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Online Communication/Digital Games

Online Communication/Digital Games

Online communication, digital entertainment, computer games and virtual worlds more and more influence our society. How do people communicate and act in social networks, online games and virtual environments? How do the borders between citizens, journalism and public relations shift in the internet? What is user-generated content und why do people upload millions of comments, pictures, video etc. everyday? Why has Second Life been such a huge success for a short time and why did it disappear so quickly? How to develop innovative and successful augmented reality applications? What about diminished reality, a development of our institute? How to meaningfully use robots? And what effects does this all have on individuals, organizations and societies all around the world?

The field "Online Communication/Digital Games" deals with these and other questions at the interface between technology, economy and society. 

Course Contents

On the one hand specialization modules are about basic approaches for the analysis of online communication from the perspectives of communication science, media and social psychology, sociology as well as political science. On the other hand students can make themselves familiar with technological basics of software conception and development and with economical aspects. The research modules comprise two semesters. In some modules, demanding empirical research projects are conducted. Other modules deal with conception, production, procurement, distribution and evaluation of digital games, entertainment, virtual applications and other software products.

Possible topics, questions and applications in the modules are:

  • Supply structures of digital games and entertainment
  • Serious games, e-learning, edutainment, gamification;
  • Online ethics and online problems, e.g. mobbing / bullying
  • Relationships, gender and sexuality online
  • Use of robots or interactive displays at the point of sale
  • E-democracy and digital divide
  • Interactive online journalism and news quality
  • Public value of mediated gaming worlds

Study Requirements

Students fulfill the following requirements:

  • fluent English, spoken and written
  • good basic knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social research;
  • basic knowledge of media effects research, reception research, product research and communicator research from the perspective of communication science;
  • basic knowledge of technology, interest in basics of programming and software development;
  • basic knowledge of project management.