I originally posted this on my blog at people.oregonstate.edu/~dearin…
. I thought it might get a bit more exposure if I posted it here too.
The fates myst be conspiring to rive my money from me. How else could there suddenly be so may exciting Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, and I have so little money to give?
I got my first own computer in 1998. Not the first computer I ever had, but the first that was officially my own. It ran Windows 98, had a 14.8 GB hard disk, and had a DVD drive and decoder card (remember those?) so I could watch movies on its gigantic 21-inch CRT monitor. That monitor weighed so much it left a permanent dent in my desk.
I loved playing computer games. At first I played old DOS games, things like QBasic Nibbles and Pharaoh's Tomb. That was what I had, since my previous computer had been a DOS machine. Then my mom bought something new: "Ages of Myst". It was a small box containing the games Myst and Riven. We played the games together, she and I. I fell in love with them immediately.
I was often annoyed while playing Riven because of the need to constantly change CDs. It came on five of them and it required all five to play (Myst, the previous game in the series, had needed only one). Each disc corresponded roughly with one island in the game, and island hopping was necessary to navigate through the game. There was a point on one island that could not be accessed directly from other points on the same island, instead requiring that you go to two or three other islands first. The constant disc switching probably would have turned me off from Riven completely had it not been for the game's gorgeous scenery and sense of real depth in the world.
I no longer think of Myst and Riven as games, in the sense that I play games only for fun and/or to pass the time. They are more than that to me. They are places I can visit; small oases that never succumb to urbanization. Their music no longer haunts me as it once did; hearing it now is like meeting a best friend who I haven't seen for a decade. Just like I now enjoy the darkness which scared me as a little kid.
While I might prefer for sentimental reasons that a new Myst game be made, the next best thing is happening now: Cyan is starting a new series. Cyan, makers of Myst and Riven, creators of worlds.
Perhaps the end has not yet been written after all.