Level 101 – Video Game Dissertation

My dissertation, entitled Level 101: A Video Game About Video Games, takes the form of a playable video game that I have written, designed, coded, and programmed. Drawing on other forms of alternative scholarship and interrelated fields of pedagogy, comics and literary studies, Level 101 introduces players to three distinct practical frameworks for analyzing video games: 1) history, 2) design, and 3) theory. Level 101 makes interventions in game studies by bridging a long-standing critical divide between game-makers and games-critics.

As the project is still in development with a planned dissertation defense of Spring 2021, I have the game’s title screen below, as well as a brief video showcasing just a sliver of the game. This page will be updated with a playable demo after the dissertation defense.

Start Screen for Level 101
30-second demo video for Level 101

Early forms of this project have been presented at various conferences and venues, including the MSU Comics Forum (2020), the MSU Game Studies Guild (2020), and the DH@MSU Locus (2019).

Level 101 in the news:

2020 DH@MSU Summer Seed Grant Report:
Level 101: A Video Game About Video Games–Game Development in a Global Pandemic”

2018 DH@MSU Summer Seed Grant Report:
Level 101: A Video Game About Video Games – Interdepartmental Collaboration, Tutorials, and Pre-Production”