For quite some time now I’ve been waiting for some astute game scholar somewhere to analyze Piers Anthony’s most excellent Apprentice Adept sci-fi/fantasy series from the early 1980’s, the first book being Split Infinity. From what I can tell via Google, in the context of game studies and game design, no one has yet written about The Game from the Apprentice Adept novels. Maybe I’m the first; perhaps there are few game scholars old enough to have read Anthony? :-0
I read these books as a 10 or 11-year old kid (as well as Xanth, etc.), and I still think about them once in a while, particularly The Game. Anthony offers what I think is a fascinating vision of the future of game competition, and game generation; I could imagine attempting to create a video game version of this.
First, some backstory: the Apprentice Adept series takes place in two worlds, the technology-based planet of Proton, and the parallel universe of Phaze, a land based on magic and fantasy. The series focuses on the character Stile, a Citizen of Proton who discovers Phaze and travels back and forth between the two worlds / realities, has adventures, etc.
Anyhow, on Proton, societal status is based on your ranking in The Game, sort of a cross between the Holodeck and a Gameboy.
This is a preview of
Split Infinity Game Generation
. Read the full post.