What do you think about when you think about poetry? Does a 1950s beatnik stereotype come into your head? Do you think of a smoky café where open-mike slams happen every Saturday night? Are memories of Pole Position summoned when you think of free verse? Depending on your tastes, it sometimes might feel like poetry and video games are about as far from each other as two forms of expression can be.
But they don’t have to be. Ian Bogost’s A Slow Year proves that. Bogost’s game makes a point of moving poetry’s occasional inscrutability and emotional imagery into video games. But Our Princess Is In Another Castle—a new collection from author B.J. Best— returns the favor. The book walks readers through a life refracted through pixels. It’s a life journey where dating, heartbreak and parenthood find kinship with the monsters, hunger and striving of classic games like Dig Dug, Pac-Man and Sinistar.