The Escapist Magazine
Issue 66
With A Thousand Avatars
Editor's Note With A Thousand Avatars

"The Aeneid centers on an eponymous hero, Aeneas, who escapes from the clutches of the Greeks during the fall of Troy and travels all over the Mediterranean before he arrives in Italy, gets re-married, and founds a city that will found a city that will found Rome. Bear in mind, the Rome in which Virgil writes the Aeneid conquered Greece and Carthage well before Virgil was born, and now faced newer enemies on its frontiers. Sounds a bit like Halo, if you relax your ears."

In "Bungie's Epic Achievement," Roger Travis compares Halo to Virgil's ancient masterpiece, The Aeneid, with surprising results.

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"The MUM people, though, wanted a story inspired by Hindu mythology that illustrated the Hindu principle of nonviolence, ahimsa. In other words, having spent $250,000 to license one of the most kickass, muy-macho, hyper-adrenalized deathmatch shmups on the planet, the Maharishi disciples wanted a game where you could only win if you never killed, injured or damaged anyone or anything in the game. Anything at all." Allen Varney describes his adventures in the world of freelance game design in "My Hindu Shooter."

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"Myth resonates in a lot of successful works by people who have internalized it. Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge is an awesome example. Christian is drawn into the Bohemian world by Toulouse-Lautrec and a narcoleptic Argentinean. Now, this is very entertaining and engaging on the surface level, but it also really works well on the symbolic, mythical level: The dwarf is small physically because his power is not of the physical world, and the narcoleptic spends more time in the subconscious world of dreams than he does in this one." Shannon Drake talks gods, heroes and mythology with Perpetual's Stieg Hedlund.

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"Your relationship with the arcade is honest. You give it more quarters, it allows you to continue breathing - honesty. But what about those quarters? The other day, I was pumping some into a machine across from a movie theater when I was struck by something: immortality. What does it all mean? Not life or the universe, but gaming in general." Tom Rhodes explores gaming's connection to the afterlife in "The Great Continue Screen in the Sky."

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"Take, for example, the adventures of Fred, a Minesweeper flag who thinks longingly of his family just before his destruction, or the story of the Queen of Spades, who is freed from her Solitaire-based prison, when she magically changes places with the person controlling her. Even the games themselves can take on human characteristics, as in the story of Windows Solitaire giving birth to a baby Spider Solitaire (complete with a pacing Bill Gates just outside the maternity ward)." Kyle Orland delves into the world of off-beat fan fiction in "Back Story."

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