A semester of Skyrim sounds like a hoot

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…

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Make your own Dragonborn

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.

Good news is, you can now purchase your very own DIY Dragonborn Figure from Symbiote’s website for a low price of $12.99. Once you’ve painted one on your own, we’d love for you to share your designs by emailing us.

Order the DIY Dragonborn Figure
Order the fully-painted Dragonborn Figure

Hearthfire available on Steam

Beginning today you can download the PC version of Hearthfire via Steam for $4.99.

In case you missed it, with Heathfire you can purchase land and build your own home from the ground up – from a simple one-room cottage to a sprawling compound complete with an armory, alchemy laboratory, stable, garden, and more. Use all-new tools like the drafting table and carpenter’s workbench to transform quarried stone, clay, and sawn logs into structures and furnishings.  Even transform your house into a home by adopting children.

In addition to being able to purchase Hearthfire, visit this link to learn about the current Elder Scrolls sale they’re running.

As new information is available for Skyrim add-on content, we’ll keep you posted here on the blog.

Thrilling Skyrim Coverage

 The weekend’s here. Before you get going with your weekend gaming, here’s some Skyrim stories, videos, and more to catch up on…

    • Dead End Thrills is leaving the the world of Skyrim behind, but you can still check out some of Duncan Harris’ greatest Skyrim screens, including the one shown above..
    • The lead author of Prima’s Game Guide for Skyrim, David Hodgson, blogs about the release of the Revised & Expanded Game Guide.
    • IGN has put together their Top 100 RPGs of All Time List. Visit the site to see where Skyrim, Morrowind, and Oblivion rated.
    • At the Gameological Society, the Elder Scrolls’ Wabbajack takes on Fallout’s Luck Bobblehead in the Best Treasure Ever tournament final. If you’re torn on which to vote for, this video might help.
    • Gamespot’s latest Skyrim Modding video highlights an ability that pays homage to Dishonored’s Blink ability. Watch it below.

Finally, be sure to check out Skyrim360.com to see amazing 360 degree time-lapse videos of the game’s world. Really cool stuff!

Now Shipping: Dragonborn figure from Symbiote Studios

Need a new companion for your desktop? Recruit Symbiote Studios’ Dragonborn vinyl figure to be your sword and axe for $12.99.

Consider this guy and our QuakeCon figure our Symbiote “Series 0″. As noted in our QuakeCon press release, we plan on rolling out new figures in the future.

For more details and to order your own figure, visit SymbioteStudios.com.

Available Next Week: Revised & Expanded Skyrim Game Guide

Still lost in Skyrim? Beginning today, Prima’s Revised & Expanded Skyrim Game Guide will be available on sale in-stores on September 20th in North America. The massive guide is filled with content across 864 pages (over 200 pages bigger than the original guide), and it now features everything you’d need to know about Dawnguard and Hearthfire — including quests, updated indexes, and new maps.

Kudos to David Hodgson, Steve Stratton, and Bethesda Game Studios’ Steve Cornett for their hard work putting the guide together.

 

Skyrim Team Diary #6: Hearthfire


Visit ElderScrolls.com to read the latest Skyrim developer focusing on Hearthfire’s development. Here’s an excerpt:

With Skyrim’s latest game add-on, players can build their own home from the ground up. Beginning with a small, one room cabin in The Pale, Falkreath, or Hjaalmarch, players can eventually construct a fully  functioning home with more features than you could possibly expect.

In many ways, this house-building process is analogous to the evolution of Hearthfire’s development.

Like Dawnguard, Hearthfire’s inception came out of Bethesda Game Studios’ first-ever “Game Jam”, a weeklong exercise where members of the team shared in-game ideas for expanding Skyrim.

Read the full diary here.