During the course Serious/Game/Play, student teams design game concepts to research ‘Rules of Play’.


Serious/Game/Play is the title of an annual course at University Utrecht in which students of the Masters Program New Media and Digital Culture focus on online and mobile games. The underlying theme of the course is ‘rules of play’. They investigate the formal and informal rules of online gaming and the way they are negotiated and manipulated by players through a variety of practices including cheating, modification and role-playing. The aim is to critically analyse player participation and agency within these complex virtual play environments.

Students work on their theoretical understanding of issues of playful identity, serious gaming, the notion of play and rules of play. To get a good understanding of these rules of play, students also work with the GameMaker. They design a gaming concept, working in student teams.

Then the teams play each other’s concept and evaluate. Each year, some of these student teams enter their concept during the Best Scene in Town challenge.