After some prodding, I finally relented to DS ‘s urging me to try playing a computer game he insisted he knew I would like.
It was a revelation.
Don’t get me wrong; I’ve seen computer games, read about computer games, and even critiqued a colleague’s MG book that was in essence a tale taking place in the mind of a MC playing a computer game. But I have never experienced one such as this, where I found myself the protagonist of a surrealistic philosophical story, experiencing first-hand the anxiety, despair and elation of a full-fledged existential crisis.
It was like reading a novel, only I wasn’t identifying with the main character, I was the main character.
It was wrenching. It was stressful. It was amazing.
I’m still old-school, and this will not replace good reading for me. But it got me thinking about the dawning of a new age of writing. The possibilities that will come with electronic books, when they finally realize they don’t have to just be cheap versions of print, are almost here. They can tell a story in a new way, merging what literary narration and technology they are capable of, to give the deep personal experience readers seek.
We can use games such as Wii to play virtual athletic games, waving our arms and watching a screen. But can we enter fully-fledged stories? I can see it now.
The death of the novel has been predicted for a long time. I don’t foresee death, but a re-birth with new dimensions.