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Sunday, June 05, 2005

From Danny to Raisin -> Student Explorations -> Role of Games

Role of Games

For the purposes of this section, games refers to video and computer games. To limit the exploration to a reasonable area, I won't consider fan-fiction sorts of role-playing games (RPGs). The books I'm exploring have characters who may play games of some sort; however, the plot of the books is not following a character in a role-playing game.
This section is limited to a few notes on books that include game references. I didn't conceptualize this section of the presentation until I was far away from my bookshelf.
Computer Gamer
Games come into play frequently in books for younger readers. In books such as Arthur's Computer Disaster (in Spanish as Arturo y el Desastre de la Computadora) and Franklin and the Computer, computer games are the seductive element that ultimately leads to conflict for the protagonist.

For Arthur, the temptation to play the game Deep, Dark Sea leads to trouble when he and friend Buster play the game even though they were instructed not to touch the computer. In the process, they break the computer in the process. In Franklin and the Computer, protagonist Franklin becomes so obsessed with his friend Beaver's computer game Dam Builders that he forgets promises made to his real-world friends.

In Susan Cooper's The Boggart, main character Jessup and friends are developing their own computer game over the course of the story. The group dresses as characters from the game for Halloween:

Four of the five members of the Gang of Five were waiting for Emily at the Volniks' house, dressed as characters from their new computer game. This game, which was called Black Hole, was in a constant state of development; the Gang never seemed to finish it, because one or other of them was always having a new idea. It was all about spaceships which discovered numbers of different worlds while trying to avoid being dragged through black holes in space. Emily's vampire came from one of these worlds, adn so did the spider-like creature represented by Chris's costume, which had a round black body fitted over his head and most of his own body, and six extra legs the same size and shape as his own. (86)
Other characters from the novel dress as the spaceship that game players travel in and as the hazards that game players encounter, Fire Burst and Ice Death. For these characters, the real world blends with the game design—and it is this blend between real and game worlds that solves the problem that the characters encounter.

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