30. September 2010

Literature connected with todays online games?

From the beginning of literary time, humans have written of conquering the space. From the tale of Babble to Star Trek fanfiction, people have always been fascinated by the stars. War, and a struggle for resources, have also had strong presences in literature, both fiction and nonfiction. It only seems natural that the online gaming industry has expanded on that fascination, giving an interactive perspective on the idea of reaching for the stars. In many sci-fi books of war, boot camp is depicted as being strenuous and tedious; the protagonist has to really want to make it through, for whatever reason, or they would never survive it. The online game Darkorbit mirrors this strategy, in it’s virtual way; the first few levels have missions which are purely designed for the purpose of getting you comfortable with the controls and set up, and to bring you to a point where using the controls is as natural as breathing.
The idea that the human struggle for power and food spans from cave men to space men is mind boggling if you consider it long enough. I suppose when it comes down to it, we are the same animal whether we are wrapped in hides or space suits. But with every novel, short story, or poem about conquering space, there is an element of hope; hope that some day, some how, humans will reach a higher plane. There is hope that we can find a new planet, and start over, but do it better than our ancestors.
Playing this online game gives me the same feeling of underlying hope; even though humans are still at war, we have made it into space. That has to mean something, right? If we could accomplish that, then we can truly do anything. But, on the other hand, would having the power to fly between stars give us any more compassion, or would the power instead corrupt any compassion we had in the first place? You won’t find the answers to these questions in an online game, or any book that I have read; but perhaps the simulated experience will lead some to reach for the stars in earnest, longing with every fiber of their being to turn their books and games into reality; and finally answer the questions about the human condition.