Received a note this week that the Rice University Department of English is offering a one-time course titled, “Scandanavian Fantasy World: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.” Check out the course 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.
Note: This course is only for enrolled students at Rice. Fast travelling to Houston to see if you can participate is not an option.
More Skyrim highlights from around the web after the break…
Back at QuakeCon, I watched as members of Symbiote Studios painted their own customized Dragonborn figurines. Pretty amazing stuff, and something that I wished I could have done myself — despite the fact I’m a terrible artist.
Relive your favorite moments of DOOM with the newly-released DOOM 3 BFG Edition — available now in North America and this Friday in Europe on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3!
BFG Edition includes the original versions DOOM and DOOM II, as well as re-mastered versions of DOOM 3 and its Resurrection of Evil add-on pack. And for the first time ever, play eight never-before-seen DOOM 3 levels in ‘The Lost Mission’.
Later today, PS3 players will be able to download the game directly on PSN. And if you already own DOOM 3 on Steam, between now and November 13th you can save $10 on your purchase.
Happy Friday, everyone — especially to Europeans that can now purchase Dishonored!
To celebrate the today’s release date, our London office coordinated with visual design director Viktor Antonov and art director Sebastien Mittion to Dishonor-ize one of London’s most recognizable buildings, “The Shard”.
To see more pics, visit the official website of the UK newspaper, The Daily Record.
After the break, see the latest news and reviews for Dishonored…
If you haven’t picked it up already, Dishonored is now available across North America (and France)! In the photo above, members of the Arkane team in Austin celebrate during last night’s midnight launch party at GameStop.
For more on the game, check out the latest reviews
1Up(A+) - “expect to see Dishonored hovering at or around the top of just about everyone’s list.”
Entertainment Weekly (A-) – Smart, thrilling, and unsettling, Dishonored is the best surprise of the season.
411 Mania – (9/10) – “It’s great to see a game that gives the full freedom of killing as many or as little people as you want. Definitely check this out.”
Complex - “Dishonored is the type of game that begs to be played over and over”
GameFront (9/10) - “Dishonored’s creators have obviously put a lot of passion into the project, and the result is a great experience that offers new additions to some phenomenal classic formulas. The game feels like a conversation between player and creator, and those are often the best experiences in the medium.”
Paste Magazine – But the genius of Dishonored is how subtly its fiction and mechanics work together to draw the player into its world.
Impulse Gamer (9.3) – “Dishonored is the thinking man’s first person shooter but throw those guns away as there are so many more interesting ways to take on your enemies. With a great protagonist, interesting characters and well-written story, it’s games like Dishonored that really make you sit up and take notice.”
Xbox Addict (96%) – “One of the biggest innovations of Dishonored is how the game itself will adapt to your play style and base how the game unfolds on your Chaos rating.”
GameTrailers (8.7/10) – “It’s an interesting and often invigorous experience.”
Gaming-Age (A-) – If you’re in the mood for something fresh and unique, and legitimately fun to play, then Dishonored definitely fits that bill.
Cheat Code Central (5.0) - “Dishonored is incredible both as a game and as a work of art.”
Inc Gamers (9/10) - “Despite all of its different elements, it’s a cohesive, intuitive experience. Not once do you feel as though you’re being cheated or told to do something.”
Penny Arcade Report - “Fans of the Deus Ex series are going to be very happy with Dishonored, and players will be sharing their stories and interesting moments on forums and Twitter for weeks after release.”
The Sixth Axis (9/10) – Perhaps the most striking thing about Dishonored is the way the later stages of the game change, depending on how you’ve approached earlier missions.
For more Dishonored goodness, be sure to check out these additional items
As you prepare to delve into Dishonored, co-creative director Harvey Smith is here to provide some helpful pointers on playing through the game.
Take it away, Harvey!
Dishonored has been an amazing project to work on. Raphael and I have a huge appreciation for all my teammates, the people at Bethesda, and all the players who have poured their passion into our work. Here are some quick points that we believe will enhance the experience of playing the game.
You can change difficulty whenever you want. If the game is too hard (or too easy), switch difficulty levels. Difficulty setting changes enemy damage, enemy visual perceptiveness, and player-character potion effectiveness.
You can turn off almost every part of the HUD UI, including goal markers. If you’re a minimalist, experiment with that.
Look up! Go vertical when you can, along ledges, rooftops, pipes, etc. You can often sneak past an encounter that way or find an alternate entry or path.
Don’t forget to lean! If your body is behind something like a wall, you can lean out to peak ahead. We abstract that so that your body stays hidden.