Turning words into pixels

Books into games?

The game industry is more and more becoming open to games that come from different types of media. The most familiar of this type of import is the video game based off a current Hollywood blockbuster(Spiderman, X-Men, Shrek and so on) but the rise of music related games such as DDR and Guitar Hero show that the music industry also has begun to develop ties to the music industry as well. That’s not surprising due to the fact that there is large amount of money behind both industries and a well made game that ties into one, the other, or both could attract widespread attention. There is, however, an area that is skimmed over by the gaming industry in general for understandable reasons of expediency: in the quickly moving world of the video game industry and it’s players books often don’t enter into it. The slim volume of the manual is usually all that is to be found and even perusing that can be a chore when you have the game you want in hand and the console with which to play it on directly in front of you. However there are many a good book that would easily translate well into the video gaming world due to their action filled content and often implausible magical events. A few of the likeliest candidates will be listed here but before that it is important to add that the list will not include such classics as Anna Karenina or Jane Eyre: those volumes may be worthwhile for their commentaries upon the nature of the human soul but are not volumes for leisurely reflection and would not translate well into an electronic medium. There is no Kung Fu in Jane Eyre.


  1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card-The story of Ender Wiggin, a child who was found to show much promise in strategic thinking and the aggressiveness required of the military life, shares a similarity with the story of the protagonist of the Halo series-The Master Chief-with several key differences. The Master Chief was taken away as a child, true, but didn’t start his world saving activities until reaching adulthood. Ender, however, was put to work saving the world around the age of his early teens and the story lacks the close quarters nature of the gameplay of Halo 3. However this would not be much of a limitation in that space strategy games, such as Homeworld, have achieved a cult status in the gaming world and it seems that the events depicted in Ender’s Game would translate well into a more electronic medium.

  2. A Song of Ice And Fire series by George R..R Martin-Martin’s fantasy epic-which at the moment takes the shape of four very thick novels-has much to recommend itself in terms of a transformation into an electronic medium. The combination of political drama, the movements of large armies, and suspicion, treasons, and intrigue all taking place in a fantasy style world would translate well into a multi part RPG series and possibly even an MMORPG.

  3. Age of Unreason series by J. Gregory Keyes-A sci fi/historical novel that takes many noted historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, Louis the XIV, Edward Teach(AKA Blackbeard), and others and places them in a world where angels and demons exist, ordinary humans are given strange and terrible powers, and Ben Franklin is set out as part of a mission to save the world in company of Sir Isaac Newton. Implausible technology, shadowy enemies, and the figures you often dozed off hearing about in history class brought to life in a way that few would have expected.

  4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy-This series has already built up an extremely large cult following and was already the subject of a text based game developed by Infocom back during the 80s but has not been developed into a more modern type of game since the first HHGTG game went on into the market and the technology used to make video games has advanced by leaps and bounds by then. The HHGTG should receive a more modern treatment to keep younger audiences aware of Douglas Adams’s remarkable magnum opus.


These are only a few of the books that have content that would make many an awesome game. Perhaps one of these or one of yours may become one. Who can say?

Author: Nick2930

I am a 33 year old librarian, part time writer, all time gamer, and what my cousin refers to as an intellectual badasss. Normally I wouldn't brag, but I like that so much I feel compelled to.