1. bookVolume 30 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1841-964X
First Published
01 Jan 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Remediation of the Epic in Digital Games: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Published Online: 19 Jun 2018
Page range: 153 - 170
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1841-964X
First Published
01 Jan 2012
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This paper examines whether certain computer games, most notably RPGs, can be thought of as examples of the postmodern epic. Drawing on more recent critical frameworks of the epic, such as the ones proposed by Northrop Frye, Adeline Johns-Putra, Catherine Bates or John Miles Foley, the demonstration disembeds the most significant diachronic features of the epic from its two main media of reproduction, that of text and oral transmission, in order to test their fusion with the virtual environment of digital games. More specifically, I employ the concept of “epic mode” in order to explain the relevance of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim for the history of the epic typology, which must now be understood as transmedial. I illustrate the manner in which this representative title assimilates the experience and performance of the epic, as well as several meaningful shifts in terms of genre theory, the most notable of which is an intrinsic posthuman quality. The experience of play inherent to Skyrim does not only validate the latter as an authentic digital epic of contemporary culture, but it also enhances the content, role and impact of the typology itself, which is yet far from falling into disuse.1

Keywords

Bates, Catherine, ed. “Introduction.” The Cambridge Companion to the Epic. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.10.1017/CCOL9780521880947Search in Google Scholar

Beissinger, Margaret, et al, eds. “Introduction.” Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World. Berkeley: U of California P, 1999.Search in Google Scholar

Biebuyck, Daniel. The Mwindo Epic from the Banyanga (Congo Republic). Berkeley: U of California P, 1969.10.1525/9780520341517Search in Google Scholar

Boulter, Jonathan. Parables of the Posthuman: Digital Realities, Gaming, and the Player Experience. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2015.Search in Google Scholar

Bukatman, Scott. Terminal Identities: The Virtual Subject in Postmodern Science Fiction. Durham: Duke UP, 1993.Search in Google Scholar

Bournham, Douglas, and George Papandreopoulos. “Existentialism.” The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Calleja, Gordon. “Revising Immersion: A Conceptual Model for the Analysis of Digital Game Involvement.” Situated Play: DiGRA Conference (2007): 83-90. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Cantor, Paul. “The Politics of the Epic: Wordsworth, Byron, and the Romantic Redefinition of Heroism.” The Review of Politics 69 (2007): 375-401.10.1017/S0034670507000733Search in Google Scholar

Clare, Adam. “The Geographic Size of Skyrim.” Reality Is a Game. 4 May 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Connor, Steven, ed. “Introduction.” The Cambridge Companion to Postmodernism. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 1-20.10.1017/CCOL0521640520.001Search in Google Scholar

Fieser, James. “Renaissance and Early Modern Philosophy.” University of Tennessee. 9 Jan. 2017. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Foley, John Miles. “Epic as Genre.” The Cambridge Companion to Homer. Ed. Robert Fowler. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. 171-180.10.1017/CCOL0521813026.011Search in Google Scholar

Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1971.Search in Google Scholar

Johns-Putra, Adeline. The History of the Epic. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.10.1057/9780230595729Search in Google Scholar

Lukács, Georg. The Theory of the Novel. Trans. Anna Bostock. Manchester: Merlin Press, 1971.Search in Google Scholar

Luther, Martin. Table Talk. London: Bell & Daldy, 1872.Search in Google Scholar

Lyons, John. The Invention of the Self: The Hinge of Consciousness in the Eighteenth Century. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1978.Search in Google Scholar

Martin, Richard. “Epic Genre.” A Companion to Ancient Epic. Ed. John Miles Foley. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005. 9-20.10.1002/9780470996614.ch2Search in Google Scholar

Murray, Janet. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997.Search in Google Scholar

Norman, Jeremy. “Transitional Phases in the Form and Function of the Book before Gutenberg.” History of Information. 21 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Purchese, Robert. “There are 10,000 Skyrim Workshop PC mods.” Euro Gamer. 10 Sept. 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Ryall, Tom. “The Notion of Genre.” Screen 11.2 (1970): 22-32.10.1093/screen/11.2.22Search in Google Scholar

Shinkle, Eugénie. “Video Games and the Technological Sublime.” The Art of the Sublime (2013): n. p. Ed. Nigel Llewellyn and Christine Riding. Tate Research Publication. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Skwarek, Mark. “Augmented Reality Activism.” Augmented Reality Art: From an Emerging Technology to a Novel Creative Medium. Ed. Vladimir Geroimenko. Plymouth: Springer, 2014. 3-31.Search in Google Scholar

Tavinor, Grant. “Art and Aesthetics.” The Routledge Companion to Video Game Studies. Ed. Mark J.P. Wolf and Bernard Perron. New York: Routledge, 2014. 59-67.Search in Google Scholar

“The Monomyth.” The Imperial Library. Bethesda Softworks. 12 June 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2018.Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo