Myth in Games

You want to see how games can transmit values? How games can deliver subtexts? How games can be art?

Then read the book Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. If that doesn't help, read Ishmael. Then think about the game Spore, by Will Wright.

If that still doesn't get you anywhere, then read the book A Story as Sharp as a Knife, by Robert Bringhurst. And maybe read this article first, to get you thinking in the right way.

All that I will say here, now, is that the one art form with the most relevance to games, that will provide the most guidance in shaping the future of games, is myth.

That's right. And the reason it has been so overlooked, so far, is that myth can only exist in its genuine form in an oral society. The society from which I am writing to you, and from which you are reading this, is a literate society. Literate societies have no way to understand myth, or to make use of it. We can only hope that a digital society will allow us to reconnect with that mode of thinking, through games.

No comments: