Friday, 25 October 2013

Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative

Mission accomplished!

I recently have come across this incredibly entertaining and instructive outlet of self-development: Coursera. It offers a wide-range of Universities from all around the world as well as some classes in multiple languages; But if you would like to give it a try English is a must since the best and the most courses are offered in English.
It works pretty easily, you go visit the page, sign up for the site and then choose the class you would like to roll and you are good to go. There is a wide range of courses, some of them requiring a specific previous knowledge, some of them, just for beginners. In any case if you wish to acquire a plain Coursera certificate it is completely free but if you would like to receive a completion certificate from the University of the class itself then you are supposed to pay for it.

Either way it is a great way for self development with or without a certificate. I have rolled for several classes, some of which I follow closely by doing the quizzes and the assignments and some of which I simply put on the watch list because although I do not care about the certificate I would like to follow them still in order to gain knowledge.

In all the courses you take you can either download the class videos in order to watch them on your tv later on or you can follow them on your computer.

I myself have just completed my first course in distinction track. As the sub-heading suggests it was of course about gaming but it beautifully and thoroughly evaluated games' narratives in various forms and how books and poems are remediated. I have to say; I enjoyed every minute of this course and learned so much on a topic which I already knew well. But this course helped me go to the roots of the specific genre of fantasy fiction. We have evaluated and discussed various works including a part of Spencer's Faerie Queene

But the class's main focus was on The Lord of the Rings. We have discussed and prepared assignments on how Tolkien's work was remediated into films and games. Since I had a fine grasp on the subject already, as many on the course also did, we were able to appreciate it on another level. 

If you have got time, please spare 15 minutes to watch the video I have created for an assignment. We were supposed to make our way to Weathertop and compare and contrast how the three medias (the book, the film, the online game) handled it in their own ways. We had to primarily focus on only one aspect and I had chosen to compare and contrast  the setting / mise en scène / gamespace. We were instructed not to include any videos from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings so I had to find other ways to illustrate the points I was making concerning the movie. I hope you will enjoy it.

In concluding this post I would like to say thanks to the main instructor of this course along with his TAs who made the class discussion videos so completely enjoyable. 

I will be coming back to coursera , that is, if I ever leave it at all...