Game Studies

Language and culture

About this minor

How do games work? How do you make them? And how do games make us and our societies and cultures?

This minor will provide you with both the perspective and practice to give your own answers to these questions. During this Minor you will gain a wide range of critical, interdisciplinary and analytical skills to grapple with these complex, interactive media. At the end of this Minor, you will have a theoretical and methodological toolset that can also be used to understand media and digital culture more broadly.

You will learn to communicate that knowledge clearly in both traditional and new forms of academic output, including essays, game reviews, podcasting and, of course, your self-made games. Next to giving you space to develop independently; this Minor also teaches you how to be an active and effective member of a project team.

Is this for me?

Yes! If you:

are excited to learn more about games (but you don’t need to be a Gamer to enjoy this minor)

are looking for education that balances theory and practice.

want to be part of an interdisciplinary community and creative field.

This means your peers in this programme will come from a wide range of backgrounds, providing the right context for an interdisciplinary study of games. Courses are, similarly, taught by a diverse and supportive group of educators, involving game studies scholars and other Humanities experts as well as game development courses by members of the Computer Science Institute. Furthermore, several of the lecturers work in the game industry or in close connection with this creative professional field.

What does this look like in practice?

The Leiden University Game Studies-minor is unique in bringing together game making and analyses. Games are not just the omnipresent, defining media of our times; they also speak to the condition of our digital society in unique ways. This programme offers you the building blocks you need to become a game critic. More and more, game critics are needed to unravel the cultural and social roles of games and play more broadly. Their versatile skillset and knowledge of digital culture and media also fits a wide range of academic and other professional futures.

Designing a game contributes a lot to understanding their nature, which is why this Minor also offers different opportunities to obtain skills in game making. Students of the Humanities, Social Sciences and (Computer) Sciences can collectively create either a game prototype or a working computer game. You will be able to take a course in game making first or you may be interested in learning more about how storytelling in games works.

You can put your new-won skills and insights to work during a 10 ec hands-on course to make a game that reflects on societal and cultural issues. Alternatively, you can dig deep into some of the most beloved game series of our time, learning how to handle advanced concepts and analytic methods at the same time. The shared aim of all courses, both the theoretical and the hands-on courses, is the deconstruction of the medium of computer games.

Design your own Minor

All students can now design their own 30 or 31 ec-minor, by selecting courses from the programme. Note that the Introductory course (10 EC) and the Beyond Games (5 EC) are mandatory.

Good to know

  • EUR/TU Delft-students who opt for a 15 or 16 EC programme during the first semester do not have to follow Beyond Games (5 EC)

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Leiden University.


  • Start date

    1 September 2024

    • Ends
      5 July 2025
    • Term *
      Minor academic year
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
These offerings are valid for students of Erasmus University