Curriculum Development

Fall 2024 DH Special Topics: Serious Games and the Past

DH Special Topics: Serious Games and the Past poster.Course Information

DH Special Topics: "Serious Games and The Past" 
TuTh — 2-3 p.m.
WLLC 3980V-004 SPT (9699) 
WLLC 5750V-004 LEC (9700) 
with Dr. Curtis Maughan (WLLC, Digital Humanities) 

Course Description

This course will be taught by Curtis Maughan, director of the World Languages Digital Humanities Studio and teaching assistant professor of digital humanities in WLLC.

In this course with Maughan, students will explore the creative, aesthetic and ethical issues that emerge when playing serious video games that explore the past. 

The course will focus on the driving question of "what can we learn about the past from serious video games?" which the class will approach from an interdisciplinary and international spectrum of perspectives.   

To find out, students will play a diverse collection of serious games, from indie titles like The Darkest Files (Paintbucket Games, 2024) to AAA blockbusters like Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (Ubisoft, 2018). This course will pay special attention to the myriad ways mainstream and indie development trends are deeply interconnected — especially when it comes to strategies for engaging with serious, historical subject matter. An international group of award-winning game designers and game researchers will visit the course to discuss how serious video games engage with the past—and why the past is so important to the future of the video game medium.  

In addition to playing video games, students will engage with a range of texts from game studies, the digital humanities, German studies, media studies and philosophy. This course is open to undergrads and grads; no prerequisites. 

Serious Games and the Past in the Newswire | Serious Games and the Past on Instagram

Fall 2024: Technology in Crisis Honors College Retro ReadingTechnology in Crisis Honors Retro Reading poster.

Course Information

HNRS 301H1-001: Honors College Retro Readings
GEAR 129
W 10:45 AM-12:00 PM

Course Description

In fall 2024, honors students will have the opportunity to examine theorist Walter Benjamin's concerns about art's role in the face of technological progress in the Retro Reading course led by Curtis Maughan, director of the Studio. Close-readings will be enhanced by explorations of AI platforms and open world videogames, among other contemporary technologies.

"Anyone who is excited by, worried about or interested in how the explosion of generative AI will radically change our media landscape should consider taking this course," Dr. Maughan said. "We will develop and deepen our understanding of the present moment by looking back to an analogous moment in the 1930s, when the explosive growth of film began to impact all elements of daily life, from the dissemination of news to the creation of celebrity to methods of scientific inquiry."

Interested students should register as early as possible to ensure they get a seat. For more information regarding the course, contact Dr. Maughan at

Technology in Crisis on Instagram

Past Courses

Videogames and Human Agency course poster.    Introduction to Digital Humanities course poster.

Humanities in the Metaverse course poster.     Introduction to Digital Humanities course poster.