It’s hard not to be cynical about EA’s Dante’s Inferno. A game that scrambles its source material so hard conventional terms like reboot and recon fail to do it justice. A game with a marketing campaign which hit most of the Deadly Sins.
But when Tor released the Longfellow translation of Dante’s Inferno as a tie-in, complete with cover art based on the game, did anyone expect this?
From longtime Game Coucher Aramis:
Something amazing happened last Friday. I’m still not sure what to make of it.
I was at the library Reference Desk ready to answer questions and help people find stuff when a teenage boy came up to me looking for Catcher in the Rye. I checked the catalog for Salinger and didn’t see any hard cover copies available so I walked the kid over to the uncataloged Classic Paperbacks. His mom followed behind us and while I was browsing the S’s I overheard this incredible bit of dialog.
‘Hey, Mom! See this book?’ He grabbed a copy of Inferno, the first book in Dante Alighieri’s trilogy The Divine Comedy. ‘Remember that game you bought me? This is the book it was based on, but this book is even sicker the game! It was awesome!’
This blew my mind completely. It’s like something out of a marketer’s wet dream. A ridiculous video game induced a teenage boy of average coolness (he had a skateboard and was sporting a Bieber) to read not just a book, but a classic allegorical, epic poem written in the 14th century in which an italian poet and a dead philosopher traverse the afterlife to find the poet’s deceased girlfriend and possibly meet God in terza rima (three part rhyme).
What do you guys think? Is this a thing™ or more of a fluke? Also will “literary” games become the latest trend replacing sandbox and/or post-apocolyptic causual zombie tower defense MMORPGs? What classic book would you like to see made into a game?
See also: Score! Liz Danforth at Library Journal’s Games, Gamers, & Gaming.