25416 : 1990s Videogame History
Description: In this course, we will be turning to the 1990s to learn about videogame history and historiography. Focusing on this period will allow us to examine the videogame medium within broader historical and cultural contexts, and to explore issues related to doing recent and contemporary cultural history. What was the relationship between technological innovations and stylistic changes in the videogame medium? How did the entry of new corporate and creative players into the business affect industrial structures and strategies? What do we make of "freedom," "realism," and other concepts that dominated videogame press coverage - and how were they connected to broader cultural discourses? How did understandings of what it meant to play videogames and the types of experiences that videogames could offer change over the course of the decade? What was the relationship between developments in the videogame medium and other media - from film and fiction to virtual reality and the Internet? How has this decade been remembered, conceptualized, preserved, and repackaged in subsequent decades? How do we go about doing history of a still-young medium, operating in multiple national and cultural contexts, and focused on such a recent decade? This course will take advantage of the University of Chicago's videogame collection and the Media Arts, Data, and Design Center's hardware collection to provide as comprehensive a view as possible of the videogame medium in this period.
Instructor(s): Chris Carloy
Offered: Spring 2020