21st century Dante vs. 14th century Dante
It seems as though one of our favorite poets has received a makeover. Dante Alighieri - well-known poet and creator of The Divine Comedy - has been transformed into a scythe-wielding hero for the new Dante's Inferno video game released yesterday. As you can see from the photo above, it was quite an extensive transformation--I can't imagine Dante was much of a fighter in his day. The video game, which was released for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, follows Dante as he traverses the nine rings of hell to save his lover Beatrice who was murdered and wrongfully dragged to hell while he was at war.

The nine circles of hell are depicted in great detail and coincide with Dante's graphic descriptions. For a better idea of how chillingly hellish the graphics are, check out the EA website where you can 'Explore Hell' for yourself.

Although the video game may stretch the truth about Dante's life, its creation is another step into the world of transmedia. As Inferno is recreated into other forms of media, more and more people will be exposed to Dante's writings--even if it isn't in its original form. To accompany the video game's release, a reprint of the Dante classic will be hitting the shelves--only the cover will depict Dante as he appears in the video game to appeal to a wider audience. The new cover is shown beside an illustration from the original Inferno.

Check out NPR's interview with a Dante scholar at UC Berkeley to see what he thought of the game.