Gaming’s Place In Literature

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It was November 2007. I was waiting with my family for a connecting flight in a very large airport and stepped into a bookstore to pass the time. Sitting on the shelf was a title I recognized from a popular game whose plot had been summed up in my mind as a standoff of galactic proportions.
Curiosity properly piqued, I made the purchase. A few hours later at 36,000 feet in the air, I cracked open Halo: The Flood, and there was no turning back.

One of the things that I deeply missed when stepping into Halo was the critical literary analyses. When I first found The Flood, it was when the pop culture was still feeling the after-effects of the Tolkien boom from the Lord of the Rings films. My family and I had stockpiles of books analyzing the films and the literary world of Middle Earth. A particular treasure of mine was a collection of essays from TheOneRing.net, which peeled back layers and layers of Tolkien’s work. I wanted to read pieces like that for Halo.

Today, not only have I found such pieces, I have been writing them as well. I created a Tumblr blog in 2014 initially as a place to explore Joseph Campbell’s monomyth as it applied to the character of Thel ‘Vadam. Starting in early 2015, I began writing for the community site Halo Archive, most of my articles examining the different novels or short stories produced by the franchise. I’ve also written for the online magazine Christ and Pop Culture.

The passion and critical exploration I used for Halo is exactly what I am bringing to this new series on Patreon. Expanded universes are now a staple of gaming franchises, tie-ins and novelizations are being written by big names in the genres. It’s time these books, and other pieces of game-related fiction, were given the same examination as other pieces of literature.

Support Gaming’s Place in Literature on Patreon!

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