Sunday, January 31, 2010

they are making the inferno into a video game what?

EA will be releasing it in February following a massive marketing campaign that I completely missed-- though I will probably not miss the crowning glory of it, at least, during the Super Bowl. I don't really know, and I'm not clear on how good the game is being said to be. Detailed info is available at Wikipedia, which stresses that the game is loosely based on the poem.

So basically Dante isn't a whiny little bitch who keeps fainting when he can't figure out how to get across a river. Okay. Is Virgil in it?

“The story line is not Dante’s, period,” said Teodolinda Barolini, the Lorenzo Da Ponte Professor of Italian at Columbia University and a former president of the Dante Society of America. “It’s kind of a mishmash of current popular ideas, projected back into the Middle Ages [...]

“I’m not in the least bit turned off,” she said. “I’m very intrigued and I want to see it” [nytimes].

It's an interesting idea and since it is so clearly departed from the original work, I don't think anyone is complaining. Dante's Inferno has become a defining architecture for people writing about hell, so it's not like this hasn't been done before. If it gets kids to try to read the poem, that would be great. The game's website has what appears to be a fairly well put together section about Mr Alighieri and the poem. Though this brings us to the real problem-- the marketing of the actual book using the video game's art, which is ludicrous. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure which edition we have in the house, but it definitely doesn't have a picture of an extra that showed up to the 300 filming thinking it was a movie about the Albigensian crusade. (That doesn't quite work, but whatever. People massacred, wrong period costume. You so funny.)

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