Semester(s) Offered: /
Credits: 2
Course Call Number: GAMES-UT 412
Prerequisite(s): Games 101

Horror Games covers the history, aesthetics, and cultural impact of horror games. The main emphasis is on horror video games, but it includes non-digital horror games as well. Students are exposed to seminal games in what came to be known as the “horror” and “survival horror” genres, such as Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, and Amnesia, tracing how their design aesthetics were formed via their relationship with horror fiction in the wider media landscape. This course is for students interested in the culture and evolution of video game aesthetics and who understand and value the practice of close reading and comparative analysis, the way a serious student would be expected to when studying the works of a painter.

This course will help the student:
1) Gain a deep understanding of the work and influence of a seminal game genre, the way one would for any other important genre or sub-genre in an art history context.
2) Foster a set of skills for historical and critical analysis that is culturally situated and which complicates the notion of sole authorship.

Upon completion of this course, the student will be expected to demonstrate the ability to:
1) Have a firm and encyclopedic understanding of the history, progression, and design aesthetics of horror games.
2) Have a nuanced, complex understanding of how cross-media adaptation results in unique game rules that, when combined with certain audio-visual atmosphere and themes, results in a game genre that is unusual for being both emotion-driven and explicitly in dialogue with the broader media entertainment landscape.
3) Be able to do a close reading of any video game, but be specifically adept of close reading horror games and their related variants.

*The prerequisite for this course: Games 101.