Remarkably, I played the Discworld video game before reading a single Terry Pratchett book. I don’t know if that speaks more to the cultural cache of video games or my own literary ignorance growing up, but turning 11 in the UK in the late twentieth century without having read a Terry Pratchett book is it an astounding incomparability. One that I quickly fixed, of course.
That was decades ago (I’m old), and one would think that the acceptance of video games as a valid form of artistic expression would have progressed somewhat, if at all, since then. I’m not sure that’s the case, although we seem to have graciously seen the back of the dreaded “Are games art?” debate, if only because everyone who was ever involved with it either died or got so bored with the subject that they happily admitted it didn’t matter either way. Who cares, just shoot the demon fool (or actually the demon’s fool).
But I can’t help but think that Pratchett, by all accounts a deeply thoughtful, kindhearted and forward-thinking man, would have had a more forward-thinking attitude about me entering his work via a PS1 game with Eric Idle than saying us by getting them to read Only You Can Save Mankind as part of a curriculum. More progressive than Andrzej Sapkowski, for example, who puts his view that gaming is a dubious form of entertainment on record and trivializes his work.
Terry loved games. He loved The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and when I played the point-and-click adventure based on his Rincewind novels, he enjoyed Tomb Raider on the PS1 and helped forge his daughter Rhianna’s deep love for the medium. She would, of course, become an industry titan, whose extensive resume includes modernizing Lara’s character and origins for the acclaimed 2013 reboot and writing an extremely rare example of genuinely funny video game fantasy in the form of the Overlord series.
Books and games always do this little dance it seems. They steal from each other for characters, locations, themes, and concepts. Their respective industries feed each other with talent. And, most importantly, their intertwined relationship inspired the theme for this podcast, namely:
The best game based on a book that no one who has played it has actually read.
Please let us know what you think of the show – and if this is your first time listening to the show, come back to listen to previous episodes. If you have any topic suggestions we’d love to hear them because Tom really made fun of having to google “books” this week and I don’t want this tantrum repeated every time I come up with a topic suggest that the panel actually needs to research.
“What’s VG247’s best gaming podcast of all time?” you ask? Well, it’s essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (Jim Trinca and staff) vote on the best game in a given category. That’s it. It’s good. Listen to it. We have some details on the show’s content below, and we also have a fan-made artist impression of what Chris Bratt would look like if he took a nice bath in a wooden bathtub. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).
The best game based on a book that no one who has played it has actually read
That is the subject of episode 24 of this podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.
Tom – Jurassic Park on the Mega CD
By its own account, a pretty trash game for a pretty trash platform. At least you tried, Tom!
Alex – Parasite Eve
A Square Enix game based on an obscure book that remains highly acclaimed to this day, and complete with an intricate origin story that includes further evidence of Square’s love/hate relationship with the West. Classic Donaldson play, that. If Big the Cat was in it, we could call it the Donaldson play of all time (he loves Big the Cat).
Kelsey – The Binding of Isaac
Another brilliant linksfield choice from Kelsey, who was only slightly let down by the fact that the book in question is the Bible and therefore not particularly obscure (although, other than that, I don’t know anyone who has read it, so that’s being picky Best).
Come back in a week for another exciting episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.
https://www.vg247.com/vg247s-best-games-ever-podcast-ep23-1 VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast – Episode 24: The Best Game Based on a Book No One Who Played It Has Read