In my last post I talked about the course I was embarking on called “How to Change the World”. Due to the format of the course it was not possible to document it in the normal way. If you are concerned about the planet in just about any way from ecology to economy then I recommend that you sign up for it.
My next course starts shortly. It merges Tolkein, literature, film, animation and games and is called “Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative“. I am excited about this one as I have loved books since I was very small and Tolkein’s “The Hobbit” was one of my very early favourites. The Lord of The Rings was also a wonderful piece of work in my opinion and I loved the films. I do like special effects and animation in films. Who Killed Roger Rabbit had some simple animation but it was so well integrated. The great films of Greek and Roman mythological gods have become very popular in recent times and the film of Lord of the Rings was a fantastic achievement.
I am looking forward to learning about the process of taking a book and creating it for the screen, about animation and about creating a game from the story. We will be reading the novel and some people will be playing the on-line game. I’m looking forward to reading the book again and I intend to watch the films for the umpteenth time also.
Here is a little about the course from the Coursera website.
About the Course
Intended for both newcomers who are curious about video games and experienced gamers who want to reflect on their passion, this course will explore what happens to stories, paintings, and films when they become the basis of massively multiplayer online games. The Lord of the Rings trilogy—the novels, films, and video game—are our central example of how “remediation” transforms familiar stories as they move across media.
The course is designed as a university-level English literature class—a multi-genre, multimedia tour of how literature, film, and games engage in the basic human activity of storytelling. Our journey will enable us to learn something about narrative theory, introduce us to some key topics in media studies and cover some of the history and theory of video games. It will also take us to some landmarks of romance literature, the neverending story that lies behind most fantasy games: J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, a bit of Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, and poems by Keats, Tennyson, Browning, and others.
Drawing on centuries of romance narrative conventions, the twenty-first century gaming industry has become a creative and economic powerhouse. It engages the talents of some of our brightest writers, artists, composers, computer engineers, game theorists, video producers, and marketing professionals, and in 2012, it generated an estimated $64 billion in revenue. Anyone interested in today’s culture needs to be conversant with the ways this new medium is altering our understanding of stories. Join me as we set out on an intellectual adventure, the quest to discover the cultural heritage of online games.
There is a blog which contains the weekly syllabuses that I have started to follow.