Video games aren’t always held in the best of attitudes when it comes to the media. Every time someone does something stupid or horrendous, such as murdering people, and people find out they used to play games like World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, they make great and unfounded assumptions.
If you had clicked the link, then you would know that I am referring to the very tragic and horrific 77 killings in Norway carried out by Anders Breivik.
Now in my own opinion, it is simply silly to believe that you can use a game like Call of Duty to find out how to operate a gun, get used to the weight and recoil and train in accuracy. But I don’t want to dwell on that as I know that a lot of fellow Gamers agree with me, instead I want to talk about how video games have been a positive force in my life.
I was once playing the role playing game, the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, exploring my world happily and innocently, content that this was the best £20 I had spent so far. I played through one quest where I had to go to a mysterious village that was unkind to strangers, and try to find a girl who had disappeared there. It was a challenging one, and the village had a particularly interesting character to it, so I opened up the elder scrolls wiki and read about it.
The trivia section that concerns the village and the related quest to it says this:
“This quest is a homage to the H.P.Lovecraft short story ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’, featuring a very similar plot”
The only reason I read, nay, even heard about an author such as H.P. Lovecraft was thanks to the makers of the Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.
What I had just witnessed and experienced was how Art (in this case, literature) inspired game developers, and how they incorporated this inspiration into the game. In turn, I was pointed to an amazing and inspiring author who I read (and hope to actually review later!). Such are the potential of games.
Aren’t artists always inspired by works of art and experiences themselves? I like to believe that, at least in this particular part of the game, there was a work of art in itself. The formation of Lovecraft’s story, a shadow over innsmouth, into the world of the Elder Scrolls in a very smart way.
Imagine what can be done if game developers really do take inspiration from other forms of art, be it dance, literature, painting and drawing, and incorporating it into their own work. Imagine if they give credit, giving us a fresh new perspective and encouraging us to look at the art itself.
It is just food for thought and a defence of gaming.
Also on this note, please comment with other examples of where you found Games that were inspired by a particular work of art!