There’s a wonderful moment in Book 8 of the homeric Odyssey when Odysseus treats Demodocus, one of the two bards in the Odyssey (we’ll meet poor Phemius, the other one, very briefly later in this post) pretty much the way a gamer treats his or her controller, fulfilling the fantasy
That story, a story he knows very well in its outline, and may know very well even in its specific detail, is unfolding in a way it never has before, because the gamer himself is helping it unfold, and he couldn’t do it the same way anyone else has done it, or even the same way he himself has done it before, if he tried.
Halo’s modern warrior code, as expressed over and over in the orders given to you both by characters and by the game itself (orders like “Defend Dr. Halsey”) is to shoot those you have been told to shoot because the world must be saved. Just as the rule-based practice of the Iliad perpetuates the Iliadic warrior-code, the rule-based practice of Reach perpetuates Halo’s. . .
If you do me the honor of reading my posts here on Play the Past, you’re going to see me use the word “practomime” a lot. “Practomime” is a word I made up. I made it up because there was no word in any language I know that refers to
One of the things that fascinates me most about the epic traditions of the world is the way bards naturally sing their tales within cycles. The Greek word κύκλος just means “circle,” and the cycle with which I’m most familiar—the ancient Greek one—is usually just called the ἐπικὸς κύκλος “epic