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Bible and Video Games

TUSS - Intro 2

Have you played video games like The Talos Principle, Bioshock, Zombi, or the Prince of Persia? Do you know the difference between ludology (the critical study of gaming) and narratology (the critical study of narrative structure) and how they affect our perception? This fun, innovative course makes a connection between Bible and biblical traditions and contemporary video games.

Course information

This course in short

  • Content:
    If you’ve ever ‘died’ in a game – and then been resurrected to play another day – this 1-week summer course will show you how the Jewish-Christian tradition is relevant to understanding today's world of gaming.
  • Entry requirements:
    Bachelor's and Master's students with a passion for gaming and a curious mind. Moderate English proficiency required.
  • Taught by:
    Prof. Dr. Archibald L.H.M. van Wieringen
    Prof. Dr. Bart J. Koet
    Dr. Frank G. Bosman
  • Start date:
    Monday 8 July 2019
  • Duration | ECTS:
    1 week | 1 ECTS
  • Language of instruction:
    English
  • School:
    Catholic Theology (TST)
  • Course fee:
    Free for current Tilburg University students. €500 for external students, future Tilburg University students, alumni and staff.
    • 10% early bird discount when registering before the 1st of April
    • 10% discount for students from partner universities*
  • *Combining discounts is not possible, discounts are not applicable for Language courses

Course aims

Upon completion of this course, you will:

  • have a better understanding of how religion functions within video game;
  • have a broader understanding of how religious traditions are influencing the cultural domain of our time;
  • be able to academically study both religion and video games through the use of multiple hermeneutical instruments.

Course information

Theology has been studied for centuries and video games for decades, but the field of research that combines both is a challenging, still unexplored frontier.

In this one-week course, you will be introduced into the field of theological interpretation of modern video games. You will learn how to find the – often rather hidden – religious references, and get acquainted with a number of methodologies and typologies to interpret them in the light of both religious studies and game studies. In class, we will use various example of video games to discuss interactively with the participants, linking modern digital religiosity to their historical, literary, philosophical and theological sources.

Modern-day video games contain many religious elements. Examples of the themes we will explore are:

  • The use of Christian traditions for the creation of their game world and lore by game developers (the Darksiders trilogy would be a very good example). 
  • They way in which games use elements from religions from outside the game and/or the creation of purely fictional religions (Dishonored series) and sects.
  • Material and referential elements (Assassin’s Creed series), as well as reflexive elements (The Talos Principle) and ritual uses (Bioshock Infinite).
  • Implicit and explicit criticism of institutionalized religion (Far Cry 5).

Course materials and specifics

Course materials

All materials will be provided by the lecturers.

Course specifics

  • Moderate English proficiency required;
  • No prior knowledge required;
  • 80% attendance is required in order to pass this course;
  • The course will be concluded with the writing of a paper (10 pages = ca. 6.000 words) on a subject within the field of religious game studies.

Application and registration

Your registration for Tilburg University Summer School must be completed by May 31st, 2018. Tilburg University Summer School reserves the right to cancel the course in case there are not enough applicants. If the maximum number of students is reached, a waiting list will be used.

Contact

For more information about Tilburg University Summer School (TUSS), please send an e-mail to summerschool@tilburguniversity.edu. For more information about the content of the course, please send an e-mail to a.l.h.m.vanwieringen@tilburguniversity.edu


Registration TUSS 2019

At the moment, it is not possible to register for Tilburg University Summer School 2019. Do you want to be notified when registration opens? Please fill in the form on the registration page.


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