As both a teacher and historian, I absolutely have to extend props to Professor Donna Ellard of Texas’ Rice University. What she is doing comes with a high level of trust by her colleagues and department. What is she doing? How about just teaching a course on Norse mythology through the medium of Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
‘Scandinavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim’ is the name of Professor Ellard’s course. In the description to this course, she explains how the goals of this class involve using Skyrim introducing students to fantasy in psychological concepts and as a driving force in gamer culture to explain why medieval Scandinavia serves as a focus of modern western culture fantasy. In a nut shell, this class involves doing quests in Skyrim and reading a ton to learn about why modern the modern ‘fantasy genre’ is based off Norse mythology. It doesn’t get any better than this.
I would have rearranged all my classes to secure this class fit in my schedule. This is awesome and I hope more professors make this sort of curriculum. Gaming is slowly becoming more mainstream, why not connect students with a hobby they love to their education? I fully support this. It reminds me of the University of Florida using StarCraft to teach management skills. Keep thinking outside the box!
Fus Ro Diploma!
Historian, teacher, writer, gamer, cheat master, and tech guru: follow on Twitter @AndrewC_GZ