[Columns are a regular weekend feature at The Wild Hunt. Each Friday and Saturday columnists from various backgrounds and traditions share their perspectives and add their insights to the larger conversation in the community. If you like this feature, consider making a small monthly donation or make a one-time donation toward this vital global community venture. Either way, it is your help and your support that keeps daily and dependable news coming to your doorstep each day from wherever its origin.]
I went to Tampa for a conference last month. This had the pleasant side effect of putting me within driving distance of my best friend, who moved to Florida for a job not long ago. I skipped most of the Saturday events to see him.
What’s the deal with all this moss? asks the new hydroponics expert. He had heard things about the weirdos from the first Mars colony – the ones that called themselves “The Seeds” – but he figured that had all just been rumors. But now that he’s actually in their habitat, seeing thick layers of vegetation instead of sterile metal sheets lining the walls, his perceptions have begun to change. This can’t be sanitary.
Last year saw the release of Apotheon, a computer game set in the milieu of Greek myth. The game’s striking visuals mimic the black-figure pottery of the 7th through 5th centuries BCE, which has the effect of making the game feel more distinctively identified with its source material than any of its predecessors. We look at the ancient vases and feel an aura of myth that cannot be replicated by modern illustrations; Apotheon plays on that aura to deliver a sense of wonder that could not be matched by more sophisticated, “realistic” graphics. But despite Apotheon’s enchanting presentation, its plot engages in a common pattern not at all faithful to the mythology. The game begins by announcing that the gods have abandoned humanity and seek to punish mortals by denying divine gifts, up to and including the light of Helios, shrouding the world in darkness.