The Collision of Classic Literature & Video Games


Last week, we learned that a video game version of The Great Gatsby exists. While we’re not opposed to adapting classics into video games as a general rule (see Dante’s Inferno ), this one doesn’t even sound like fun. From the official description: “Attend extravagant parties and lush gatherings as you dance the Charleston with a happy couple harboring scintillating secrets.” You know, so that you can be as bored by it all as Gatsby was. In response, we’ve come up with a list of 10 equally unlikely classics that would actually make great games. Check them out after the jump, and add your own suggestions in comments.

1. Animal Farm This book is mentioned in almost every dystopian universe-type game ever, but we think that it warrants more than a nod of the head. Can’t you just picture it? Animal Farm: Snowball’s Revenge. Mostly because it would be so much fun to kill Squealer.

2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream For some inexplicable reason we’ve always found this Shakespearean comedy really hard to follow. Perhaps gaming through it instead of reading it (again) would help clarify the three interlocking plots.

3. On the Road If a company can make a game where all you do is wonder around drinking gin and doing the Charleston, surely a game where all you do is take mescaline while listening to be-bop and driving cross-country can be developed too. And just imagine how cool the scene where you meet Old Bull Lee would be…

4. The Crucible Yes, this play is morally appalling, what with the witch hunting and squashing people to death with giant rocks. But what if it were an RPG game à la World of Warcraft where the accused and the townspeople are different warring factions? It could be pretty satisfying.

5. A Little Princess Think of how much fun it would be to terrorize Miss Minchin, unlock Sara’s fantastical stories of India, hang out with Becky, and eventually reunite Sara with Captain Crewe. Not only would the game be adorable, it would also have a happy ending. And sometimes that’s all we want.

6. Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas Who wouldn’t want to play a game as Raoul Duke? And we’re willing to bet that Ralph Steadman would do the Gonzo graphics and Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro could be persuaded to do the voice work.

7. Little Women We know that you’re rolling your eyes right now, but hear us out. You would obviously play from Jo’s perspective, because she’s our favorite March sister. But we have ulterior motives for wanting to play as Jo: Laurie and Fritz. In fact, we think the entire point of the game should be that you get to choose which — if either — of them to marry.

8. The Jungle We realize how disgustingly grotesque this game would be. But hey! With the likes of Skinny Bitch , Eating Animals , and Food, Inc. garnering critical acclaim for their anti-junk food/meat stance, why not a video game version that speaks to the same end?

9. Emma Emma might not be a likable heroine, but we think it would be fascinating to play as her, 8-bit style. And since the literary world is mashup and zombie-obsessed at the moment, why not have every mismatched couple that Emma tries to unite turn into blood-thirsty zombies? We’re sure Mr. Knightley can handle it.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird This should be a first person game where you can choose to play the story from the point of view of the novel’s different characters. However, this causes a major dilemma: Calpurnia or Boo Radley?