6 Video Games Inspired by Books

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While you’re probably aware of many movies and television shows that were first written as novels, you may be surprised to learn which video games derived their plots from novels as well.

Here’s a short list of popular video games and the books that inspired them:

Metro 2033: Inspired by Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky – This game takes on the same plot and protagonist as the book. 20 years after a nuclear apocalyptic event annihilates most of mankind, Artyom journeys out to the wastelands above the subway system on a mission to alert other survivors of a new threat.

BioShock: Inspired by Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – BioShock is loosely based on the many of the principles laid out in this book, where the decisions of a few industrial leaders shake the roots of capitalism and reawaken man’s awareness of himself as a heroic being.

The Witcher: Inspired by The Witcher (series) by Andrzej Sapkowski – Both follow Geralt of Rivera, a cunning assassin known as “the witcher,” who waits for the birth of a prophesied child who has the power to change the world – for good or for evil – as a war between the humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves threatens to erupt.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: Inspired by the Scott Pilgrim comics by Bryan Lee O’Malley – The side-scrolling game adaptation follows the adventures of Scott Pilgrim as he battles his way through Ramona Flower’s seven evil exes.

Dante’s Inferno: Inspired by Inferno by Dante Alighieri – The video game is a loose adaptation of the first canticle of Dante’s Divine Comedy, which tells the story of Dante being guided through the nine circles of hell by the spirit of the poet Virgil.

Spec Ops: The Line: Inspired by The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad – The game presents a modernized version of the novel, about a man named Charles Marlowe who sails down the Congo in search of Kurtz, a company agent who has, according to rumors, become insane from the jungle isolation.

A Brave New (Virtual) World

readyplayeroneVideo games have come a long way since the very first console, the Magnavox Odyssey, was released in 1972. Augmented and virtual realities are now on the rise as gamers find more ways to distract themselves from their actual reality. But what happens when the line between real and virtual begins to blur? How will virtual realities shape our future? Explore these concepts by picking up one of these fascinating novels about video games and the people who play them:

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – Immersing himself in a mid-twenty-first-century technological virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty, and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s creator.

Lock In by John Scalzi – When a new virus causes one percent of the population to become completely paralyzed in body but not in mind, the United States pursues a scientific initiative to develop a virtual-reality world for victims, with unexpected consequences.

Reamde by Neal Stephenson – When his own high-tech startup turns into a Fortune 500 computer gaming group, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa family who has amassed an illegal fortune, finds the line between fantasy and reality becoming blurred when a virtual war for dominance is triggered.

Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane – Dev Logan, the genius programmer responsible for a popular, massive multiplayer online game, Omnitopia, guards a secret about his invention – it is no longer simply a program, it has become sentient.

Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy – Grace McBride and the team at her software company are horrified when events in their murder mystery computer game are replicated in the real world by a ruthless killer, a situation that prompts them to analyze the game in order to anticipate his next move. Continue reading