Playable Media & Game Studies Stream


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Global Objectives: The Playable Media and Game Studies Stream (PMGS) focuses on the critical study of computer games and playable media in order to develop the Competencies required for creative, conceptual, and critical roles in the computer games and playable media sector. Students will gain an understanding of computer games as art, as media, and as sociocultural phenomena. Courses in this stream encourage looking beyond formulaic entertainment games into new and innovative uses of computer games and consider also the design and history of computer games. The stream will provide a solid foundation for further studies (MFA, MPhil, PhD) in the area of computer games and playable media.

Courses offered in this stream will vary from year to year, based on faculty, demand and the schools other offering. Please see the list of stream offerings included in the City U School of creative media “Taught Postgraduate Catalogue” found also on the website

(Example for reference use only, please see individual course descriptions for details)

Learning objectives


SM6323 - Critical Ludology: Games, Playability and New Media Art Course

aims: The study of games is a new and rapidly expanding field of academic research, which is closely connected to the rapid development of computer games as a cutting-edge art form. This course introduces students to the basic theoretical questions and vocabulary concerning games and play, and their application into analytic, critical and creative purposes. Rather than focusing exclusively on digital games, a broad spectrum of contemporary and historical game/play activities will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to the medium-specific qualities in certain forms of play. The theoretical insights will be applied into game analysis, criticism, modification, and design exercises. Through these exercises the course explores questions related to the role of games/play in new media art, the representational potential of games, and the use of games in critical discourses and interventionist practices.

Course Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Describe: Different forms of play The formal constituents of games and their relationship to the metaphor of a game and the activity/attitude of play Game/play-like features in historical and contemporary forms of human culture
  • Extend a game by modifying its formal constituents (e.g. adding/substracting/modifying rules, constraints, goals, and winning and losing conditions) and/or medium-specific qualities
  • Differentiate between transmedial and medium-specific elements of games (in e.g. mechanical and digital games) and design games that make use of the medium-specific potential
  • Analyse contemporary computer games with methods of structural analysis and close-playing
  • Describe, analyze and create games that simulate actual or fictional processes and recognise the potential of such games for social critique and intervention
  • Use concepts of game and play to describe, analyze and create: New media artworks with personal style/ signature Games where the boundary between play and daily life becomes blurred. Design games for public or everyday spaces.



Name of examPlayable Media & Game Studies Stream
Type of exam
Written and oral exam
Participation in in-class discussions: 15%
Presentations: 25%
Written reactions to readings: 10%
Final project: 50%
AssessmentPassed/Not Passed
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titlePlayable Media & Game Studies Stream
Module codeKAMAC201517
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
This module is offered only as a part of the ERASMUS MUNDUS Master of Excellence: Media Arts Cultures City University of Hong Kong
3rd semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureOther location
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Art, Health and Technology
DepartmentDepartment of Communication and Psychology
FacultyThe Faculty of Humanities