In FMS 321 we will study the cultural significance of videogames from a number of critical perspectives. As products of a complicated network of social, economic, and technological forces, videogames are dense objects, deeply layered with multiple meanings and hidden histories. Whether we consider early arcade games like Pac-Man or the latest blockbusters like No Man’s Sky, we find that videogames reveal much about our cultural values, hopes and anxieties, and assumptions about the world. We will examine a range of games this semester as we strive to understand both their narrative and formal aspects. At the same time we will map connections between videogames and their broader social contexts—how games are designed and manufactured, who plays them and where, and in what ways videogames can be more than entertainment.