Saturday, May 11, 2013

Amusements Old and New: Platypus Nostalgia

The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name. 

-Theseus to Hippolyta, A Midsummer Night's Dream V.i

Finding myself in need of a little enforced recreation, I picked back up one of my favorite games of the past three years, Titan Quest.  This will be my third time through the game.  Aside from the carefully calibrated work-to-reward ratio, what is it about Titan Quest that has me coming back to it for a third time?  I suppose that with all the character-class combos it's highly replay-able.  It's also easier than dealing with all the patches and streaming difficulties of Starcraft II.  Still, there are other games I might be replaying.  So, why this one?

I think the answer to my question may be ambiance.  Titan Quest has the feel of wandering through the mythic Greek past.  I've been studying the Ancient Greeks for over a decade now and I love all the ins and outs of their weird and wacky world.  It's a place that's alive to me, in a way, like Middle Earth or Narnia.  I love seeing film adaptations, sketches, musical adaptations, and paintings of Lewis and Tolkien's imaginary worlds, so why not the historical world of Ancient Greece?  Are there all kinds of innacuracies?  Sure, but since Titan Quest is a mythic/fantasy game they don't bother me very much.  What I value more than anything is simply the attempt: that someone else found the Greeks intriguing enough to try to bring a part of their world to life.  After all, isn't that what historians do on a much more serious level?  We attempt to bring the lost world of the past to life. 

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