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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Reader Comments

  1. Its always great to hear how Bethesda’s one of a kind massive rpg worlds always get positive attention from academia. The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series are like playing in a Star Trek holodeck while peering in from the outside monitor window.

    Congratulations Bethesda on the accolades 😀

  2. I heard there is another course in the computer programming departments of some schools studying Skyrim.

    They are titled “Programming Mistakes and How to Avoid Them. Lessons on What Not To Do.”

    The schools marketing program also has a course studying Skyrim and Bethesda entitled “How to Anger One Third of Your Paying Customers in Three Easy Steps.”

    • xD Sad, but true story. I don’t think we (PS3 players) will ever see the day that those 3 DLC’s are released for Playstation 3.

  3. I’d rather play Skyrim at home for free than pay several hundred dollars to play it in class for a few useless credit hours.

  4. Seriously, I ( or we the community) haven’t heard anything new about the situation about Dawnguard or Hearthfire. Why wont you let some of the fans who might have ideas help? We’re pushing November for god’s sake! Dawnguard was released in June/August. That was in the summer and now its almost winter, the whole fall you’ve been copy pasting the same goddamned answer. Almost a whole season we’ve been waiting for the DLC’S. At least try to redeem yourself a little by giving us some straight answers.

    • Sure you’re working on it. But why are you making it even harder for yourself (developer team), by creating more content? (New DLC “Dragonborn”?). It just doesn’t make any sence. Yes, I keep having faith, but sometimes I think: “They’re really screwing us PS3 players.” I hope you can get it fixed. But how far are you in the proces? 10%, 25%, 80%? It is almost winter and the DLC’s have been released in Summer and Autumm. I respect that you’re doing everything you can to give PS3 players acces to this content. And you’ve called in Sony’s help. But what exactly is Sony helping you with? Are they giving tips, a little ‘course’ to the team that’s responsible for the DLC’s? If the PS3 players had such information they wouldn’t be all that angry, I guess.

        • Why wouldn’t they be able to tell? I don’t get the point. What’s the big secret/suprise? Bethesda fails on the PS3 part, that’s a fact. Then why not tell us at least WHAT Sony’s doing to ‘fix’ it?

          • Besides a complete tear down and reprogram? I don’t think there is any thing Sony can do.

            If you completely blow up your car, as in literally blow it up, I don’t think the factory could do anything to fix it.

  5. Awesome,Iam scandinavian,I guess iam a nord irl
    its always fun with nordic names and stuff,I remember playing bloodmoon,And i met a nord named Rigmor.The funny thing is that the character was a male. But Rigmor is a female name x) Ialso loved all the nordic names.Both in solstheim and in skyrim.

  6. I’m so proud to be danish when i see this. Scandinavia ftw 🙂 and Rigmor is actually a common female name in Denmark. Most area names in skyrim sounds very much more Icelandic than any of the other countries ^^