Random: New University Course Helps Students Gain A “Deeper Understanding” Of Fire Emblem

Fire Emblem Engage
Image: Nintendo

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has opened a new student-taught class which delves into the game design of the Fire Emblem series. Yes, Fire Emblem. At university. And there we were thinking that ‘Film Studies’ sounded cool.

Fire Emblem Design and Analysis‘ will be getting underway at Carnegie Mellon in the Fall semester of this year and promises to help students “gain a deeper understanding of the game design, mechanics and writing of the Fire Emblem series”. To do this, the class will be examining such topics as the evolution of game mechanics (durability and the weapon triangle both get a shoutout), unit archetypes and series lore before being graded via in-class quizzes and projects.

In the course summary (brought to our attention on Twitter by @lucky_lunatrick), our eyes couldn’t help but be drawn to such brilliant-sounding chapter names as ‘Chapter Design, Fog of War,’ ‘The Armoury: Classes, Skills, Weapons, Economics and Merlinus-Maxxing’ and ‘Transition to Writing: Plotlines and War Crimes’. We’d be tempted to assume that this has the most chilled-out homework going — unless you’re playing with permadeath on, in which case, good luck to ya.

To be clear, this is a student-led course which is taught alongside the university’s degrees rather than being a part of them. That said, according to the CMU website, student courses do count towards final degrees, so while you wouldn’t be able to major in Fire Emblem studies, the marks could help boost your grade — think of it as a support unit, then.

Of course, this is not the first time that we have seen Nintendo games taking the spotlight in an educational setting. Just last year the University of Maryland started using The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to teach students about machine design and Zelda-themed animation projects have resulted in top grades for others in the past.

What happened to ‘put that console down and do your homework,’ eh?

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