Something dawned on me today after reading long pieces by some notable writers out of pure interest for my love reading and expressing myself through writing. As I was perusing through the words that made my mind’s image at the time, I sat back and thought about the pure awe of all the people that have gone by and made an influence in our lives. No matter how big or minuscule, influence given in any form is something which I believe to be special. To a family member, to a friend, we all have influences on who we are and who we become just hoping to stumble onto the rocky fields to happiness. As I thought about the influences of our world that shaped it into what it is today, though not perfect, a thought raced. Starting small, and slowly building up to encompass the very fabric of thought, I began. My mind cycled through all these names, zooming by as I tried to catch up. Thinking of each person in their own light, I could not help but abscond from the very confines of reality and just imagine: what game would each of these legends favor to play? Through the feature here, I will provide a nice summary on whom each of these people are for the unfamiliar, followed by a game title that they would have loved to play the most if they were all coexistent in current times. The titles might consist of releases from every generation, though not all of them. Remember, this is only part 1. I’m looking to have around 4 parts to this feature series.
Acknowledged today as one of the most brilliant and original writers in American literature, Edgar Allen Poe skillfully wrote tales and poems convey with passionate intensity the mysterious, dreamlike, and often macabre forces that pervaded his sensibility. He is also considered the father of the modern detective story.
Not a game you would expect Poe to play, but think again. Indigo Prophecy is an adventure game where every decision has an effect on the story. In this paranormal thriller, Lucas Kane becomes a murderer when he suddenly kills a stranger in a men’s bathroom and has no recollection why. The opening scene hoists players in a state of paranoia and the pure direction of the story and art make this something that Poe would have enjoyed for himself. After writing “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Poe would sit next to this thriller and just play the night away.
Boudica was a queen of the Icenipeople of Norfolk in Eastern Britain who got fed up against the Roman Empire and led an uprising against the occupying forces.
Heavenly Sword follows Nariko, a warrior whose clan has long protected the “Heavenly Sword”, a symbol of the god’s blade of immense power that it can slowly kill anyone using it. A power hungry ruler known as King Bohan, seeks to obtain the sword to take advantage for himself. At the beginning of the game, Nariko’s clan is struck by King Bohan’s forces. Nariko fights alongside her father and her clansmen as their defenses are weakened and stretched by scores of Bohan’s warriors scaling the city walls accompanied with catapults. Eventually, something terrible happens and she leads a journey of revenge and retribution with the Heavenly Sword and herself. Boudica would have appreciated the character and struggle of Nariko to defend those who she cares for, and would definitely be hurling bad guys herself during the occupation of the then oppressive Romans if she had that power.
As king, Henry inherited from his father a precedent for autocratic rule. On top of it all, Henry was a supreme egotist. He advanced personal desires under the guise of public policy or moral right, forced his ministers to pay extreme penalties for his own mistakes, and summarily executed many with little excuse. In his later years he became grossly fat, paranoid, and unpredictable.
Black and White
Henry, determined to provide a male heir to the throne, decided to divorce Katharine of Spain and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope was reluctant for a while and continued to refuse to give way on the divorce issue, but he did agree to appoint Thomas Cranmer, as archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer soon after pronounced Henry’s marriage with Katharine invalid and crowned Anne queen, and the pope excommunicated Henry. Soon after, Henry said “fuck it” and split with the church since his personal wants and ego reigned above the cardinal rules at the time. All through very gutsy moves, Henry usually always got his way and deemed actions to be an act of God. His manners and everything he has ever done warrant him as a lover to the Black and White 2, a game where the player does nothing but play God and punish those at his will.
Thomas Edison was a genius and an inventor that founded the electrical age. Easier said than done, of course. His hundreds of inventions made him a giant public figure in America and around the world at the turn of the 20th century. Among Edison’s most famous inventions are the first practical long-lasting light bulb and the phonograph. In addition, he also helped refine and develop other inventions like motion picture cameras, the typewriter, and the stock ticker.
