Online Seminar Series - "Applied Game Studies"

In the online seminar series "Applied Game Studies", students acquire comprehensive skills in the areas of game design, game theory and transmedia storytelling. In individual practical projects, which are accompanied by mentors from the Center for Applied Game Studies, they further deepen their understanding of the module contents.

Courses and Learning Goals


Learning Goals


Playcentered Game Design

Students learn to apply concepts of game design for entertainment purposes.


Persuasive Game Design

Students learn to apply concepts of Serious Game Design.


Theory of Games

Students learn to critically question basic concepts of game theory in their socio-historical context and to evaluate their validity in current game studies discourse


Game Practice (Design & Development)

Students will deal in depth with the practice of game design and development. They will be able to critically reflect on the knowledge gained in this way and relate it to their own professional or research field.


Transmedia Storytelling

Students get to know the characteristics and challenges of transmedial projects and learn to develop concepts for their design and analysis.


Important dates

Deadline for registration: 30 July 2021 (to register, please fill out the form below)
Kickoff seminar: 24 August 2021
End of the seminar series: 30 November 2021

Seminar programme

During the seminar period, students will have access to an online course with learning materials and tasks as well as online lectures by various renowned speakers from the field of game studies. 

The live sessions are held always between 5pm and 8pm (CEST / UTC+2). 

In addition to the online lectures, students work in groups on their own game projects in connection with the seminar content (game concept or development). They are individually accompanied by mentors from the team of the Center for Applied Game Studies.

For each of the subjects listed above, students will receive a grade and a certificate of attendance for their performance / ECTS points.

Mentors and Lecturers

  • Alexander Pfeiffer
  • Nikolaus Koenig
  • Natalie Denk
  • Eugen Pfister
  • Geoffrey Long
  • Henrike Lode
  • Eric Jannot

Please see the programme below for more information on the lecturers.

Note: Attendance of the seminar series can be credited in terms of content and financially for the Master's and MSc courses at the Centre for Applied Games Studies.

Target group
  • Persons in university or non-university games or media research
  • Persons with a professional interest in the subject of games in their analog and digital forms
  • Persons working in the field of art and cultural mediation
  • Persons working in the games and media industry (conception, design, development, management etc.)
  • Persons working in the field of public communication (especially journalism, advertising and marketing, public relations)
  • People in the development or production of multimedia teaching and learning services
  • Persons with a scientific interest in the topic of game(s) and game culture (e.g. from the perspective of media and communication studies, philosophy, educational science, psychology, history, cultural studies, cultural anthropology, computer science or architecture)
Certificate of attendance
Learning format
Online teaching/distance learning
14 weeks
Participation fee
EUR 2.400
24 August 2021






Kick-off Session

Alexander Pfeiffer & Natalie Denk


Game Project Topic Discussion

Alexander Pfeiffer & Natalie Denk


Playcentered & Persuasive Game Design

see Game Design I & II below

In this course you will learn about the basics of game design from ideation and conceptualisation to understanding and investigating what components games are made of, over prototyping, balancing, and playtesting, to the ability to critically assess and reflect on your own designs. You will receive insight and learn how to apply your knowledge and skills about game production, game analysis, and the design of serious games.


Game Design I

Henrike Lode

Henrike Lode is Lecturer for Game Design at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has previously been lecturing at the IT University of Copenhagen, and at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. As the Creative Director of Lohika Games she creates educational games that teach kids coding: award winners Machineers and To Be A Whale. Henrike is a passionate game jammer and has been co-organizing the Nordic Game Jam from 2013 - 2018.

Website and Twitter


Game Design II

Eric Jannot

Eric is CEO of the serious games development studio waza and game design professor at the University of Applied Sciences Europe. He has worked for more than 13 years in the games industry as PR manager and creative director for titles including the award winning RPG „The Dark: Eye Demonicon“ as well as Simon the Sorcerer 4 and 5. New projects include an EU funded development of a game development tool for students and a game about media literacy for the Deutsche Telekom Foundation.


Theory of Games I

Alexander Pfeiffer

Students explore the connection between gaming and gambling, address the aspect of "collecting" inside and outside of games, learn about the theories of gamification and nudging, look at current top trends such as Esports, and discuss emergent technologies such as Blockchain, AR, VR and the role of digital agents.


Ideology & Politics in Games

Eugen Pfister

Ideology transfer in digital games: In four units the students will explore the question of where ideology transfer can potentially take place in games. In a first step, methodological concepts of socialisation and cultivation in games will be examined. One of the questions to be clarified here is whether games can have political content even without the intention of the developers. To this end, the ideological discursive statements of these figures will be examined together in three concrete case studies - namely zombies, pirates and scientists in games. For analysis, the games are broken down into their narrative, audiovisual aesthetic and game mechanical levels in order to show their respective ideological functions.


Transmedia Storytelling

Geoffrey Long

Star Wars, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Assassin's Creed, even Downton Abbey – these stories invite audiences to follow multiple, interconnected storylines across multiple media for years, often into media that didn't exist when the stories first began. Developing stories with this scale and staying power requires storytellers to think like narrative architects, media inventors, entrepreneurs and game designers – and the same best practices used by giant Hollywood studios can work equally well for small indie studios, individual storytellers in any medium, or in other industries like advertising and politics. In this seminar, Geoffrey Long will share his findings from a career including time as a researcher at MIT's Convergence Culture Consortium, the cofounder of the Narrative Design Team at Microsoft Studios, the creative director of the World Building Media Lab at the University of Southern California, and consultant to multiple Hollywood studios, to show students how to create Narrative Design Documents to serve as blueprints for vast transmedia storyworlds and how to start developing their careers as transmedia storytellers.


Theory of Games

Nikolaus König

Students learn to critically question basic concepts of game theory in their socio-historical context and to evaluate their validity in current game studies discourse.


Game Project Presentation (open to public) & Farewell Session

Students present their game projects in an open-to-public online event.


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