The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0932 Monday, 23 October 2006
Date: Friday, 20 Oct 2006 13:17:39 -0500
Subject: Virtual Shakespeare
The MacArthur Foundation just gave a $240,000 grant to Edward Castronova
of Indiana University to create a virtual world, of the type found in
online multi-player video games, based on the works of Shakespeare.
Here's a link to the story on CNET:
It will be called "Arden: The World of Shakespeare", and according to the
article it will allow players to "trot around in 17th century regalia,
buying ale in Elizabethan taverns and joining guilds aimed at toppling
dukes and earls." However, the article also says the game will be build
around the theme of "Richard III", which would suggest that it's set in
the 15th century. I'm not sure whether it's the game developers or the
author of the article who's confused.
This part also sounds interesting:
He said one of the more unique elements of "Arden" is that the game will
be seeded with Shakespearean texts, many of which will be the most
valuable treasure players can find.
"If you collect the 'To be or not be' speech and then take it to a lore
master or to a skilled bard, he can then apply the magic to your broad
sword or you (could) utilize the magic in a battle situation to give you
this massive (advantage)," Castronova explained. "So there (will be) this
intensive competition to get the best speeches of Shakespeare in your play
"You've got to know your Shakespeare, but...if you do, collect these texts
and you can just playfully kick butt the way wizards do."
I've never played one of these online role-playing games, but I might be
willing to give this one a try.
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