Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The book and the two games that set me off on the fantasy path

Out of all the things I've experienced, read, watched, and played during my nerd life, there are three things that got me interested in fantasy.

Book: Saint George and The Dragon. I remember reading this when I was a little kid and then, rereading it several times before it eventually got packed away. I uncovered it every few years while cleaning or moving boxes and always took the time to read through it. It's a retelling of Saint George and The Dragon, part of a larger poem called The Faerie Queene. The artwork is beautiful and has that fantasy feel. Sadly, both Margaret Hodges and Trina Stuart Hyman are dead, but their work lives on.


Games: Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, Warcraft II: Edition. They were not the first computer games I had ever played, I had traveled the Oregon Trail and got dysentery. My parents had picked up an older than hell computer at a yardsale, one of those rigs that predated GUI and could only do text based adventures and so I had dabbled in Kings Quest, but only once. Then in 1999, my world changed. We had just gotten a second hand computer that was just powerful enough to handle some older games o the time. Sometime later, my mom came home from Walmart and handed me a copy of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. A week later, Warcraft II followed. Out of the two, I liked latter more, as it had an easier control scheme and interface. I, like many kids back then, cheated like a demon, using all the cheat codes I could find. I still play it sometimes.

What I liked about the games was the plot and the background story. I probably read the fluff in the manuals so many times, that I could recite any part of it from memory back then. One of the things I especially like is how Blizzard has added dimension and depth to the Orcs in Warcraft III, showing that they were once a noble race that had been corrupted and twisted by a race of demons called the Burning Legion. They didn't become heroic, but shifted towards anti-heroes instead.

These three things didn't turn me into a fantasy nerd, but they helped set me on the well beaten path towards that fandom and I will always appreciate them for it.

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