Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stories For Then; and a Story for Now

I was an avid reader as a kid. While my main interests seemed to focus on cars and airplanes, I was also very fond of adventure stories. I had no trouble at all placing myself in the situations described in those stories, and I always felt like I was right there with my heroes through thick and thin. After finishing a good book, I always felt a little bit heroic myself, larger than life somehow. I'd been places, and done things, and I had the memories to enjoy afterwards.

I hoped to inspire that same interest in our son, and for many years, the hour before bedtime became our book time. We'd visit the library regularly, looking for the most interesting picture and story books we could find; and in the process we became avid fans of some of the best illustrators and storytellers working today. Fortunately our son is now a lover of books, which is a good thing; he's nineteen years old, and is a freshman in college.

I still enjoy reading myself, still feeling that time spent with a good book is never wasted. But it seems like a lot of the innocent magic that I felt with books as a kid has passed somehow. I've been around, seen a lot; maybe seen too much; and I unavoidably see the stories I read today through the eyes of age and experience.

Anyway, I've said all that just to illustrate what I brought to the Myst games when they first appeared. I found them extraordinary then, and I still do. In the worlds of Myst, we're truly drawn into the stories. And not only are we part of those stories, we're essential to their outcome. The story can't even happen without us, as we bring our ingenuity to bear on the problems of the characters.

The same thrill I felt with those storybooks as a child is what drives me to take part in the Myst adventures today; but the added thrill of actually participating in those stories is priceless. Uru was meant to capture that element in all of us, and allow us to share our adventures together. What an utterly amazing concept... Cruel reality brought Uru to a very premature conclusion, but the enthusiasm shown by the fans, in particular the Until Uru fans, has shown that there are a great many of us out there with that same love for a good story well told, and with a real hunger to be immersed in that story, and to share it with kindred spirits.

There are subtle indications that something exciting might happen soon in the world of Uru. I'm keenly anticipating what may come next; above all, I hope that it's a good story, and I hope that I'll have friends to share it with!




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