Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A New Way to STORY

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.



  1. Interesting post. I clearly have a lot of catching up to do in the area of technology.

  2. "The death of the novel has been predicted for a long time. I don’t foresee death, but a re-birth with new dimensions."

    Wise words.

    My nephews have told me about these kinds of games and guess what, they're also big readers.

  3. It scares me just a little though, when these expectations will take hold for ebooks, because it means a WHOLE LOT of money required for publishers to change the formatting. I'm afraid of what it will mean for the little guys with slim profit margins. As it is, to create audio books is extremely expensive, why WiDo has not been able to go that direction. And it's not expected, simply a nice addition to have one's book available in audio as well as print and ebook. When it becomes expected to reformat ebooks to fit the new ideas, or sales disappear, that's when many small, traditional publishers will disappear as well.

  4. This is awesome. What great food for thought. I don't know these games. I mean the role player games have been around, but I am curious as to the game you played. Care to share?

    1. I's still digesting the journey I took. It was not trivial. I think the link in have in the post to Wikipedia will tell you quite a bit, but you have to experience it.

  5. Funny how I wrote about meta-gaming and fiction on my blog and this game seems to marry the two ideas quite well. Thanks for sharing!

    Something else to look out for is the rise in popularity of visual novels. They've been huge hits in Asia for some time, but are now coming to the USA with a vengeance (along with manga and anime).

  6. I don't see death either. Just a change in delivery.

  7. I'm just not a gamer at all. But that said, I haven't picked up a video game in years. It's possible if I did, I could get hooked. =) Just not if it's scary, I can't do scary!