First of all, I most certainly do NOT have a Skyrim problem. I’m just level 23 right now. No, I’m not rationalizing my addiction by arguing for an educational use for Skyrim. No, I’m NOT being defensive.
Seriously, I’m not the first educator to dream of wielding the development power of a Bethesda or an Activision to serve educational goals. Having already investigated, with high school students, the uses of Minecraft mods in the classroom, we’re ready to mod Skyrim. Skyrim’s SDK, or “Creation Kit” is due out this month, and I think we can expect something with at least the functionality of Bethesda’s previous Elder Scrolls Construction Set. As a teacher of Honors European History and AP Human Geography, I already have students sketching out scenarios and uses for the world of Skyrim.
I think a session on this topic could tackle at least the following questions:
- What are the true educational benefits of games like Skyrim?
- Which of these benefits are best used while arguing for institutional/colleague/community acceptance, and possibly funding of mod projects?
- What possible technical issues need to be addressed?
- What educational objectives could be tackled with a modded Skyrim? (I, for one, am presently mulling over scenarios like “Life on the Roman Frontier,” and investigations into the agricultural and technological material culture of the early Middle Ages along the lines of a recent PSU initiative.)
- Should mods be focused on maximum historical accuracy, or on criticism of a less-than-accurate modded world?
Whatever the purpose of the session, couldn’t some of us just meet and complain/rejoice about how Skyrim has taken over our lives (and is horrible for the economy)?