The Sci Fi Christian Classroom Week 5: The Video Game Game

October 13, 2013

Adam and Ben don’t have much to talk about this week, so they just waste time coming up with video game versions of classic literature.

A: Well, Ben, I got kind of a late start on this one, as last week was a busy one in real life. Fortunately, it appears that we already discussed a good chunk of the video conversation last week when we talked about the role of women in fantasy literature.
Seems like that was all this week was about.
So, everybody just read last week’s post and we’re good, OK?
Class dismissed.

OK, just kidding. I guess there is a bit more we can talk about than that.
Although I’ll confess to feeling pretty unenthused about the selections this week.
Definitely does help to have the audio version so you don’t get so tangled up in the odd spellings. But I just wasn’t feeling it. You?

B: I’ll be honest that I’ve slacked off on the readings some the last couple weeks. The Fairie Queen is a poem I want to dive into at some point – I remember in my undergrad work as an English major having a prof who’d devoted a substantial portion of his career to studying it – but up until now I’ve left it pretty much untouched. In light of that, I guess I’m mostly with you in the sense that when I do dive into the Fairie Queen I want it to be in more depth than mere selections. So yeah, down with this week’s selections!!!

A: While seeing the translation of Faerie Queen into game form was… interesting… I don’t know that the subject matter this week left us with a whole lot to talk about from a Christian, spiritual or philosophical perspective that we haven’t already covered.
So I thought we’d maybe play a little game. One of us names a work of classic epic literature, the other one comes up with how that story would look when turned into a video game. Feel free to be silly, serious or weird.
All right, I’ll start off: “Cantebury Tales.”

B: Oh man, this game sounds amazing! Alright, Sci-Fi Christian readers -get ready for the coolest entry into the Sci-Fi Christian Classroom yet! We’re about to pitch some incredible games!
Canterbury Tales has to be an RPG. Why, you ask? Because it’s a series of stories from different viewpoints. You could easily translate each of the Tales into an individual set of quests and the Tale Tellers into a different class. With characters like The Wife of Bath, The Squire and The Knight (just to name a few) the poem practically lends itself to the development of classes.
But here’s my ultimate game twist – after you’ve completed the quests for, say, 5 or so classes you unlock the “writer class” in which you now get to play as Chaucer himself and control what’s going on in the other classes. This would be especially cool in an MMO setting, where the writer class essentially takes on god mode within the world of online gameplay. Would it work? Beats me. Would the results be entertaining as a series of highly advanced players pull the strings on a bunch of newbies? ABSOLUTELY!!!
I’ll shoot back your way
The Republic

A: Love it. I was thinking that the Tales would need to be an MMO as well, with the travelers as classes.
Just imagine the day someone says with a straight face: “I’m a 20th level Wife of Bath.”
The Writer class would immediately break the game, you realize? However, until it was broken beyond repair, yeah, that would be fun.
I see two routes for The Republic. 1) A 2D platformer or a First Person shooter. You play one of these released from Plato’s Cave, and you have to fight shadows of various kinds and make your way into the light.
Powerups would be True Forms that you uncover along the way. There would, of course, be only one of each of these.
The other option I could see would be a Civilization-style game where the goal would be to create all the elements of Plato’s republic. I’m not entirely certain how you could program that level of complexity into a comprehensible game, but, well, I’m just the idea guy. That’s the code monkey’s problem….
Iliad

B: Now wait a second. I think you’re writing off my Writer class (pun intended!) far too quickly. Not just anyone gets to achieve the rank of Writer in World of Canterburycraft. We’re talking about players who have put hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into the game to get there. They’re invested! They’re not about to ruin the game just because they could!
With that little dispute out of the way, I’ll move onto your next. Fortified with a bit of Old Pulteney 12 year, I believe I have come up with some excellent game ideas.
Starting with the Iliad. My initial thought was to make this something akin the the Total War series or an RTS but, really, that’s far too obvious. Then I started to think about the plot of the Iliad a bit more. A big portion of the first half features the Trojan army pushing the Achaeans back toward the boats. It’s an endless battle with them getting closer and closer but never quite achieving their battle. So I’m think this would be perfect as an (wait for it) endless runner! You play as Hector, dodging various attacks by the enemy and obstacles. Of course, that can’t be all. Once you hit a certain point or distance mark you unlock the bonus mini game, which is, of course, a chariot race at the funeral games of Patroclus and Hector. It’s perfect!
Purgatorio (given that Inferno’s already been a game, that seems like a cop out)

A: I honestly don’t know much about Purgatorio, so I’m going to go with…. Guy with a big sword who fights demons through Purgatory.
That would contain approximately the same amount of connection that the videogame of Inferno bears to the book Inferno, yes?
The Tempest

B: The Tempest would have to be a Myst style point and click of discovery on a strange island. Or, if we want to go really old school, I could see it making an awesome text based RPG.
The Works of Josephus

A: “Works of Josepheus”? Really?
All right… here we go.
I think something “God of War” in flavor, but with the main character being Judas Maccabaeus, fighting off the invaders of Jerusalem.
It could continue with a series of prequels, with various Old Testatment figures known as fighters being the primary characters.
Beowulf

B: Beowulf. Fighting game. Has to be. You take on Grendal, Mother Grendal and the dragon with various, lesser foes in between these three bosses. Plus awesome multiplayer. Trust me, Ben’s Beowulf fighter would make a great party game.
Alright, I’m tossing it back your way with three theological titles.
Augustine’s Confessions
Luther’s 95 Theses
Irenseus’ Against Heresies

A: I’m afraid you’re assuming that I’m a far better-read person than I am. I cry uncle….
Although, from what I’ve heard of Augustine’s life before Christ, I’m afraid Confessions might uncomfortably resemble GTA’s “Hot Coffee.”
And Luther, of course, would be similar to old-school Donkey Kong, especially the moment when Mario gets the power hammer…
And The Tempest-as-Myst seems like a great idea. Someone get on that.

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