"Immersion in the life of the world, a willingness to be inhabited by and to speak for others, including those beyond the realm of the human, these are the practices not just of the bodhisattva but of the writer." --Jane Hirshfield

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fiction in Orbit

Our experience of stories is, by and large, a lateral one, in which the writer commands every aspect of the world the reader inhabits as well as the process by which it reveals itself. Fine; it’s worked for centuries. But it’s hard to shake the feeling that gaming – which increasingly promises a narrative space for the player to make his own way, never having the same experience twice – is where at least some of the great writers of tomorrow will make their names.

Eh. I've heard this argument for about the past twenty years. So, when is it going to happen? The author of this article at the Telegraph mentions a lot of books that inspired games, including the forthcoming Dante's Inferno, "an uncannily good fit for the levels of a computer game." I don't know if books are what the video games are replacing -- why not TV, or team sports or even opera? And, if video games do replace books, what will the gamers do when the source materials are all used up? Write new ones?

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