Do you play The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO)? Do you want to start? Here’s how you can join in the fun while diving (further) into the depths of Tolkien’s world of Middle-earth.
|In Game||On the Web|
|Join the Mythgard Kinship (Landroval)||Facebook Group|
|Exploring The Lord of the Rings – Tuesdays @ 9:30pm ET (various servers)||Signum University Twitch Stream|
What is LOTRO and why is Mythgard involved?!
The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) is a massively multiplayer online game developed by Turbine with a commitment to remaining as consistent as possible with Tolkien’s original work. In the game, players participate in quests that follow the story of the trilogy and cross paths with members of the Fellowship as the story progresses.
Along the way, LOTRO players take part important scenes of the story. For example, as part of the Epic Quest line, players can witness the breaking of the Fellowship or take part in epic battles, such as the Battle of Helm’s Deep.
One of the coolest aspects of the game, however, is not merely the adherence to the plot of the original story, but the extrapolation and adaptation that the Turbine team has brought to the world. Players can participate in important events that happen tangentially to the trek of the Fellowship through Middle-earth. For example, one quest has players searching for the missing Rider after the flooding of the Fords of Bruinen, while a series of other quests allow players to muster the Grey Company and join them in their ride south.
Mythgard Participation and Kinship
Given the quality of the adaptation that Turbine developers and storymasters have developed in the LOTRO virtual world of Middle-earth, Mythgard Institute has found LOTRO to be a unique and exciting place to study Tolkien’s work – not only as an adaptation and development of Tolkien’s own subcreation, but also as a forum for “other minds and hands” to (sub)create their own in-world fellowships and express themselves artistically.
Since creating his first “alt” in LOTRO, Dr. Corey Olsen – founder and president of Signum University and self-dubbed Tolkien Professor – has become an active LOTRO player. With the help of some more experience players, he started the Mythgard Kinship where Mythgardians and others who are interested in a deeper understanding of Tolkien’s stories could join to quest, fellowship, and talk lore together during both scheduled and unscheduled events. Most events are open for participation by any player, not just Mythgard kin members.
As the Mythgard Kin has grown, we have also had opportunities to collaborate and join with other kins in the game. Unlike some other games which promote competition and aggression against other players and groups, LOTRO is set up to foster cooperation. In that spirit, Mythgard plans to develop additional collaborations in the future with other kins for a variety of activities.
The Mythgard Kinship is based in LOTRO’s Landroval server. However, in 2017, Dr. Olsen will be scheduling regular discussions and quests on other servers, so that others can experience the educational approach that Mythgard brings to the game.
Mythgard and Signum on Twitch.tv
As desire developed for a more disciplined approach to exploring the hidden gems of LOTRO, so Dr. Olsen began broadcasting the play of one of his alts – Gryfflet, the hobbit burglar – as he followed the quests that align with main story of the trilogy. During special occasions, such as the Signum University Annual Fund Drive, Dr. Olsen would also broadcast extended marathons with Wigend, another of his characters.
Mythgard Institute, through its parent institution Signum University, is the only institution of higher learning currently on Twitch.tv, a website dedicated to streaming gaming videos. Both players and non-players can watch live or archived sessions of Dr. Olsen and others as they play story-based games and discuss the lore behind the game.
New programs are being added on a regular basis, so follow the SignumU channel on Twitch to keep up with all the events that are going on. Twitch videos are also posted to Signum’s YouTube channel.