Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    540

    Gaming and Literature: Bleedover you have noticed

    So recently, I finished reading "Broken Blade" by Kelly McCullough. Not as good as his Webmage/Ravirn series, but good nonetheless. And it gets better as you go, too. But I noticed something in his writing which I also noticed recently in the writing of Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora): There seems to be a good deal of inspiration taken from gaming in these books, or vice versa.

    Now, I am not claiming infringement/plagiarism, mind you. Just inspiration, and that's fine. The Blade in McCullough's most recent has a Shade familiar (named Triss) is a hard-drinking former Assassin who worked for the goddess Namara until the Son of Heaven destroyed her, and now is living on the run from pretty well everyone. His name is Aral Kingslayer. Some of the lore seems very Witcher/Oblivion/gaming inspired. That's not a bad thing, mind you and its not gross or so much as to ruin the tale. Just...noticeable.

    Scott Lynch's city of Camorr (Lies of Locke Lamorra) seems almost identical to the Imperial City from Oblivion. (Not the city in the game, but the archipelago detailed in lore, which I am sad we didn't get to see.) Similarities include the towers made of unknown material, left by a magical ancient race (common across fantasy tales, granted) and the archipelago structure itself.

    So this left me wondering: Has anyone else spotted allusions to or inspiration from video games in literature or movies? just curious.

  2. #2
    Lesser Hivemind Node
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    605
    Modern action movies are looking more and more like video games, and visa versa. But I haven't noticed any specific examples in terms of plot items.

    I'd say most of those elements are more like standard fantasy elements though. These days there are so many fantasy works across all mediums that it's become inevitable that you encounter these same elements again and again.

    It's probably a sign of getting old, but i'm having a harder and harder time enjoying fantasy these days... as it all tends to feel familiar and recycled.

    (I haven't played it, but the first dragon age's trailers made it look like 50% Wheel of Time + 50% Ice and Fire. - both of which i think have castles/towers made of unknown material ;-) )

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1,290
    Dragonlance serries is an obvious example of books inspired by pen&paper RPG sessions. I think it says so in the foreword.

    I'm extremely wary of books inspired by computer games. In 99% of cases they were meant as merchandise, not a good story. A book should be able to get fans outside of gamer circles, (on its own merits rather than nostalgia) and if it doesn't it's probably a poor one.
    Last edited by b0rsuk; 22-04-2012 at 08:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Network Hub alset85's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    404
    Well Dragon Age aped Game of Thrones plenty, with elements like Grey Wardens=the Night's Watch, the dwarven politics and more stuff I can't recall at the moment.

  5. #5
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    that island off the coast
    Posts
    404
    Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon features main characters who are very familiar with roleplaying games and a Magic-style card game, as well as with Tolkien. One of these characters develops an early computer RPG, which is part of the background to the events in the book.

    Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind centres on a computer game, and is a powerful evocation of the gaming scene among school kids in the '80s / early '90s in the UK, among other things. Brilliant book. Some other Pratchett books have passing references to games.

    Not re. video gaming, but Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy was inspired by paladins in D&D-style games, but the author felt that paladins had been misunderstood by D&D and wanted to put that right. (See Wikipedia.) The way she sort of has the character level up early in the series kind of grated on me, but the books aren't bad.
    "Harry uses the One Ring to defeat Magneto and save the Rebellion!"
    With thanks to RaveTurned in comments on the main page.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Aussieland
    Posts
    1,656
    Alpha Centauri ripped off everything. Ev-er-y-thing.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Dude. Half of Stephenson's Reamde is an MMO.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  8. #8
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    that island off the coast
    Posts
    404
    Haven't read Reamde yet - is it good?

    I came to Cryptonomicon from the Baroque Cycle, the kind-of prequels to it. Think I preferred those, but I enjoyed all of them.
    "Harry uses the One Ring to defeat Magneto and save the Rebellion!"
    With thanks to RaveTurned in comments on the main page.

  9. #9
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    117
    Dunwall = New Crobuzon

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Quote Originally Posted by Pertusaria View Post
    Haven't read Reamde yet - is it good?
    It's a Neal Stephenson doorstopper. Do you really need to ask?

    Hell, he's one of the few guys who can spend a chapter on a tangent and make you want to know more about, say, the creation of phosphorus just because he's interested in it. Sorta like a discussion with Neal Degrasse Tyson that goes on for a week. Go get it.
    Last edited by Nalano; 22-04-2012 at 07:23 PM.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  11. #11
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    York
    Posts
    276
    I was in tesco yesterday, when I spotted Battlefield 3 in the book section marked at 3.49. Wow, that's cheap I thought, then noticed it had Andy McNab on it and was a book.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    NY f'n C
    Posts
    9,917
    Holy balls, I could totally imagine a Battlefield 3 book.

    "And then he shot some guys, and then some guys popped out of the building on the left, and he shot them too. After, he walked into a wall because he wasn't paying attention."
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
    Director of the Friends of Nalano PAC
    Attorney at Lawl
    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  13. #13
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    that island off the coast
    Posts
    404
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Go get it.
    Aye aye, cap'n. ;)
    "Harry uses the One Ring to defeat Magneto and save the Rebellion!"
    With thanks to RaveTurned in comments on the main page.

  14. #14
    Obscure Node Qwallath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    7
    Agreed on the Stephenson novels; he takes fine inspiration from the gaming world.

    Cory Doctorow
    did an interesting take on MMO economics (and Asia, and girl gamers, etc.) in For the Win. It's free as an e-book, so no reason not to try it.

    A less succesful but still sort of interesting example is Salman Rushdie's Luka and the Fire of Life. It's in the 'let's tell a mythological/fairytale story with references to video game mechanics because that's how kids think these days' category, but not altogether without merit.

  15. #15
    Activated Node LeiterJakab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    slef.Location
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Holy balls, I could totally imagine a Battlefield 3 book.

    "And then he shot some guys, and then some guys popped out of the building on the left, and he shot them too. After, he walked into a wall because he wasn't paying attention."
    I wouldn't mind reading a Battlefield3 short story like that.

  16. #16
    Network Hub
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Akhtala
    Posts
    333
    A bit of a twist on what you outline above is that Terry Pratchett's book Snuff is based on an oblivion mod that someone made for him where you could talk to the goblins. He said he was incredibly excited about Skyrim, which was just coming out when I bought the book/saw him speak at Drury Lane.

  17. #17
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    that island off the coast
    Posts
    404
    @Theblazeuk - That's neat, I didn't know. Thanks!
    "Harry uses the One Ring to defeat Magneto and save the Rebellion!"
    With thanks to RaveTurned in comments on the main page.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,850
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    Scott Lynch's city of Camorr (Lies of Locke Lamorra) seems almost identical to the Imperial City from Oblivion. (Not the city in the game, but the archipelago detailed in lore, which I am sad we didn't get to see.) Similarities include the towers made of unknown material, left by a magical ancient race (common across fantasy tales, granted) and the archipelago structure itself.
    I'm not really seeing that similarity, beyond a couple of generic fantasy elements. Lies was a good book but the magical fantasy stuff was uninteresting and not very significant.

    Video games have been around long enough now that they're starting to creep into proper novels, not just hack fantasy, but in most cases where a novel seems to have a similar setting to a game it's probably the game ripping off the novel, or both taking "inspiration" from the same set of older novels.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •