Texas University to Offer Class in Skyrim
Prestigious Rice University in Houston, Texas, has fulfilled the dream of many a gamer by offering a chance to study video games in school. Their new junior level class is called ‘Scandinavian Fantasy: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim’ and will be taught by Professor Donna Beth Ellard.
The goal of the class is to examine how fantasy is both a psychological concept and driving force in gamer culture as well as why modern fantasy always seems to turn to medieval Scandinavia for inspiration. Professor Ellard will also assign students to read selections in translation from Old Norse and Old Icelandic sagas and then play part of Skyrim in order to better understand the relationship between modern fantasy and Scandinavian mythology.
However, Ellard warns prospective students that while they will be examining how Skyrim and Scandinavian mythology intersect, that’s not the entire focus. She wants her students to be able to make the connections in order to look at how modern fantasy takes Scandinavian mythology out of its historical milieu and literary context and warps them until they are barely recognizable.
Also, since some of Skyrim’s major themes are “empire” and “rebellion,” Ellard’s students will examine what Scandinavian fantasy worlds are really about and why it resonates with so many people in today’s Anglo-American culture.
This class sounds fascinating and it’s such a shame it’s only for one semester because we’d sign up for life!