Videogames might be art, but can they be literature?
December 22, 2023 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Just over a year ago, we discussed Pentiment, a videogame about living in the age of illuminated manuscripts. The game was highly acclaimed but what hasn't been discussed is its historical accuracy. In Perusing Pentiment's Boisterous Bibliography [44m] Super Bunnyhop spends quite a bit of time talking about the gameplay, with a minimum of spoilers for actual story, but also dives into just a small handful of texts from the extensive bibliography [Reddit post of 4 slides of book titles from the end credits of the game] the game is based on, and exactly how they're reflected in the experience.
posted by hippybear (6 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I played the first half hour and had to make a few character-defining decisions and get my lunch. I know I need to give it more time because I've heard nothing but effusive praise for the game, but I wasn't hooked.

Cool to see the historical connections, though!
posted by ropeladder at 5:33 PM on December 22, 2023 [1 favorite]

I am a special collections librarian and I am still a little giddy that thereโ€™s a video game embedded in the milieu of manuscripts and early print with such clear affection and sophisticated understanding. I wonโ€™t be surprised if Iโ€™m interviewing job candidates in another 5-10 years who say they got into the field after being inspired by Pentiment.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:26 PM on December 22, 2023 [10 favorites]

My tiniest contribution to this game is recommending The Faithful Executioner to my brother, who was one of the writers of this game.

Actually I recommended a bunch of books but that's the one that also appears in the bibliography.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:48 PM on December 22, 2023 [3 favorites]

Re: the title question - if Disco Elysium is not capital-L Literature then Literature needs to step the fuck up and expand until it encompasses Disco Elysium.
posted by Ryvar at 10:54 PM on December 22, 2023 [11 favorites]

Board game reviewer Liz Davidson interviewed Pentiment creator Josh Sawyer on her podcast.
posted by amk at 5:18 AM on December 23, 2023

SBH swung heavily for the 'it's about ethics in video game journalism' side of the Gamer Gate discourse (vs calling it for the horrible misogynistic harassment it was) and I'll never forgive him for it
posted by paimapi at 9:57 AM on December 23, 2023 [1 favorite]

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