MANILA, Philippines — Gaming has long been a source of entertainment for children, teenagers, young adults and adults alike. Gaming used to be a simple task meant to offer a momentary reprieve from the mountain of work that lies in wait. Some games still are, but the evolution of gaming has extended the playing experience into another form of storytelling: the novel.
The Manila International Book Fair, the country’s biggest and longest running book fair slated on September 17-21 at the SMX Convention Center, lists the top novels based on videogames, for gamers and readers alike:
- BioShock: Rapture by John Shirley – This novel delves into the backstory of Rapture, the fan favorite BioShock setting. Taking on the perspective of Bill McDonagh, the novel explores the origins of the utopian city below the sea, and its eventual collapse. Fans of BioShock will surely find this book entertaining and insightful.
- Halo: Cryptum by Greg Bear – Set in the universe of the Halo franchise, this novel outlines the beginnings of the Forerunner civilization – a young Forerunner named Bonestellar – the history of the Forerunner-human war, and the existence of Halo superweapons. Offering more perspective into the Halo macrocosm, the book offers a more mature adventure in the Halo mythos. “Cryptum” is succeeded by “Primordium” and “Silentium” in the Forerunner trilogy.
- Assassin’s Creed: The Secret Crusade by Oliver Bowden – This novel recounts the life of Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, the most extraordinary Assassin of the Brotherhood under Al Mualim. Told in the perspective of Niccolo Polo, father of famed explorer Marco Polo, Altair’s story reveals a journey that changes the course of history, as well as a riveting tale of conspiracy, tragedy, and betrayal.
- Dragon Age: Asunder by David Gaider – Set three years after the events in Dragon Age II in the nation of Orlais, this novel shows the Templar Order and the Circle of Magi breaking away from Chantry control and waging an all-out Mage-Templar War. Fans will relish the return to the dark world of Dragon Age and the in-depth look into a favorite franchise.
- Mass Effect: Ascension by Drew Karpyshyn – Apart from Dragon Age books, game developer Bioware has another great video game novel up its sleeve. Written by none other than the franchise writer itself, Mass Effect: Ascension adds another focal point in its extensive lore that deviates from Shepard and his crew. This X-Files-like novel will delight and enthrall those who’ve played the game, as well as readers with a taste for interesting sci-fi.
- World of Warcraft: Rise of the Horde by Christie Golden – Set before the events of Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the novel depicts the Orc world before the Orcish corruption. The novel highlights the events of the destruction of Draenai by the Orcish horde united under the leadership of Gul’dan and Blackhand, told in diary entries by Thrall, son of Durotan. While fans already know how the story turns out, the novel remains a gripping read, revolutionizing the way fans think about the Warcraft universe.
- Warhammer series by Dan Abnett – This tabletop role-playing game and online game has been penned so that fans of the games can delve more into the lore of Warhammer. A whole series of books has been written about the Warhammer mythos, taking on different perspectives and settings, in full-length novels, novellas, short stories, graphic novels, and even audio dramas that expand the central story for the sizable fanbase of the franchise.
Gaming is now a recognized method of storytelling, but to answer their questions and flesh out alternate worlds, gamers turn their attention to the novels. Gaming and reading have proven to work in excellent synergy, exercising the ability to appreciate different forms of storytelling across multiple platforms.
Find these books and more at The 35th Manila International Book Fair organized by Primetrade Asia. MIBF is slated on Sept. 17-21, 10am to 8pm at the SMX Convention Center, Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail [email protected].