Edison was a smart ass. No doubt about it. I mean, come on. The man invented the method to harness electricity. Without that, we wouldn’t exactly be doing anything and I wouldn’t have anything to be blogging about. In fact, if he didn’t invent a harnessing capability for electricity, I wouldn’t even know what blogging is! Thank the world’s forces for Edison. Edison loved testing his brain, and coming up with whacky inventions, even if not all of them passed through. This is a perfect reason why Brain Age would be always to his delight. Brain Age features a variety of puzzles, mathematical questions, Sudoku puzzles, all designed to help keep certain parts of the brain active. Brain Age also uses the touch screen and microphone for many puzzles, and would really immerse Edison in a plethora of fun.
You are a lost generation according to Ernest Hemingway anyways, after hearing the phrase from a garage owner to criticize a mechanic. Hemingway’s writing style is best described to be characterized by economy and understatement. The stories had protagonists that are typically stoic men, at times primitive people whose courage and honesty are set against the brutal ways of modern society, and who in this confrontation lose hope and faith.
Condemned 2: Bloodshot is set approximately 11 months after Condemned: Criminal Origins, a game in which the protagonist Ethan Thomas is a detective who sets out to discover the cause of “the influenced” in a series of crimes and investigations. The sequel features a more messed up Ethan Thomas, whose life has descended into alcoholism and homelessness following the events of the first game. In a way, Ethan Thomas symbolized the very concept of “grace under pressure” that Ernest Hemingway placed into the writers of his novels and short stories. Here is to you Ethan!
Sir Thomas more was an English statesman and author of Utopia, a novel in which he describes a perfect political state of functions. More became an ardent humanist. As a successful London lawyer, he attracted the attention of Henry VIII, delivered to him on diplomatic missions, entered the king’s service in 1518, and was later knighted in 1521. Because of his refusal to subscribe to the Act of Supremacy, which impugned the pope’s authority and made Henry the head of the English Church, he was imprisoned in 1534 in the Tower and finally beheaded on a charge of treason.
Half-Life 2 is a science fiction first-person shooter game that is the sequel to Half-Life. Taking place in and around the fictional City 17, Half-Life 2 follows Gordon Freeman, a scientist who worked for Black Mesa before the current state of affairs. Freeman is thrust into an environment known as a dystopia, an idea completely opposite to More’s concept of utopia. The aftermath of the Black Mesa Incident has burdened human society fully through the limits and restrictions on the expression of human emotion and justifiable law, and Gordon Freeman is the primary protagonist who disobeys the similar City 17’s governmental “act of supremacy” and fights to survive much like Thomas More. Had he not been imprisoned, we’re sure Thomas More would be living his own values through Half Life 2 as Gordon.
Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596) was an English navigator and admiral, including the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world. In other words, this guy was a mad explorer and he loved the rush of anything action and adventure.
Currently in development by LucasArts for the next-gen platforms, this game should be fairly obvious since Indiana Jones is packed with action and adventure, something Drake lived for. And no he wouldn’t play Uncharted. Remember, he’s “still alive.” Uncharted focuses on Drake’s death and lineage. So, no go there.
Jesse James was a lover of shooting. He loved it so much that he decided to join a band of outlaws in a series of murders and robberies across the central states of America and was a symbol of infamy throughout the lands.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Gunning anything in sight, robbing cars similar to robbing horses, stealing things, killing people, doing virtually almost anything is possible in Grand Theft Auto IV. “Virtually anything?!” Jesse might say. Yeah Jesse. Anything. Well, almost. Then again you never liked that stuff. Grand Theft Auto IV would definitely have him on the couch with his boots off and his hat tipped, ready for action.
Thoreau is considered one of the most influential figures in American thought and literature. A supreme individualist, he championed human spirit against conformity and materialistic things. His most famous book, Walden (1854), is a detailed account of his experiment in near-solitary living in close harmony with nature; it is also an expression of his transcendentalist philosophy in which man rises above the confines of society.
