College Classes on Skyrim?!

-Marcus Lawrence

Every once in a while, word gets around about a college class actually having something to do with gaming. Seems like gamer students at Rice University are in for a real treat seeing how there is now a course to take for Skyrim.

Over the next few days, students will probably be rushing to enroll in ENGL 312 “Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim”. Rice English professor Donna Beth Ellard will be teaching the seminar.

Check the full description below:

“This course has two goals. First, it introduces students to fantasy as both psychological concept and driving force in gamer culture; and second, using these paradigms, it considers how and why medieval Scandinavia serves as a locus of modern Anglo-American fantasy. To these ends, students will read selections from Old Norse and Old Icelandic sagas (in translation) as they play different quests within Skyrim.

“While the course begins by identifying moments of intersection between the worlds of the sagas and of Skyrim (inclement environments, supernatural figures, mythologies), the course is not in any means meant to map the former onto the latter. The purpose of establishing these connections is to then consider how elements of medieval Scandinavian culture have been taken out of historical milieu and literary context, morphed into unfamiliar shape, and appropriated towards other fantastic pursuits.

“We’ll consider the political saga of Skyrim, with its emphasis on Empire and rebellion, as pursuits made possible by way of Scandinavia in order to think through what Scandinavian fantasy worlds are really about and why they resonate with contemporary Anglo-American culture.”

Skyrim may not be my cup of tea but I have to admit it would be pretty awesome to take classes based off videogames.

Would you take a class like this?