Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Learning Literature Through Gaming: Dante's Inferno

Awhile ago I wrote a post on the educational ramifications that video games can have on its players (click here to read the post). It seems that someone at Visceral Games read my post (not really, but I can pretend I’m super important in the gaming industry) and has added extra content for it’s PS3 Divine Edition of Dante’s Inferno a game based on Dante Alighieri’s The Inferno.


The PS3 version sports:

  • Developer commentaries
  • A Wayne Barlow digital art book
  • The game’s soundtrack
  • A digital copy of the Longfellow translation of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno

I think this is great. After hacking and slashing demons and zombies God of War style you can pick up the real Dante’s Inferno and read what actually happened. English teachers rejoice, you’ve gained another tool to leverage your students into doing their homework.

I’ve watched trailers and gameplay videos of Dante’s Inferno and I wasn’t horribly impressed by the game, but now that Visceral Games is throwing in all this extra swag, I would be foolish not to buy it. I just need to get around that whole not owning a PS3 thing, but I’m working on it. I really enjoyed reading Dante’s Inferno in college so I hope this game can do some justice to the literary masterpiece that inspired it. I don’t think I can handle anymore of my favorite classic literature turning into pop culture failure like the Beowulf movie. Expect the game and all of its goodies to hit store shelves February 9th 2010.



  1. As a huge Dante fan, I must admit that I am disgusted by this game and its premise. Heck, pretty much all it stands for.
    I feel that gamers who are interested in reading the book after playing this game will become uninterested, and that saddens me; they will not truly value the work that is Dante's Inferno. "Oh, what? Dante doesn't wield a cool scythe and save his love that he only met once or twice in real life? Lame."

    When I first saw the game's title on, my mind raced about all the beauty found in the epic poem, and what possible features the game could have. But when I read guest comments, most thought it was related to Devil May Cry (apparently, the main character's name is Dante). Not many have heard of the Italian masterpiece; most thought it was a gimmick off a game....
    And that's when I wept.

    Ask Nodi about her feelings toward this game. I'd be interested to hear.

  2. While I agree that the game will be a slap in the face to the book I’m still confident in game’s ability to draw new readers to The Inferno. I mean how many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, the book is better then the movie.” I’ve heard it at least a dozen times and how many people read a book after they heard the the book was better? Personally, I know of a few people including myself.

    Just think about Watchmen. The movie was good, but it didn’t live up to the graphic novel that it portrayed. How many of those people who watched the movie went to read the graphic novel. I don’t know for sure, but 900,000 extra copies of the graphic novel floated around after the movies first trailer and you better believe the graphic novels sales went way up.

    I also agree that people will go, “Hey where’s the blood,” and won’t want to read it, but you can’t lump everyone in that category. People who game come in all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. What’s unappealing to one person could be pure gold to another. I guess what I’m trying to say is if only one person reads The Inferno because of the game it’s a small victory for making games more educational without them having to force feed you information.