Video games came into being, that is , they were available to the masses about 1978. Odyssey owners will tell you otherwise but the Odyssey was soon replaced by the Atari and/or the Intellivision. The industry has progressed greatly from those days of 24% inflation, Jimmy Carter sending US jobs for the 1st time ever, and the dying days of disco. But it is still evolving. That was 34 years ago and I'm aware that most of you were not here 34 years ago. So to speak of those days is to speak of ancient history that one cannot relate to.
But a quick look around Amazon or very large bookstore will soon show gamers a number of novels devoted to a game they may have played. One of my favorite series of books (there were 3) were the books that tied in to Myst. These weer done back when novelization of video or computer games was done correctly. Not that we do not have good novels released today, but so many of them are just fan feeder for the gamer who loves a particular game.
Here is the 1st book, a prequel, in the Myst series . Now for those of you who may have missed playing this game i strongly advise you to play at some time. It is almost a prerequisite to gaming 101. Notice that Rand and Robin Miller, the creators of Myst assisted i the writing of this novel . The original publication was 1995.
A recent example of a great prequel novel is Bioshock. Another I highly advise fans of the series , or just video game fans in general , to read.
As one can see it is still available on Amazon.
But the point is: do video games enhance the overall gaming experience or do they deter from it. I find the prequels to be most interesting because they tell the back-story of the game. They can provide the reader, the gamer, background info that the game does not have time to delve into. (Final Fantasy VII may be the exception). The Bioshock novel for instance, involves the building of Rapture from the seafloor up to how it was inhabited. And a lot more.
The two other novel formats are not as interesting to me. One is the format where the events take place AFTER the main story quest has ended. One the other is the one where one is to read the book while playing the title. These novesl are few and far between. ICO is the best example I can think of.
Again, thanks goes to Amazon.
The Diablo novel was good. "The Book of Cain" which is $35 dollars is a bit to steep for my liking. But it looks to be so awesome. I always loved Deckard Cain in the Diablo games. He's old ,like me, and has a great memory and can relte story or tale very well.
My son who has read the Mass Effect novels tells me they are OK.
But to writers and editors this genre is a challenge. How does tell the tale, before or after? How to balance the main characters with the background characters. Plus the book hads to be wrote in suck a way so as not to ruin the plot line for gamers who may not have played the title.Or, if the novel occurs after the main storyline, the author must be very careful not to release info that could be used in a sequel.
So do they add or detract. Only you , the gamer, answer that.Only you know how hardcore a fan you are of a series. Video games have along way to evolve. So do the novels of them. It will be interesting to see what state the gaming industry is in 34 years from now, 2012. Rest assured that there wil stil be a PC somewhere that still plays ZORK!!