Published February 18, 2010

Dante's Inferno Video Game Ignites Media Interest in Arielle Saiber

The release of the newest action-adventure video game sensation, Dante's Inferno, in which Dante travels through the infernal architecture of hell, sent those in the media on a quest of their own — for Dante expert extraordinaire Arielle Saiber, associate professor of Italian.
EA Dante's Inferno video game cover

The Atlantic and American Public Media's program, Future Tense, both interviewed Saiber for pieces regarding the intersection of Dante Alighieri's epic poem and its digital incarnation.

Saiber notes that despite getting many things right, Electronic Arts (EA), publishers of the game, took liberal poetic license with one fundamental point.

"The storyline of EA's Inferno has a big, macho Dante fighting for Beatrice," says Saiber.

"I wouldn't say this project is damned from the get-go," says Saiber in the February 8, 2010, article.

"The hope is that the game will lead people back to the poem."

Read the article.

"In reality, it's Beatrice who saves Dante. She is his beloved muse, who starts him on the journey through hell, purgatory and paradise to learn about God's universe and our role within it. She is not a helpless woman carried off by Satan who needs rescuing, as the EA game would have it. Dante goes on this journey to save himself, and by observing his example, he hopes to inspire us to do the same."

Saiber addresses this point and others in her February 16, 2010, appearance on Future Tense, a daily program distributed to 97 radio stations around the country and made available as a podcast.

Listen to the segment.

Dante's Inferno has inspired creative interpretations and depictions for centuries, notes Saiber, who hosts the popular Web site, Dante Today: Citings & Sightings of Dante's Works in Contemporary Culture. Among the citings of Dante-related items are Dan-T's hot sauce and Brazilian thrash metal band Sepultura's album, Dante XXI.