Semester(s) Offered: Spring
Credits: 4
Course Call Number: GAMES-GT 103
Taught By: Bennett Foddy / Clara Fernández-Vara

This survey course covers a selection of the video games that were produced and played in Europe in the 1980s and early 90s. During this particularly relevant period, game developers were mostly self-taught hobbyists, who invented mechanics and conventions within the limitations of early home computers. Game creators also had to create their own channels of distribution, in an environment similar to that of current independent developers, but with limited access to digital delivery.

The socio-historical and technological context of Europe in the 1980s provides a lens to analyze a corpus of games that is not well known within contemporary American games culture, but which has imposed a powerful influence over contemporary commercial and independent games practice. The course encourages students to play games critically, to understand the different game design strategies as well as technological approaches to developing games, and to develop an understanding of the ways in which European, Japanese and American games diverged through the 1980s and 1990s.

This course is directed to students of game design and game studies, as well as those with an interest in the study of video games as a cultural form and / or digital media history and development.