To: Ash
From: Crecente
Re: Eatin' With The In-Laws (No, They're Not Trying To Kill Me)


Last week, while driving Tristan to his Math Club (he's learning Vedic Math) he asked me to tell him a story. So I told him about Odysseus and the cyclops Polyphemus. I'm not really sure why that popped into my head when it did, but he loved the story and asked me to tell him more. But even though I've read and reread Odysseus probably more than almost any other story, I couldn't remember any parts of them enough to do an accurate retelling.

Yesterday, I ran to the book store to buy a more recently translated version of The Odyssey. The ones I own are pretty old and archaic sounding. Initially I was going to give it to Tristan, but then I thought it would be more fun to use it to refresh my memory and tell it to him, one encounter at a time. Besides, some works, like The Odyssey, Ulysses, and Shakespeare, are really meant to be heard not read.


That got me thinking about how different a story becomes when spoken aloud. I've been trying to decide how that could be applied to game design. Is there a game that delivers a story in the oral tradition?

It could be that stories in games that most resonate with gamers do so because, as with traditional oral narratives, they rely on a familiar set of phrases and deal with universal truths.

What do you think? Are the best video game narratives essentially fairy tales or legends?

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