In the US alone, video games accounted for nearly $20 billion in revenue in 2009, far surpassing Hollywood as an entertainment industry. Video games are big business, but they are also a vital and emergent art form. Video games synthesize the long history of human game playing with artificial intelligence algorithms, 3d modeling, animation, sound design, and narrative cinema. Video Games/ Cultures undertakes the study of video games though their visual, cultural, theoretical and social contexts. Through key readings from the field of video game studies, along with close analysis of game play, students will trace the history of video games and learn the major theories used to analyze the medium, while addressing contemporary debates surrounding video game culture. Although we will consider the logic, aesthetics, and design strategies used by game makers, this course does not teach video game design or programing. Instead focusing on the impact video games have on cultures and the individuals who play them. The course will explore emerging genres including serious games, interventionist games, art games, and casual games, along with popular video game titles as a means to closely survey this 21st century juggernaut.