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Cursus: MCRMV16043
Rules of Play
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (EC)5
Students analyze relevant classic and contemporary theory and discourse related to play and (digital) games. The aim is to engage critically with this theory and discourse and conduct creative research on the basis of this analysis and critique. Students engage in discussions on various topics related to the overarching theme of “the rules of play” as well as each other’s writing assignments. These assignments culminate in an individual paper.
 In contemporary media and culture, play is no longer an activity limited to games. Rather, it has become a key characteristic of the use of social media, apps, mobile technology, educational software and so on. Through their design, these media technologies invite, even urge, users to participate playfully. The process of play, however, also involves practices which defy, break, transgress or in other ways negotiate or appropriate the rules of play. This results not just in new media practices but also in new forms of collaboration as well as potential contention between users, and between users and producers. To understand play and in particular counterplay as essential aspects of contemporary media culture, in this course we aim to examine how these practices challenge the rules in playful participatory media like games but also serious/applied games, pervasive games and gamified media. We will engage with theory and methods from the interdisciplinary field of game studies to study and conceptualize play and counterplay in order to better understand the playful nature of our increasingly ludic media and contemporary cultural practices. Through this focus, we aim to expose underlying assumptions and ideologies of contemporary playful media culture and see how deviant play might provide more control and agency over these media.

This course is for students in the RMA programmes in the Humanities and the EFMS programme. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.
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