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Contents

  6 video games you probably didn’t know were based on books

  The unbelievable story of The Vagabond of Limbo

  Alternate The Catcher In The Rye covers

  The Last Kids on Earth Series, Douglas Holgate and Max Brallier

  Quotes from literature that can actually change your life

  Blackout poetry

6 video games you probably didn’t know were based on books

Some video games use literature as a jumping off point to explore deeply complicated political ideas. From Ayn Rand to the Ming dynasty, here are six video games you probably didn’t realize were based on books.

The Witcher

The Witcher 3 is one of the most celebrated open-world action games, but not many people know it’s actually based on a series of fantasy novels by the same name. The Witcher series, by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, focuses on Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter who uses a variety of supernatural abilities to stalk his prey. Unlike the books, however, the video game series allows players to make decisions on behalf of Geralt, shaping the world witch each choice they make. The series is such a point of national pride for Poland as a whole that its former prime minister gave a copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings to president Obama as a gift.

Assassin's Creed

One of the main lines at the heart of the Slovenian novel Alamut, published in 1938, is, «Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted». Players of the Assassin’s Creed series might recognize that as being nearly identical to a line that pops up throughout the franchise: «Nothing is true, everything is permitted». Though not a direct adaptation of Alamut, the first Assassin’s Creed contains many similar themes, including criticisms of the way fascistic leaders of radicalized groups manipulate people into their ranks. If you’re looking to dig into the relationship between Alamut and Assassin’s Creed more, Michelle Ehrhardt’s article on Kill Screen is an excellent read.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West

16th century Chinese literature might not strike you as the best jumping off point for a post-apocalyptic action video game, but 2010’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is actually a modern re-interpretation of Journey to the West, a Chinese novel that dates back to the Ming dynasty, centres around Xuanzang, a relatively helpless monk who enlists the help of others to help him on his journey. One such person is the Monkey King, a mischievous but highly capable warrior.

Spec Ops: The Line

Though video games are often criticized — and rightly so — for glorifying violence, there are several games that analyze and critique these norms, too. One such game is Spec Ops: The Line, which explores the muddled and grey morality of war using the novel Heart of Darkness as a major reference point. Much like how Apocalypse Now re-interpreted the book’s events to take place in the Vietnam War, Spec Ops: The Line places the story in the Middle East. The game’s main villain is John Konrad, a combination of the names Joseph Conrad, the author of Heart of Darkness, and Kurtz, the book's main antagonist. As you play through the game, the main character’s mental state slowly starts to degrade, and you'll see the toll that war takes on him, both mentally and physically.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 is a direct adaptation of the Russian novel of the same name. The book was hugely popular in Russia upon its release in 2005. Its 2010 video game adaptation does the original story justice, mostly because the book's author, Dmitry Glukhovsky, worked closely with the game's developers the entire way through.

Bioshock

Bioshock isn’t so much based on a book as it is a complete takedown of the philosophies in Ayn Rand's written works. Rand advocates for objectivism, a political, economic, social system in which nobody owes another person anything at all and is free to pursue their own interests, but is also entirely responsible for their own well-being. The creators of BioShock primarily use the game to explore a single question that Rand takes for granted in her fiction and in her philosophy: «What would a society look like if everyone were really only in it for themselves and owed no allegiance to anyone but themselves?» Essentially, Bioshock imagines a world actually based on these ideas and takes them to the extreme as a way of critiquing their flaws.

 Source: 6 video games you probably didn’t know were based on books, Tim Mulkerin. Business Insider.

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