Adam Bierstedt

Góðan dag! I’m Adam. I’m a historian… okay, a historian-in-training. Imagine Flynn from The Librarian movies. That’s basically me. Except I spend much more time playing video games.

Oddly enough, I didn’t really grow up on games. I mean, we had Civilization 3 and Roller Coaster Tycoon growing up, but the only ‘consoles’ were handheld (I still have my old GBA floating around somewhere). Actually, scratch that. My dad had an Atari 2600. I didn’t own a home console before the Wii. So I missed the Important Games™ of the classic era, which I’m working on catching up on.

My interest in video-game stories probably came from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess was the first LoZ game I beat, so it’s probably had the most impact. But, none of my siblings liked it as much as I did (and they liked it more than the Internet at Large did), and I wanted to figure out why (I decided that it’s a mostly aesthetic liking rather than a particular narrative liking, but it got the ball rolling).

Then I got to college, and I started making up for lost time. I played Dark Souls, NieR, and Journey all in the same year, and then I was hooked. I’m still working on my backlog of games, but it’s something I’ve been working on for a while.

In video games, I am particularly interested in how the systems that surround the main story (be they minor characters, lore, level design, political systems, etc.) influence how we understand the game. This holds particularly true when games take influence from real-world history. I think many video games offer insight into how we presently remember our past, and I hope to explore some of the many forms this insight takes.

Out in the rest of the world, I have a BA in Medieval Studies and am currently a MA student in Reykjavik, Iceland, working on Medieval Scandinavian literature and history. I take a very interdisciplinary approach to my research, but I’m focusing on how real-world systems and places influence literature.

In my free time…. hahahahahah. Sorry, let me try that again: In the odd scraps of free time I have, I like reading, watching movies with my friends, and playing D&D. So, uh, yeah. Nice to meet you!