Prof. Colin Milburn (University of California, Davis)

"Video Games and Digital Narratives" (May/June 2019)

The video game has now emerged as a dominant media form of contemporary American culture. This seminar will examine the video game as a storytelling medium, addressing the features that distinguish video games from other narrative texts. We will study the relationship of video games to literature in today’s global media ecology, the transformation of the “text” from a discrete object to a transmedia narrative system. We will also investigate the ways that video games position themselves as interactive fictions whose characters, plotlines and gameplay mechanics draw upon, and contribute to, broader literary traditions.

The Instructor

Colin Milburn's research focuses on the relations of literature, science, and technology. His interests include science fiction, gothic horror, the history of biology, the history of physics, nanotechnology, video games, and the digital humanities. He is a professor in the English Department, the Science and Technology Studies Program, and the Cinema and Digital Media Department. He is also affiliated with the programs in Cultural Studies, Performance Studies, and Critical Theory, as well as the Center for Science and Innovation Studies and the W. M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES). He is director of the Science and Technology Studies Program, as well as the ModLab digital humanities laboratory. (Homepage)