Monday, September 20, 2010

Not how you do it.

There are a couple things I've wanted to some degree of intensity for most of my life so far: more people reading better books, and more people taking video games seriously as an art form. This, by attempting both, will definitely fail to accomplish either. I mean, watch the trailer:

With all love and respect to everyone involved, this is asinine. The main form of interaction this thing advertises is shit getting in the way of the words you're supposed to be reading -- flies crawling all over the words, the words moving and dancing around, the words cloaked in shadow until you wave a virtual match around over them. In other words, the primary form of interaction this thing offers is that it will make it hard for you to read the damn book, which has been up to now the only form of interaction good books tend to require.

So it's a bad book. As for whether this will be a good game, that's a little harder to say, but my guess is that no it definitely won't. For one thing, waving a little virtual match around is not an exciting experience. For another, neither is jabbing at animated flies. Video games shouldn't be literary, they should be games -- the most artistically successful games so far have aggressively eschewed language in almost every case, and there was a reason for that.

I don't know. This stuff only pisses me off to the extent that it reduces my faith in humanity's ability to learn anything at all from experience. Gimmicky bullshit mixed media never works, and if you're the sort of person who thinks we need to "save reading," you might want to consider the possibility that doing so by tarting up and obscuring language only reinforces the idea that reading is not fun.

In fact reading is fun. In fact it is about the most fun possible. In fact, it need not look like a twenty year old PC-CDROM version of Murder on the Orient Express, which was, in fact, not as fun as the book either.

1 comment:

  1. You're right, this isn't an 'interactive reading experience' - it's shit getting in the way of the words!

    I respect that they tried... but looks like a fail to me.