Digital Genres: Digital Art, Electronic Literature, and Computer Games

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course provides a basis for understanding creative and aesthetic aspects of digital culture and should be taken in the first semester of the specialization. It complements DIKULT104.

The course is divided into three modules that address digital artistic expression and cultural artifacts, three genres that are different from each other but nonetheless closely related in their relationship to digital culture.

These artworks and cultural artifacts are native to the web and to the computer, including digital art, electronic literature, and computer games. Traditional conceptions of genre and categories of cultural artifact, such as art object, performance, novel, poem, and game are undergoing redefinition in the context of digital culture, and new genres of cultural artifacts are emerging, which require new models of textual analysis specific to the computational media and network context in which these artifacts are produced and distributed. DIKULT103 provides an overview of these emerging genres, and an introduction to the models of academic discourse and analysis particular to them. Within the framework of genre studies, students in the course will learn to analyze contemporary digital artifacts, both structurally, and as text, images, and events

Learning Outcomes


After taking the course the candidate should have knowledge of...

  • contemporary genres within digital and network-based art practice, electronic literature and computer games
  • key theoretical concepts within the understanding of digital art and network-based popular culture genres


The candidate can...

  • compare and contrast digital genres with each other and with related analog genres
  • apply narratological and ludological concepts in the analysis of digital works
  • describe digital artifacts such as computer programs and texts

General competence

The candidate can...

    • participate in academic discussions in a secure and appropriate manner

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
The course is open to students at the bachelor programme in Digital Culture and exchange students. Other students at bachelor and master programmes at The Faculty of Humanities may apply to take the course if there is capacity (via email to After the registration deadline (1 February), applicants that have attended as a regular students before the deadline, with preparations, will be eligible to participate in a random selection for available spots.
Teaching and learning methods

There are twenty weeks in a semester, where ten weeks usually have classes. A week with classes will usually contain two classes lasting two hours each. The class schedule will be available by the beginning of the semester.

It is important that students attend the orientation session early in the semester.

Lectures are based on a student-active learning model and will usually involve a combination of short presentations from the lecturer, small group discussions, student presentations and group projects, plenary discussion and work in the computer lab researching digital objects.

Students will read specified assignments in advance of the lectures. Classes will often include student presentations related to the reading. Some homework assignments will be given in addition to the reading, such as responses to readings, online discussions, and research outside of the curriculum to investigate examples of types of games, electronic literature and art.

Students are expected to work 20 hours on the course from the beginning until the end of the teaching period, including during weeks when there is no teaching. These hours will be used for lectures, lab sessions, reading of course literature, seminar, exercises, writing of obligatory assignments and researching relevant material in the library and on the Web (books, articles, vidoes).

It is expected that during the teaching-free weeks students will engage in course-related reading, in writing assignments and with preparation for the exam.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance is mandatory in all class activities. Course participation is approved by the course coordinator. Absence cannot exceed 25%. The student cannot take the exam without having met this requirement.

In order to be eligible to take the exam, the student must submit five compulsory assignments throughout the semester, such as shorter written work, creative projects and short presentations. The assignments must follow academic standards for, among other things, argumentation and citation and must be submitted at set times. The tasks are assessed as either approved or not approved. The result will be ready well before the exam. With the result "not approved" the student is allowed one more attempt. Halfway through the semester, the student must pass a test covering the breadth of the semester topics, with questions from the entire reading list, for example a multiple choice test allowing the use of literature from the reading list. The format and date for this test will be announced at the start of the semester. The test is either approved or not approved. The test must be approved before one can take the exam.

Forms of Assessment

The course concludes a home exam (7 days) about 4,000 words that will be based on comprehensive understanding of the course learning content. The exam may include several short answer and essay questions. All sub-questions must be answered in order to get a grade. The exam will receive one holistic letter grade.

Students can write the home exam in English or Norwegian.

Grading Scale

Grade scale A-F.

Complete explanation of the scale can be found on Mitt UiB

Assessment Semester
Reading List

Students will read articles and books on digital art, electronic literature and computer games, and will additionally read and experience a selection of works within each genre. Works will vary from semester to semester. As some games or works of digital literature could be played or read endlessly, and in this case it will not be expected that the works will be read exhaustively but substantively. Students should be able to describe and analyze each work and all academic readings included the curriculum. We also expect that students do independent research into relevant material online about genres.

Some parts of the written curriculum should be purchased, while others are freely accessible on-line. The literary works, artworks and games that students should know for the exam are either freely accessible on-line, or installed on the PC room. In some cases, students had to buy a game or other work. Students do not need a game console or other special equipment.

Students will access teaching materials online. Some articles are selected from two article collections we've selected for Digital Culture: Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media, and The New Media Reader.

All required course material is in English, with the exception of a few selections of Nordic electronic literature. When Nordic language work is involved, English language alternative readings will be available. Students can also write exercises about and refer to texts in other languages that they speak.

The list of mandatory or recommended technical material, as far as is known beforehand, is available on the My UiB before semester and will needed. The books should be accessible at Akademika before semester, or downloadable as eBooks.

Course Evaluation
Course evaluation: Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.
Programme Committee
Programme Committee for Digital Culture
Course Coordinator
Programme Committee for Digital Culture
Course Administrator
Instittutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studium