There’s something especially effective about embedding letters into works of fiction. We get to hear directly from a character, a sort-of first-hand source, as opposed to a narrator’s second-hand impression. Moreover, it can give voyeuristic enjoyment; to read what was not written for us (though it was), to peer directly into the life of a character. Telling stories through letters and journals even forms a whole genre of literature, the epistolary, with classics like Stoker’s Dracula being comprised entirely of first-hand documents.
But who writes letters anymore? E-mail, IM and text messaging have taken over our lines of communicae. Some books and movies have modernized, inserting the occasion email or IM conversation. Novels like Lynn Coady’s The Antagonist have even gone the distance, using such documents exclusively. But what about a modern medium to go with the methods? Could a video game employ the same strategy as novelists from centuries prior? Look no further than Bandai’s .Hack (pronounced Dot-Hack). Continue reading