Skip to main content

Desperately seeking wonder

Ever since PONG, I've been fascinated and sometimes obsessed with video games. At one point, I remember long summer nights in front of my IBM monochrome monitor exploring the mysteries of Colossal Cave. These days, games have become so much more sophisticated that entire worlds are fleshed out for our curious alter egos to explore.

Games such as Guild Wars (pictured here) offer up a long and engaging story to work through while other titles simply present a vast world for you to discover at your own pace. No matter how cinematic or sophisticated the gameplay becomes, however, the thrills, immersion and wonder of that old Cave still haunt me. What has been lost since the days of the old text adventure? Is it that we've allowed our creative minds to become lazy and therefore require game designers to fill in the blanks with more polygons or do we simply lack the patience to fully adopt each new world's mythology? Perhaps the problem it is the abundance of these games which dilutes the experience of a single adventure—get stuck or bored with your current game and there are a dozen standing by to become your new time sink.

As an avid gamer for over 20 years, I've begun to wonder if I'll ever feel the immersive sense of wonder brought on by Infocom or the old Sierra adventure games. Maybe I have become jaded over the years—many a gamer lost faith during the dreaded CD-ROM/Full Motion Video 'Game' era—and look at today's over-licensed, cross-promoted clones as the standard for the future. Perhaps I frown upon today's meager offerings because I hold out hope that a new generation of entertainers will engage us with virtual delights previously thought unmarketable.

I believe that ultimately all entertainment will be interactive in varying degrees. Maybe it's time I start sharing my ideas here in the hopes of fueling a new movement, a new evolution of storytelling. I wish to help usher in a new era of wonder. Can you imagine it? If yes, let's dream together.

Comments

  1. Have you looked at some of the recent interactive fiction out there? I've blogged your entry and made a few suggestions.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Story Problems and Escape Pods

This is a continuation of a previous post. If you'd like to read it first, click here.

Danny managed to sit in his seat just as the last bell in the school chimed. He barely avoided another tardy by bolting down the hall while ducking under the little windows in every classroom door. His dad had dropped his mother and sister off first before driving like a crazy person to get him to school. Like a scene straight out of an action film, the van had rocked back and forth it dodged cars, swung around corners and squealed tires. When his father skidded up to the school, he yelled, “GO! GO! GO!”

"Danny run!" shouted Molly from the school's main door. Molly was Danny's best friend and the one always helping to keep him out of trouble. "You'll be late again if you don't hurry!" Danny turned to say goodbye to his dad but the van was already screeching around the corner and headed out of sight. Quickly he started running toward Molly. She waved him down the…

The Light

The Light By Nabih Saliba
I light the path for all to see They shall not trip because of me How great I am that darkness flee I do all this without a fee
And so it went each night for lamp Who proudly thought itself a champ But then one evening came a tramp His clothes were worn, and torn, and damp
He staggered left, he stumbled right He should not try to walk at night The drunkard fell into the light Thrown from the lamp with disdain bright
Why should I help this man below? He’s far beneath me don’t you know His lesser breeding clearly show This beggar can’t deserve my glow
And so the lamp let darkness fall On he who lay there in a ball As shadows grew both thin and tall The lamp stood off for one and all
Then suddenly the night time fled

It's Prime Time

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an Amazon Affiliate. This means that I might make a tiny bit of money when products and services I recommend actually drive people to Amazon and make a purchase. That being said, it doesn't happen enough to afford me a cup of coffee but I'm enough of a fan that I keep spreading the good word anyway. Truth is, I recommend the company whenever I can simply because it's rapidly becoming indispensable in the quest to have more stuff.

What a remarkable world we're now living in! I can find some of the most esoteric, random things anywhere on the planet and, with the click of a button, have it arrive at my doorstep in around three days. Stop and think about that for a moment. In some cases, that delivery time can be within the hour. Amazon has done quite a bit to change the way we think about shopping. They have largely changed the way we behave as consumers and radically shifted customer expectations in ways too numerous to get into…