Bringing together scholars and students at the University to create a hub of research and learning around videogames and their cultures.
The UNCG Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming connects scholars at UNCG and beyond who are invested in studying videogaming and their cultures. The Network supports faculty and students by facilitating existing research and curriculum. Our programs and initiatives highlight videogaming and its scholarship as a rising force and place UNCG at the forefront of this cultural landscape.
This interdisciplinary minor prepares students to engage in the gaming and esports industries by providing a broad understanding of videogames and esports. This robust suite of courses highlights the diverse expertise UNCG provides students looking to level-up their education and training. With skills gained from both critical reflection and hands on experience, the minor places students at the forefront of the rapidly changing world of gaming.
Electives are offered in a diverse range of departments, including Art, Classical Studies, Communication Studies, Community and Therapeutic Recreation, English, Information and Analytics, Media Studies, Music, and Religious Studies.
Videogaming and Esports have taken over the global media landscape, with videogame sales doubling the movie box office beginning in 2016 and Esports leagues bringing in annual viewership of almost 500 million. UNCG’s recent launch of its esports initiative, including a state-of-the-art gaming facility, reflects the growing interest and investment in this international industry.
The UNCG Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming was founded in the Fall of 2021 with the goal of bringing together scholars and students at the University to create a hub of research and learning around videogames and their cultures. The Network is made up of faculty from across the campus, representing a wide variety of disciplines in the College of Arts and Sciences and beyond. It now platforms events, programming, and curriculum that will sustain the cultural study of videogaming at UNCG.
Gregory Price Grieve is professor and head of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Greensboro. Grieve researches, teaches as well as provides service, at the intersection of Asian religions and popular culture. He specializes in digital religion, particularly the emerging field of religion and video games, and his current research uses video games to explore the category of evil in contemporary life.
John W. Borchert is a lecturer in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Greensboro. Borchert is interested in how religious practices and media technologies intersect across American religious histories, particularly their impact on embodiment and death. He is co-chair of the Religion and Media Workshop of the American Academy of Religion, and serves on the board of the gamevironments, the only journal on religion and video gaming.
Jason Anthony is a journalist, scholar and game designer working at the intersection of religion and gaming. He is interested in the ways that games have historically played into religious events and practices, and the opportunities that affords for deep digital game experiences in the 21st century. His current research is focused on the Iraqi folk game of mheibes and efforts to bring it online.
Special Project – Mheibes, onscreen and off
The traditional game of Mheibes is played in Iraq and surrounding areas during Ramadan. The game is both simple and complex, a bluffing and guessing game that is played in neighborhood cafes and massive stadiums. In recent years, digital designers have tried to migrate this folk game into their realm, an effort that tests the limits of the digital self. Journalist and scholar Jason Anthony embarked on a yearlong study of the game and its digital counterparts, with both Iraqi players and experts on “bluffing” games from around the globe.
Embark on a compelling journey with the “Game Changers: Navigating Cultural Terrain through Video Gaming” speaker series, proudly hosted by the Network for the Cultural Study of Video Gaming. This thought-provoking series delves into the profound impact of video games on cultural landscapes, exploring the dynamic interplay between digital realms and real-world values. Our expert speakers will unravel the intricate threads connecting gaming narratives with societal norms, ethics, and identity. From delving into diverse gaming communities to dissecting the representation of cultures within virtual worlds, this series promises insightful discussions on how video games shape, challenge, and mirror cultural values.
UNC Greensboro’s Professor and Head of the Department of Religious Studies, Dr. Gregory Grieve, made a significant contribution to the global discourse on the intersection of Asian religions and popular culture at the 7th World Humanities Forum held in Busan, Korea.
November 20, 2023
Organized by Gregory Grieve and John Borchert, and in collaboration with The International Academy for the Study of Gaming and Religion, UNCG’s Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming hosted the second annual summer graduate school workshop. Exclusively for early-stage researchers and doctoral students, the conference welcomed research on media-centered approaches, perspectives of game developers and publishers, and viewpoints of gamers. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for participants to engage in discussions and debates about theoretical approaches for studying the intersection of religion, culture, and video gaming. The workshop was held online and provided a collaborative environment for scholars at all stages to learn together and expand and deepen the field of study.
July 27-28, 2023
A gamer. A researcher. An anthropology and religious studies double major. Meet Sophia Rosenberg, who found their path to the future through UNCG’s Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming.
July 18, 2023
February 22, 2023
February 24, 2023
January 18, 2023
“I LEFT VALHEIM FOR THIS?”
On Friday, April 29, 2022 UNCG’s Network for the Cultural Study of Videogaming hosted its first international conference on gaming and culture. Focused around the new popular game Valheim, the conference covered topics from Vikings and Norse culture in popular media to how dying in the game might affect the value of death, among many others! We were happy to host such fine scholarship, and look for more from the proceedings!
Join faculty and students at UNCG in going Behind the Screen to discuss esports in education while playing classic and popular games like Fall Guys, Mario Kart, CS:GO 2, and Smash Bros.