The website of the online game Legends of the Three Kingdoms. (Internet photo)
The University of California, Berkeley in the fall semester will open an elective course on exploring Chinese history and culture through playing the Chinese online game Legends of the Three Kingdoms, reports Guangzhou's Southern Metropolis Daily.
The game, originally a desktop card game similar to Bang, was designed by four students from a university in China. It proved so popular that it became an online game in 2009.
The course will invite students on a journey into Chinese history and culture focusing on the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 CE) and read the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by the 14th century author Luo Guangzhong. Playing the online game will be a requirement of the course to help students understand the historical characters, and students will even be quizzed on contemporary Chinese pop culture, according to the course description on the website from a student association called DemocraticEducationat Cal, which is allowed to apply to the school to open courses.
The course lasts for 14 weeks and will be taught by three instructors. In addition to the game, books, performances and films will be used to help students learn about this fascinating and tumultuous period in China's ancient history. The course is open to the first 30 students on a first-come-first-served basis.