Introduction to Games Research

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 5SD300

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Game Design A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 11 December 2019
Responsible department
Department of Game Design

General provisions

The course is part of the Master's Programme in Game Design.

Entry requirements

Bachelor's degree and knowledge of English corresponding to English 6.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Find sources from and discuss the major research traditions related to game studies
  • Study and analyse the practice of game design in a scientific manner
  • Produce short scientific texts on game studies or game design studies subjects that connect to the cutting edge of the respective disciplines
  • Use games research perspectives to reflectively analyse their own and others' game design
  • Critically examine the design briefs that formulate the requirements and expectations for the design and production of a game


This course provides an overview over central approaches to games research from the perspectives of game design, games technology, and games as media. The course analyses and compares definitions of games and play, discusses the notions of immersion and engagement, and compares the role of the player and the designer in shaping the gaming experience. It critically examines the notions of persuasive games, serious games, and games for change. The course also covers scientific writing, theories, and methods.


The course is taught in English.

The course consists of lectures, seminars, and workshops.


The course grades are Pass with distinction, Pass, or Fail. Assessment is of active participation in seminars and workshops, one design task with a reflexive text, and a final written assignment.

The seminars and the design task will be graded with Pass or Fail. The final written assignment will be graded with Pass with Distinction, Pass, or Fail. To achieve the grade Pass with distinction, a Pass with distinction grade is required for the final written assignment.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Uppsala University does not accept cheating or plagiarism. Suspected incidents of cheating or plagiarism are reported to the Vice-Chancellor, which may issue a formal warning to the student or suspend the student from studies for a certain period.

No reading list found.