Jg - H.g. Wells 2011-06-04 03:02:46
Just posting this one at night right now because people probably won't give a shit about this entry.
Welcome back to June Games, where for each day I will be bringing up those who have left their mark in gaming. If you missed yesterdays thread (which I'm sure you did) then I spoke of the Homebrew Computer Club, a group of guys who made computers their hobby. Today we're gonna talk about the man who probably came up with many different video game plot devices that would video game developers would pick up from pop culture science fiction movies.
H.G. Wells was a writer who has written books in many different genres from contemporary novels, history, politics, social commentary, and even text books. However he was mostly known in the science fiction genre being dubbed "The Father of Science Fiction."
Despite being a writer he has actually contributed quite a bit to gaming whether gamers or developers know it. His ideas and creative plots and characters have shaped others within the gaming world.
For example The Time Machine brought in the era of time travel. Okay so H.G. Wells probably wasn't the first to come up with the idea of time travel, but he is probably the one responsible for making it a basic idea in other entertainment such as film and comic books. In other words without him we probably wouldn't have Chrono Trigger. That's not all though.
The Island of Doctor Moreau is about a man named Edward Prendick who is shipwrecked, rescued by a passing boat, and then left at the ship's destination by the crew along with the ships cargo of exotic animals. The island is home to a scientist named Doctor Moreau who is conducting bizarre and cruel experiments on the animals he has imported, attempting to create sentient beings out of animals. So without this we wouldn't have Mother 3 or Dr Robotnik.
Like turning invisible in video games? Well H.G. Wells brought us The Invisible Man.
Like aliens? Well H.G. Wells brought us The War of the Worlds.
You see these are things that would later be introduced into the pop culture horror movie sci-fi genres. Once those became pop culture they would become part of the norm for many different video games.
Although many of his books have things that without we wouldn't have many classic gaming set-ups and plot devices. However all that is in speculation and whether or not it contributes to anything of gaming is up for debate. There is one thing that he has written that certainly contributes to the gaming world and that is his book Little Wars.
Little Wars is recognized today as the first recreational wargame also known as miniature wargaming. What is miniature wargaming?
Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming that incorporates miniature figures, miniature armor and modeled terrain as the main components of play. Like other types of wargames, they can be generally considered to be a type of simulation game, generally about tactical combat.
Little Wars was a set of rules for playing with toy soldiers and is also considered to be the first table top war game. In other words before Dungeons & Dragons.
Without Little Wars there would be no Dungeons & Dragons, no real-time strategy games like Pikmin, StarCraft, Command & Conquer, and Warhammer 40,000.
He did it first and the media took hold of it and his works entered that of pop culture. A simple writer gave us the concepts and the world of video game developers took them by storm and expanded on them very quickly.
That's just scratching the surface. Go deeper into his literary works and you'll find other connections. For example I know Ayn Rand has connections to BioShock, but in H.G. Wells A Modern Utopia you can get the similarities within the city of Rapture and H.G. Wells philosophical take on it. Like in this verse...
Chapter 1 (Section 6) The main character meets the first Utopian man and describes what he would look like: not Swiss- but might be on planet Earth. He has maybe just a few differences than a human on Earth: same face but different expressions, and same physique but better developed. He has different habits, knowledge, traditions, clothing, ideas, and different appliances. Besides all that, he would be the same man
It's just amazing what you can discover upon going through his literary works. So to those of you who are gamers I say "read a book" because you might be surprised at a similarity you'll find between the book and one of your favorite games.
1. Be honest now. Have you ever actually read a book?
2. Have you ever read an H.G. Wells book or short story?
3. What is your favorite real-time strategy game?
4. Have you ever noticed any similarities between games and books? If so what?