If we didn’t tell you already, Afrika is confirmed (to us by SCEJ) to be a game where the player takes photograph’s of animals closely central to a related plot, which is currently unknown. It’s a game that takes the simplicity of human nature through photography, and transforms it to a level near solitary living in close harmony with nature itself. Afrika is a PlayStation 3 title that Thoreau would love to engage on in his introverted lifestyle in his winter cottage.
Jerome David Salinger wrote The Catcher in the Rye, the classic 20th-century novel of a disaffected youth. Salinger started publishing short stories. Most notably, The Catcher In the Rye was published in 1951, and became a best-seller and remains a favorite of high school and college students.
Overclocked: A History of Violence (PC)
Young combat psychiatrist David Mc Namara has been hit hard since retiring from active duty: struggling with mysterious choleric attacks and a marriage in crisis, he is now called to New York for his expertise in forensic psychiatry. At the Staten Island Forensic Hospital he is to attend to five young men and women, who were found screaming, scared, with no memory or orientation across New York City. As J.D. Salinger always wrote about the conditions of young people in his novel, and known to state such as his own personal credo, I’m sure he would be hacking away at the depth of the story in this title. If not, he can always write what happens to Holden after Catcher In The Rye, or something. I’m waiting here JD!
Sir Walter Raleigh was one of the grand scalawags of the Elizabethan Age. He made a name for himself fighting the Irish at Munster; later he was introduced at court and became a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. Known for his wit and womanizing, Raleigh was in and out of Elizabeth’s favor from time to time. Aside from that, he also founded time to explore and brought commodities such as tobacco, etc.
Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude
In general, Raleigh was a charmer. And such a charmer, that he tried to flirt and make advances to women all the time during his life. Though not specifically linked to the Magna Cum Laude series, Raliegh would definitely try out his skills in helping Larry Laffer get some. The series of games follow Larry’s escapades as he attempts to convince a variety of young women to have sex with him.
Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian political leader who was also very spiritual and used that in his leadership. In 1942, after rejection of his offer to cooperate with Great Britain in World War II if the British would grant immediate independence to India, Gandhi called for Satyagraha and launched the Quit India movement. Gandhi was a major figure in the postwar conferences with the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and Muslim League leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah that led to India’s independence and the carving out of a separate Muslim state (Pakistan), even though he opposed a split.
I can hear it now. The shocks of some of you to hear that Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s most favorite game had he still been living would have been NHL 08. But, it isn’t much of a surprise to me. Here’s why. For those of you that aren’t as familiar with the history of Gandhi, allow me to explain. After two years of elementary school, he was promoted to Alfred High School. Here he realized what he’s all about. Mohandas didn’t want to do gymnastics and play cricket with other boys. He preferred to play the Indian game of gulli danda: like street hockey, it is a game of hitting a wooden peg with a stick, though small in size. So, since there aren’t any games at all for any consoles about gulli danda, the next best thing is the NHL series. Come on, you know you just smiled at learning something new.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Last, but not least, is Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a tough and dedicated man for his causes and morals. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Martin Luther King, he was born into a family as the son of a pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Soon, King was ordained in 1947 and became a minister in 1954 of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. Afterwards, he led the black boycott (1955-1956) of segregated city bus lines and in 1956 gained a major victory and prestige as a civil-rights leader when Montgomery buses began to operate on a desegregated basis.
Sid Meier’s Civilization is a phenomenal turn based strategy computer game created by Sid Meier. The game’s objective is “…to build an empire that would stand the test of time.” Despite the focus on building an empire, the core of Civilization lies in the players attempt to expand and develop their civilization through the ages from the past to the future. Civilization Revolution is the next iteration in Sid Meier’s famous series which focuses on 16 new civilizations and the test of time in their development. Martin Luther King Jr. was a major activist for the civil rights movement, and he would have definitely loved trying to lead his own personal civilization to the best that it can possibly be. There’s no doubt that he would be playing this game for fun after a long hard day of serious activism.
That’s all I’m going to cover. There is not much more to say as there is to hope that this part 1 of the feature series was an eye opener. That it got everyone thinking, and even appreciating the wonders and influences of people on each other everywhere, from city to city, and from country to country. For now, stay happy Los Angeles. Or wherever you are.