Romance and realism

“La Belle Dame sans Merci” by Henry Meynell Rheam, 1901 Wikimedia

It is now week three of the Coursera course that I have embarked on Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative. It is such an interesting course for me and brings together a lot of the other courses that I lave taken on Literature, New Media, Greek Heroes and even a little philosophy.   This week we read another wonderful work John Keats’s poem “La Belle Dame sans Merci”. Although we have finished reading the The Fellowship of the Ring our viewing for this week was Peter Jackson’s movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It is many years since I read the book or watched the film. Doing both so close together highlighted the differences and also the wonderful way that Peter Jackson was able to recreated Middle Earth.

I found the title of the poem interesting. For me it read – “The beautiful woman without thank you”. Researching the old French meaning of ‘Merci’ took me on an joyous etymological trip. (more…)


LOTRO and Tolkien

Modes of Storytelling

Modes of sotry telling


This week we’re going to put the concept of remediation to work as we begin to compare the three modes; Novel, Movie and Game. By Mode, we mean simply “the medium of presentation”. Film is a mode, writing is a mode, painting, photography and sculpture are all Modes. (more…)

Problems with bears – LOTRO

Pet bear.

New Lore-Master

New Lore-Master

Traveling around Middle Earth with my Elf Hunter and my Hobbit Minstrel I have been envious of characters with pet bears. So why not create one? Here is my new character. A human Lore-Master.

She is not yet out of the introductory zone. In this picture she is riding the free 24 hour horse that comes with the introductory blue gift pack.

The picture was a little dark, it seems to be night quite often when I play. I have enhanced the picture to include it here.


Game on!

Game on! The history and theory of MMOs





Hi, I’m Jay Clayton, and this is Cheeryble. He’s an avatar of Jay Clayton, and these are more avatars that have been a big part of my life over the last few years. Cheeryble and I would like to welcome you to “Online Games: Literature, New Media and Narrative”.


Playing LOTRO

title pageFor week one the “Gameplay” is to download and install the on-line game “Lord of the Rings Online” (LOTRO), create a character and join the kinship. There are several servers available with Coursera “Kinships“.


  • Gladden (kinship: Vicarious Universe)
  • Landroval (role-playing encouraged—kinship: Courserrim)
  • Laurelin (role-playing strongly encouraged; busiest during European peak hours— kinship: Coursera)
  • Meneldor (kinship: Eagles of Thorondor)

I chose the server Laurelin as I am keen to experience role-playing, something I have never done before. (more…)

Reading Tolkein

Credit : Amazon

Because I am due to go on holiday I thought I would get ahead with the course. From the last link you can see that the syllabus included reading  J.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring – “Prologue, Concerning Hobbits, and other matters” and Book One of the novel. I know I have read this book before, probably about 40 years ago. I couldn’t find it anywhere in the house. I have a French volume but I didn’t think that would match the course requirements. So I just bought another set. Luckily Amazon’s second hand selection had the complete set for less than the cost of postage or the Kindle edition. I will probably now come across the book as I have received my new copy.


Syllabus (Summer, 2014)

This is the Syllabus for my new course. I am looking forward to starting it.

Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative

(Register now at This free online course starts July 14, 2014. )

Week 1: Game on! The history and theory of MMOs Reading for Week 1:

Reading for Week 1:

  • J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring
    Read the “Prologue, Concerning Hobbits, and other matters” and Book One of the novel.
  • Jesper Juul’s Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds
    Read the first 7-pages of the “introduction, ” available online for free as a downloadable Pdf file at:
  • Constantine P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaca”
    Available for free in the original Greek and several English translations at “The Official Website of the Cavafy Archive.” In the videos, we have used the translation by Daniel Mendelsohn:

Gameplay for Week 1 (required for students on the Distinction Track; optional for all others):

Download and install Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). If you are already playing LOTRO, feel free to…

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