engages the talents of some of our brightest writers, artists, composers, computer engineers, game theorists, video producers, and marketing professionals, and in 2012, it generated an estimated $64 billion in revenue. Anyone interested in today’s culture needs to be conversant with the ways this new medium is altering our understanding of stories. Join me as we set out on an intellectual adventure, the quest to discover the cultural heritage of online games.


Full year or Semester

Subject Area(s):

English, Media Studies, Gaming, Film, Literature



91104: Analyse significant connections across texts, supported by evidence – 4 credits – internal

91106: Form developed personal responses to independently read texts, supported by evidence – 4 credits – internal

91249: Demonstrate understanding of narrative in media texts – 4 credits – internal

91250: Demonstrate understanding of representation in the media – 3 credits – internal

91248: Demonstrate understanding of the relationship between a media product and its audience – 3 credits – external

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