The University of Victoria’s ‘History of Video Games and Interactive Media‘ made the grade – pun intended. It’s an undergraduate course offered in UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts, a “lecture/discussion course will explore the global intersection of technology, society, the entertainment industry and the creative arts through a study of the evolution of video games and gaming culture,” according to the school’s website.
The course’s final assignment is a 1000-2000 word review on a specific video game, “any video game or interactive media you like, ideally one that you have played for at least four hours, or preferably to completion.”
But it’s not all fun and carpel tunnel. The class outline says focus will also be placed on “social controversies” including race, gender, and economic issues in the video gaming world.
Simon Fraser University’s ‘Logarithm and Blues‘ was also selected among the chosen coolest – “music and physics, together at least,” writes the HuffPo. (The program is available in the school’s Department of Physics, believe it or not.)
From the class outline:
“An exploration of the production, propagation and perception of sound and music from an interdisciplinary perspective. The viewpoints of a professional musician and a physicist will be presented and compared. Topics include elementary acoustics, instrument characteristics, reproduction technologies, tonal anomalies and perception.”
Finally, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (in Vancouver) placed for its Art History class titled ‘Studies in Global Modernisms with a focus on Piracy‘.
That’s not just piracy pertaining to the way you watch Game of Thrones without an HBO subscription, but also the real high-seas piracy you know from those Johnny Depp movies and Captain Phillips.
“Beginning with maritime piracy in the 18th century, and moving through pirate radio, digital piracy, and contemporary maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden, the course will consider how artists from various geographies address notions of property, nationhood, collectivity, and violence in an age of globalization.”
Personally, and I’m completely biased here but, I’d give the nod to my alma mater in London – the University of Western Ontario, or Western University as they now insist on calling themselves – for their English course titled ‘The Many Faces of Harry Potter‘.
The class “examines the Harry Potter series in relation to the gothic novel, detective fiction, fantasy, adventure, and even the dystopian novel.”
Required reading for the course includes, you guessed it, the entire series from J.K. Rolwing.
The outline continues: “We will read all seven books alongside other novels and short stories that illustrate the generic conventions Rowling is working with.”
I can also assure that wasn’t available when I went there, or I’d know a lot more about it. (And I’m not sure I would taken English Poetry to fulfill my Arts credit, either.)