Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201900083
Game Studies in Social Sciences
Course info
Course module201900083
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. R.S. Jacobs
dr. R.S. Jacobs
Contactperson for the course
dr. R.S. Jacobs
Academic year2021
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Learning goals
At the end of this course, students will be able to:
Relation with the final attainment targets:
1. summarize social-scientific theories relevant to game studies, including theories on effects, experiences, motivations, and serious games; 1.1, 1.2
2. describe major research developments and novel methodologies in game studies to identify where the field is heading; 1.3, 2.3
3. compare and analyze different and conflicting academic perspectives in game studies using these theories; 1.5, 2.2, 5.1
4. identify gaps in the knowledge surrounding games, their players, and their integration in society; 1.6, 3.2
5. formulate new research to fill those gaps using knowledge of novel research methodologies applied in game studies; 2.2, 2.4, 2.6
6. apply theories and literature on serious games to propose a game concept that meaningfully communicates pro-social messages. 1.4, 3.1, 3.3, 3.7
Course description
This course is focused on ongoing research in (digital) game studies. Students will examine games from a social-scientific perspective. This means games are analyzed in terms of their effects, contents, and the cultures they are found in, rather than their design. More specifically, the course discusses media-psychological investigations (player experiences and motivations) and serious games (games that communicate, train, persuade, market, or teach). Drawing on the latest research, students are informed about important methods in game research.
Students taking this course do not need to be gamers or have experience playing games. Games are an important object of study for social scientists because they are at the same time an immense cultural phenomenon and a burgeoning medium of communication. As a cultural phenomenon, they are embroiled in multiple social panics about violence, addiction, and sexism. This has led to contentious academic debates which are discussed in this course. Attention is also paid to why people play, and what it means to have ‘fun’ playing games. Of course, games also have purposes beyond entertainment. Students will take existing knowledge on games and play and develop a serious game concept to tackle a pro-social issue or advertise a product. Upon finishing this course, students will be aware of the field of game studies in social sciences and will be able to apply this thinking in game concepts and player testing.

If their examination board and programme board allows it. Students from the following UT master programmes can follow this course: BA, BIT, CS, EST, EEM, HS, IDE, IEM, ITECH, PSTS and PSY.

Assumed previous knowledge
Bachelor Communication Science
Premaster Communication Studies

Exchange students
Relevant domain specific knowledge. To be decided by the admission committee Communication Science.
Participating study
Master Communication Science
Participating study
Master Business Administration
Participating study
Master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Soc.
Required materials
Scientific articles.
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes


Kies de Nederlandse taal