College course links Scandinavia and Skyrim
Bethesda, developers of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, posted on their blog about a college course titled “Scandanavian Fantasy World: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim.” The course, offered at Rice University in Houston, Tex., explores the concept of fantasy and the use of Scandinavian settings in modern fantasy. Students enrolled in the course will be reading Norse and Icelandic sagas as well as playing parts of Skyrim.
The class, similar to Ryan Vaughan’s “Gaming as Literature” at Binghamton University, is exploring the medium of video games in an academic setting. What I like about the class at Rice University is that it doesn’t focus solely on video games. Rather, it uses a single game to explore certain concepts. It’s easy to just make a class about video games, because it’s completely separate from ‘real’ courses. By putting Skyrim at the same level as the other readings in the course, the professor is creating a unique hybrid and supporting video games as a legitimate medium that can stand next to literature and film.