About this Course
4.7
69 ratings
27 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Romanian...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 18 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Romanian...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Game on! The History and Theory of MMOs

The course opens with a brief look at gaming culture and history, then introduces the chief game we will study, Turbine's "The Lord of the Rings Online." We then look at some key concepts in game theory such as remediation and Jesper Juul's treatment of rules and game design from his book "Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds." We end by considering games as journeys using Constantine Cavafy's poem "Ithaca."For details about this week's Readings, go to the Syllabus page in your Resources tab. ***For details about this week's Readings, go to the Syllabus page in your Resources tab....
Reading
9 videos (Total 94 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video9 videos
Games as Culture5m
LOTRO Gameplay: Epic Quest Line, Book 112m
Remediation11m
Types of Video and Computer Games12m
A Brief History of Games9m
Juul: Emergence and Progression15m
Juul: Rules and Fiction11m
Cavafy's "Ithaca"7m
Reading1 reading
Course Overview10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 1 Standard Quiz (All students complete this quiz)18m
Week 1 Honors Quiz (Honors students complete the Week 1 Standard Quiz and this quiz)4m
Week
2
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

LOTRO and Tolkien

After an overview of storytelling modes, we turn to Tolkien and his work. We then examine the role of quests in games and literature. Finally, we introduce romance and lyric literature using Robert Browning's poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came." ***For details about this week's Readings, go to the Syllabus page in your Resources tab....
Reading
10 videos (Total 113 min), 3 quizzes
Video10 videos
LOTRO Gameplay: Frodo and the Prancing Pony9m
Tolkien's Life and Works10m
Tolkien's Popularity8m
Themes in Tolkien's Writing14m
Quests as Structural Elements of Games12m
The Quester and the Quest9m
Part 1: Roland's Psyche6m
Part 2: Elements of the Quest Romance15m
Part 3: The Poem's Lyric Nature15m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 2 Standard Quiz (All students complete this quiz)16m
Week 2 Honors Quiz (Honors students complete the Week 2 Standard Quiz, this quiz, and the Week 2 Peer Review)4m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Romance and Realism

This week we journey into the Mines of Moria, comparing a scene in Tolkien's novel, Peter Jackson's film, and "The Lord of the Rings Online." Then it's back to romance literature to delve into the intricacies of allegory, plot, theme, and character. The week closes with a look at John Keats' haunting ballad, "La Belle Dame sans Merci." ***For details about this week's Readings, go to the Syllabus page in your Resources tab....
Reading
13 videos (Total 129 min), 2 quizzes
Video13 videos
Genres of Romance 4m
The Romance Circle 14m
Allegory Defined 11m
Tolkien on Allegory15m
Genre and Plot Forms8m
Lost in an Episodic Plot10m
Wandering and Doubling in Romance7m
Issues of Theme and Content8m
Flat vs. Round Characters12m
Daemonic Characters and Romance Character Systems7m
Keats, "La Belle Dame sans Merci" I 7m
Keats, "La Belle Dame sans Merci" II 10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 3 Standard Quiz (All students complete this quiz)12m
Week 3 Honors Quiz (Honors students complete the Week 3 Standard Quiz and this quiz)6m
Week
4
Hours to complete
4 hours to complete

Space and Time in Three Media

Week 4's initial focus is our natural concepts of space and time, and how these dimensions inform the "storyworld" of a narrative. We then examine how directors, authors, and video game developers use these innate frameworks to tell stories, invoking Seymour Chapman's book "Film and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film." Close attention is paid to the mechanics of point of view, and how its use allows artists to connect with audiences. ***For details about this week's Readings, go to the Syllabus page in your Resources tab....
Reading
10 videos (Total 75 min), 3 quizzes
Video10 videos
Storyworlds5m
Spatial Issues in Film 8m
Gameplay: Spatial Issues in Immersive Games (Stone Trolls)9m
Point of View in Novels and Films 14m
Point of View in Games7m
Temporal Order I: Introduction 7m
Temporal Order II: Film3m
Temporal Order III: Painting 2m
Temporal Order IV: Gaming 8m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Week 4 Standard Quiz (All students complete this quiz)14m
Week 4 Honors Quiz (Honors students complete the Week 4 Standard Quiz, this quiz, and the Week 4 Peer Review)6m
4.7
Career direction

50%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By GDJun 17th 2016

An interesting course for anyone who likes lord of the rings online, fantasy (modern and presents), literature, video games, and/or movies! It's the ultimate combination for maximum nerddom!

By JRJan 11th 2017

I am really grateful for the course that gave me the idea and theorethical background to create a transmedia experience with my daughters around the Hobbit and Lotro

Instructor

Avatar

Jay Clayton

Professor
English

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tenn., is a private research university and medical center offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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