Those were my exact thoughts the first time I read the syllabus. About three months later, I have never been happier to have taken this class. When my friends and family found out that I indeed was taking this class they were all perplexed. I had never been interested in video games, but I discovered this class was about way more than that.
I have learned considerably more in this class than I could ever imagine. Because of this class I pushed the limit of what I thought constituted school work. Playing a video game for homework? Some of my friends were jealous, but for me it was just as rigorous as some of the work I am assigned in my other more traditional classes. I had to learn video game jargon, how to move my fingers swiftly, and the method of thinking that develops over time after playing video games. I love to be challenged and this class has challenged me academically.
Never before had I contemplated the stories of video games. The main theme of our class has been remediation. I realized that every mode of media was intertwined and often drew upon each other for story lines and inspiration. The majority of our class focused on The Lord of the Rings. I was exposed to a whole culture based on a work of literature that I had never experienced. From the die hard fans who have learned the elfish language to the father and son that play LOTRO on the weekends I discovered that there is more to Lord of the Rings than funny character names and weird looking creatures, but rather it has the power to bring people from all over the world together over a common ground. It only makes sense in our globalized and technological world that literature should adopt to new forms.
So what have I learned this semester, Dad? More than you could ever imagine – watch me kill this wolf. Just wait until you see the video game I helped create.