Professor of Media + Communication; Program Lead, Game Development
I love to study and teach about video games, because they’re valuable artifacts for the study of popular culture, technology, faith, and so much more. But my interests span a wide range of topics, so I’m grateful God has gifted me opportunities to bless and be blessed by students in many different courses.
Kevin is a Game Studies scholar. He is a graduate of Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI; BA in Communication Arts & Sciences, History, 1996) and the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA; MA & PhD in Communication Studies, 2004). He wrote the book Of Games & God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games (2013). He writes about the intersection of communication, culture, media, technology and faith, primarily by talking about computer and video games. He has published articles or chapters on fantasy-role-playing computer games and masculinity, on computer games and myth, on the presentation of history in computer games, and on evangelicals and games. He is currently researching moral and ethical decisions in video games.
Kevin is currently the Lead for the Game Development program he helped found in June 2019. He has also served as Associate Dean of the School of the Arts, Media + Culture and the Chair of the Department of Media + Communication. He teaches a range of courses on media and culture.
Kevin grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, and still cheers for the Oilers. After graduating from Calvin College, he married and taught overseas in schools for missionary kids in the Cote d'Ivoire and Hungary for three and a half years. He has three daughters who love playing board games, Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros with him. His favourite game series is Sid Meier’s Civilization.
PhD in Communication Studies (University of Iowa)
BA in Communication Arts & Sciences, History (Calvin College)
Video games and culture, video games and religion, game player interpretation of gameplay, games and ethics/morality, technology and communication, technology and culture, Game Studies, Media Ecology, Social Construction of Technology, Cultural Studies
Current research focuses on moral and ethical decision-making by game players, with a specific focus on how game players interpret the meaning of game actions.
Current grant funded research: TWU Internal Research Grant. “The meaning of virtual virtue: The role of frames in video game players' moral and ethical decision-making,” with Kelly Arbeau, PhD (Psychology) & Myron Penner (Philosophy). Awarded March 2020, completion March 2023.
Awards & Honors
Word Awards Best Book, Culture Category (The Word Guild; 2013)
Provost’s Innovative Teaching Award (TWU; 2009)
Schut, K. (2022). “No Man’s Sky,” in Perron, B. & K. Boudreau, M.J.P. Wolf, D. Arsenault (eds.), Fifty Key Video Games. New York: Rougledge.
Schut, K. (2020). Digital Inklings: Can the Christian Vision of Tolkien and Lewis Fit into a Video Game? in Hilder, M.B. & S. L. Pearson, L. N. Van Dyke (eds.), The Inklings and Culture: A Harvest of Scholarship from the Inklings Institute of Canada. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars.
Schut, K. (2019). Playing Games with Christian Education: Exploring Embodied Faith in Media Production. Journal of Christian Teaching Practice 6(2).
Schut, K. (2018). “No Man’s Sky” in Wolf, M.J.P. (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds. New York: Routledge.
Schut, K. (2017). “Blocks and Building: Virtual Tangibility in Video Game Secondary Worlds” in Wolf, M.J.P. (ed.), Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology. New York: Routledge.
Schut, K. (2014). “The Virtualization of LEGO” in Wolf, M.J.P. (ed.), LEGO Studies: Examining the Building Blocks of a Transmedial Phenomenon. New York: Routledge.
Schut, K. (2014). “They Kill Mystery: The Mechanistic Bias Of Video Game Representations Of Religion And Spirituality” in Campbell, H. & G. Grieve (eds.), Playing with Religion in Digital Games. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Schut, K. (2013). Of Games & God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press.