CMS.300 | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Videogame Studies


Class Presentation

The presentation is a brief historical analysis of 80s home computer games, mostly European. The goal is to present each game in their historical context, both on when they were developed, and how they have influenced subsequent games or game genres. The key is providing insight on that relationship, as expressed in a specific argument (a thesis statement).

The presentation should include:

  • Very brief overview of the game (date, developer, publisher).
  • The historical context in which they were developed (see Guide Analysis Guidelines handout).
  • The core discussion should focus on what makes the game notable. The following are just a few possible aspects, but you can come up with your own: innovation, premise, developers, technology, influences / legacy. It is preferable that you focus on just two or three aspects in depth, rather than going through a laundry list. Make sure that these aspects contribute to the main argument that you’re addressing in the presentation.
  • List of references (books, magazines, webpages). I forgot to include it in the sample presentation, but you should not leave them out!

Please make sure you check out these examples when preparing your presentation:

  • Camper’s “Retro Reflexivity: An 8-Bit Period Piece” as a long-form example of how a running argument is supported by specific examples.
  • Sample Presentation on Vampire Killer.

Each pair of students will provide a 10–15 minute presentation on a specific assigned game. It will be timed, so please make sure to rehearse to give your presentation under 15 minutes. There will be 5 minutes of Q&A between presentations.

Only for graduate students: A brief essay on their assigned game, 750 to 1000 words long, which puts in prose the contents of the presentation, and elaborate on them.

What will be evaluated:

  • Discussion (75%): how the argument was expressed and supported through the examples.
  • Resources (25%): demonstrating that the game has been researched thoroughly, both by playing it and by finding and discussing other source.

Manic Miner

Jet Set Willy

La Abadia del Crimen

Deus Ex Machina

The Sentinel


Knight Lore

Head Over Heels

Green Beret / Rush ’n Attack

The Hobbit

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments