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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM2960 Videogames: Identities in Play

20 creditsClass Size: 54

Module manager: Dr Tom Tyler

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Videogames engage and engross in a variety of ways. At the same time, they provide particular representations of different individuals and groups. But how? This module examines the forms of identity and identification that videogames would have us adopt as we play them. What do games seek to persuade us with regard to questions of species, ability, gender, labour, and our very sense of self? Who and what are we when we play videogames? No prior experience of playing or writing about videogames is required, but a willingness to do so, and to think about them carefully and critically, is essential.


This module explores theories that address both the means by which videogames engage players, and the kinds of identity and identification that they encourage. It takes a critical, reflective approach to videogames, investigating the power they have to shape understandings of individuals, groups, and aspects of the world.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge of how videogames have presented particular individuals, groups and aspects of the world;
2. demonstrate understanding of concepts, theories and ideas which address how videogames engage players;
3. discuss the significance of an attitude of critical enquiry toward videogames and their use;
4. demonstrate skills of independent research into and analysis of videogames.


Understandings of key terms such as game and play; theories of identity and identification; the rhetorical potential of videogames; immersion; labour; gender; power; gamification

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.50
Total Contact hours27.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

During the course of this module, students will:
• prepare for seminars by reading supplementary texts and undertaking prescribed tasks (40 hours);
• research and write their assessments (132.5 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored by means of participation in weekly seminars, a mid-semester written assessment, and optional individual tutorials.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Source Analysis1 x 1,800 - 2,200 words40.00
Essay1 x 2,700 - 3,300 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/09/2020 10:16:38


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