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This is an introduction to the field of game studies, and to games as narrative and cultural media.  We will look at the stories games tell; the way their narrative elements or plot devices intersect with the culture around the games and gaming itself; and how all these things come together to affect game design, meaning, and play.

Along the way, we will discuss things like literature, gaming manuals, narrative theory, and more, in order to explore and critique analog and digital games.  Obviously, you will be required to play games in this class.  You do not have to be a “gamer,” of course, but you will need to be open to games of various kinds.


  • Any first time beginning undergraduate student with an interest in Data Studies and gaming as a source of cultural media

Residential Component

  • Students from this learning community must reside in Hillenbrand Hall
  • Information on this residence hall can be found here
  • Students who are required to reside in a different residence hall (e.g. due to the Honors College or athletics participation) or who do not sign a housing contract may not participate in this learning community
  • Your roommate in most cases will be a member of the learning community
  • Completing a housing contract is a separate process from applying for a learning community


Fall and Spring semesters

Associated Classes

Fall Semester:

  • STAT 19000- The Data Mine I
  • ENGL 28000 - Games, Narrative, Culture

Spring Semester:

  • STAT 19000 - The Data Mine II

Events and Activities Included:

  • Weekly dinners with LC participants
  • Tour of Purdue’s computational facilities
  • Social gatherings with LC members
  • Seminars by visiting speakers including practicing actuaries and data scientists
  • Meals with campus and community leaders
  • Game / recreation nights
  • Career and graduate school panels

Information above is subject to change. If you are placed in the LC, the associated courses will be on your schedule prior to you registering for the rest of your courses.

Learning Communities ERHT 1275 1st Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906 - (765) 494-5785 or (765) 494-8571,

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