12.28.2004

Inspired by or Inspiring?

I found out about Nine Princes in Amber when a friend gave me a copy of the text computer game. After getting stuck, I consulted the original book. I never figured out how to solve the game, but Roger Zelazny's highly imaginative series swept me away. God knows how many times I reread the series every time a new book came out.

Wired recently commented on the phenomenon of amateur gamers updating old games to new computers. Here, for example, as the Amber example above, is a set of folk converting old Lucas Arts games into today's technology. It's amazing what fondness we continue to hold for games despite being outmoded by many computer revolutions inbetween.

I just played Myst for the first time a few months ago and found an uncanny resemblance to the current popular mythos of strange wonder puzzles strung together on thin plots. Do the present generations owe more debt to computer games and movies than to the original progenitor of literature, fulfilling a queer sort of Jean Baudrillard's ideal of simulacrums?

discuss this post at our messageboard