corey olsen

Massively OP Interview: Exploring LOTRO with the Tolkien Professor

If you are looking for a bridge between you and the sometimes dense (but quite popular) works of J.R.R. Tolkien, then you could do no better than to sit at the feet of the Tolkien Professor. Dr. Corey Olsen has been teaching about Tolkien and his collective works for years, providing understanding and fostering discussion in a way that is always interesting and accessible.

Recently, Olsen started up a new course at Signum University (where he is both the founder and president) called “Explore the Lord of the Rings on Location.” This free, public course meets every week for a lecture through a chapter in Tolkien’s famous trilogy, followed by a “field trip” in Lord of the Rings Online to locations mentioned. It’s been a highly publicized event so far, with Standing Stone even creating a special lecture hall in Bree for the series. Interested parties can attend in person in the game, watch via Twitch, or catch up with afterward on the series’ YouTube channel.

We caught up with Dr. Olsen to talk about the making of the course, the history behind his university, and his interaction with the long-running MMORPG.

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Tolkien Prof offers free LOTRO course starting today

Ever wanted someone knowledgeable about Lord of the Rings to explain the books and give you a hands-on tour of Middle-earth? Then you’re in luck, for the Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen, is kicking off a free course today called “Explore the Lord of the Rings — on location.”

In the weekly series, Olsen will be guiding fans and players through the books, chapter by chapter, at a special lecture hall that Standing Stone Games created for the occasion in Bree. After each week’s seminar, the class will then go out into LOTRO’s game world to explore locations related to each chapter.

The first seminar will take place on Landroval at 9:30 p.m. EST (the series will rotate through the servers to give all players a chance to show up in person). There’s also the option to attend the free lectures via Twitch.

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LOTRO community holds Winterfest, plans interactive book study

While we still don’t know when Lord of the Rings Online will be holding this seaon’s Yule Festival, the players have taken matters into their own hands by holding Winterfest 2016. This three-day event returns this year with 23 scheduled hours of music and stories featuring 20 player bands. The fun starts next Friday, December 16th and runs through Sunday, December 18th.

And if you’re already starting to make plans for 2017, you might want to work in a new open course being taught by the Tolkien Professor, Dr. Corey Olsen. The course is called Exploring the Lord of the Rings, and it will take students through the books chapter-by-chapter using the game as a reference point. There will even be field trips! The first class starts on January 3rd and may be attended by anyone.


LOTRO’s lore dev to talk with the Tolkien Professor

Lord of the Rings Online is nothing if not steeped in a vast body of lore, and the game’s main keeper of that knowledge is Senior Content Designer Jeffrey “MadeofLions” Libbey.

If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how Turbine takes the intricate and detailed lore of the Lord of the Rings books and weaves it into an MMORPG, then you’ll want to tune into Signum University on Thursday at 4:00 p.m. EDT. It’s then that the “Tolkien Professor,” Dr. Corey Olsen, will be conducting an interview with Libbey on LOTRO’s lore and stories.

Dr. Corey Olsen has been playing Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) for two years now, during which he has been fascinated by the adaptation of Tolkien’s work that the game has undertaken. In this special session, he will have a discussion with Jeffrey Libby, known in the LOTRO world as MadeofLions, Senior Content Designer on the LOTRO team at Turbine since 2005.

The two will discuss the epic story line, writing for gameplay, and the relationship between the LOTRO stories and Tolkien’s books.


This LotRO lore video made me reinstall the game

You know, I need another fantasy MMORPG in my life like I need another hole in my head. But thanks to a nifty lore-centric video published this week by Turbine, I’m (re)installing Lord of the Rings Online and dusting off my stable of alts.

The vid runs for about an hour, and it features lead world-builder and lore monkey Chris Pierson chatting with Mythgard’s Corey Olsen and Wheaton College English professor Michael Drout about Tolkien’s works and Turbine’s interpretations of them. Click past the cut for the full clip!

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