“Video Games As Literature”

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Pac-Man, the original

I’ve taken to reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog at The Atlantic Monthly over the last few months. I remember seeing him often back in the 1990s when I had time to watch C-SPAN a lot. His stance is an interesting one: a gay Catholic Tory living in America, commenting on American politics. He used to be firmly in the camp of GWB, but has come to see that Bush’s America is a wretched place. He’s largely reasonable on many issues, and willing to entertain other viewpoints. He likes Ron Paul, or more precisely the phenomenon of Ron Paul: a Republican candidate who’s willing to call the big dogs the wrong-headed empty suits they are. He’s positively enchanted with Barack Obama and makes eloquent appeals for him and he’s so anti-Hillary Clinton that you can almost see the spittle on his posts about her (or that guy she’s married to).

In another vein, today he posted a message from a reader, a fiction writer who has worked in the video game industry, about the challenges of bringing the mechanics of storytelling to video gaming. I don’t know that I follow all this reader puts forth, and there is further material linked, including Irreconcilable Differences: Game vs. Story, an analytical lament for the basic differences in the two:

The audience must on the one hand disbelieve in the preparedness of stories, and on the other believe in the unpreparedness of games.

It’s all provocative, and since Will is considering a career along the lines this writer describes, it’s worth a look.