780.224 (21W) Issues in Game Studies: Survival Horror

Wintersemester 2021/22

Ende der Anmeldefrist
25.10.2021 23:59

Erster Termin der LV
11.10.2021 16:00 - 18:00 online Off Campus
Nächster Termin:
25.10.2021 16:00 - 18:00 online Off Campus


Bedingt durch die COVID-19-Pandemie können kurzfristige Änderungen bei Lehrveranstaltungen und Prüfungen (z.B. Absage von Präsenz-Lehreveranstaltungen und Umstellung auf Online-Prüfungen) erforderlich sein.

Weitere Informationen zum Lehrbetrieb vor Ort finden Sie unter: https://www.aau.at/corona.
LV-Titel englisch
Issues in Game Studies: Survival Horror
Vorlesung-Kurs (prüfungsimmanente LV )
35 (35 max.)
zum Moodle-Kurs

Zeit und Ort

Beachten Sie bitte, dass sich aufgrund von COVID-19-Maßnahmen die derzeit angezeigten Termine noch ändern können.
Liste der Termine wird geladen...


Intendierte Lernergebnisse

Critically explore survival horror as a videogame genre. Learn about the nuances of horror as a cultural and narrative concept from the perspective of various humanities traditions. Play and discuss key artworks of the genre and analyse their shared motifs, tropes, and mechanic design strategies. Supplement your understanding with theoretical texts on game analysis. Examine what a ‘survival horror experience’ is and how it can be captured in game design. Realise your own contribution to survival horror video games based on your analytical insights.

 By the end of the semester, you will be able to conduct independent academic research on a specific, videogame related topic. You will be able to identify artworks as belonging to the survival horror genre, critically understand the importance of their main features, and understand how to adapt genre markers for your game design routine.

Lehrmethodik inkl. Einsatz von eLearning-Tools

Synchronoussessions featuring lecture and discussion parts, asynchronous studentpresentations, and shared game lab sessions.


The seminar gives students an overview of the most important works of the survival horror genre.

 A complete list of artworks discussed is provided with a syllabus during the first session.


The seminar draws from various artistic and intellectual sources. Shorter texts, mainly in the shape of theoretical secondary reading, are provided on Moodle.

Students are expected to buy or otherwise familiarise themselves with specific artworks relevant to their presentation.

Foundational works for the seminar include:

  • Perron, Bernard (editor). 2009. Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play. Jefferson: McFarland
  • Perron, Bernard. 2018. The World of Scary Video Games: A Study in Videoludic Horror. New York: Bloomsbury.


Im Fall von online durchgeführten Prüfungen sind die Standards zu beachten, die die technischen Geräte der Studierenden erfüllen müssen, um an diesen Prüfungen teilnehmen zu können.


The seminar features three central assessments. Students must

  • present a survival horror game in an asynchronous format (such as a pre-recorded presentation) and answer student questions regarding their presentation on Moodle
  • partake in an oral exam and demonstrate their knowledge of milestones in the genre and their understanding of theoretical insights and key terms
  • produce a prototype game project, accompanied by a brief designer post-mortem

 Furthermore, the final grade is influenced by student participation.


Presentation: Students (alone or in a group, depending on the number of seminar participants) must present a game chosen from a pre-selected canon of survival horror artworks.

It is mandatory to meet at least once with your supervisor for consultation before handing in your presentation.

(Worth 30% of the final mark)

Oral exam: Each student must participate in a 20-minute oral exam with their lecturer. For the oral exam, each student must provide six theses derived from the seminar’s content. Two of these theses must focus on how the seminar’s scope will potentially impact future working practices of the games industry or the student in question. (Worth 30% of the final mark)

Prototype game project: At the end of the seminar, students must turn their understanding of survival horror videogames into a prototype game project: an interactive artwork, allowing players to exert agency with, or influenced by, survival horror tropes and topics. The prototype game project may be analogue or digital. Students of the master’s programme Game Studies and Engineering are advised to conclude the seminar with a digital project. A 600-word post-mortem – a written report elaborating on the student’s design approach, influences, and the intended effect of the prototype – must accompany the prototype.

Students may work as a group for this project if they verified this in advance with their supervisor and only if the respective post-mortem of each group member clearly describes the individual group member’s contribution to the prototype game project. (Worth 30% of the final mark)

Participation. (Worth 10% of the final mark)



  • Preparation for meeting with supervisor
  • Content relevance
  • Selection of quotes or scenes
  • Adequate reliance on research literature
  • Proper citations
  • Provision of a well-formatted bibliography
  • Relevance of discussion questions
  • Discussion management

Oral exam:

  • Provision of six theses
  • Theses must be provided at least one week before the examination
  • Ability to freely discuss any of these given theses
  • Correct understanding and repetition of thesis material
  • Ability to critically reflect on and answer questions challenging a thesis

Prototype Game Project:

  • Adapting seminar content to interactivity
  • Demonstrating a profound understanding of genre traditions
  • Showing critical thought in said adaptation process
  • Provision of 600-word post-mortem (a written report describing the design work)


  • Attendance
  • Properly announcing/excusing missed attendance
  • Contributions to discussions in class and online
  • Attendance during the first session is mandatory for seminar participation

General remark on our code of conduct and plagiarism policy:

Provide properly cited sources (latest Chicago Manual of Style format) on all your assignments.

Have a look at the departmental policy: (https://www.aau.at/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/anti-plagiarism-declaration_english-department.pdf)

Students caught plagiarising will be removed from class immediately.

Read the Code of Conduct on our departmental homepage (https://www.aau.at/en/english/study/code-of-conduct/). Violation of this code will result in your immediate removal from class.


Note Benotungsschema

Position im Curriculum

  • Masterstudium Game Studies and Engineering (SKZ: 992, Version: 17W.2)
    • Fach: Game Studies (Pflichtfach)
      • Issues in Game Studies ( 0.0h VC / 4.0 ECTS)
        • 780.224 Issues in Game Studies: Survival Horror (2.0h VC / 4.0 ECTS)
          Absolvierung im 1. Semester empfohlen

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