Kathleen Recommends…Internet Time-Wasters (Pt. 1)

The Great Gatsby Video Game

greatgatsbygame.com

As one of my former English professors explained it, The Great Gatsby is everybody’s favorite. Almost any other book in the canon is completely polarizing, but when it comes to Gatsby, you find practically universal appreciation. It’s got glamor, drama, pathos…and, as it turns out, the makings of a stellar video game. The Great Gatsby Game is the novel reimagined as an old school Nintendo game. You play as Nick Carraway, and your first task is to dodge the waiters, drunken party guests, and Charleston-dancing fools that separate you from Gatsby. Admittedly, I’ve only gotten to the second level (can’t beat those damn eyes!), so I’m not sure what (if anything) the rest of the game offers. Still, I’m completely charmed by it. It’s definitely a fun diversion (perhaps from writing a paper on the actual novel), and it’s so contrived that it’s not even remotely insulting to the English major in me. Of course, the novelty of it is what makes it so exciting, so I’m hoping it’s not the first in a series of literary classics video games (if we see adaptations of Thomas Hardy novels, I give up!). Nonetheless, I don’t think this is quite as trying as the literary mashup trend (e.g., Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Emma Meets the Chupacabra) of recent years. This won’t serve as anyone’s replacement for the novel—if anything, it will inspire 10th graders to actually read it!

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