Submission Date


Document Type



East Asian Studies


Matthew Mizenko

Committee Member

Matthew Mizenko

Committee Member

Glenda Chao

Committee Member

Kara McShane

Department Chair

Matthew Mizenko

Project Description

This project argues for inclusion of video games into the liberal arts curriculum alongside more traditional texts. Three Japanese-developed video games are analyzed in terms of their appropriateness for the Ursinus Quest curriculum while also exploring their appropriation of characters, themes, and values from Japanese mytho-history. My approach incorporates the methodology introduced by the scholar James Paul Gee who studies video games through the lens of semiotics and gaming theory. Gee defines key elements presented in video games as ‘lifeworld domains,’ which incorporate cultures, societies, and individual and group experiences. The value of video games resides in the players’ development of literacy through accumulation of several processes inherent in gaming: decision making and pursuit of goals, individual and mutual growth, self-awareness, and application of lifeworld domains. The culmination of these experiences reflects knowledge and skills that can be transferred to the classroom, often leaving a lasting impact that players will carry with them beyond campus.