John Updike: Game Over

The man who is attributed as once saying that "Life is a video game. No matter how good you get, you are always zapped in the end." Just got zapped.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning noveilist died today of lung cancer. He was 76.

I'm sure he would love the irony that it is online, in the Internet culture he admitted to not understanding, that this news is first spreading.

"You type in your blog, and some other people read it, and so you create a print society apart from real society and you're getting the gratification of expressing yourself . . . It's a way to develop a public persona, but it's very undiscriminating, and very 'me-minded.' We're all me-minded. We all have egos."

But writers in the past, such as Upton Sinclair, went beyond ego to serve a greater good, he says. "They were trying to improve the world . . . I get a feeling this electronic stuff is all kind of a game, another form of a video game."

I wasn't a fan of Updike, but there's no arguing he had tremendous impact on our society and culture with novels like Rabbit, Run and The Witches of Eastwick.

John Updike, prize-winning writer, dead at age 76 [The Sacremento Bee]