close this bookVolume 5: No. 44
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Favorite stories are often about quests, or growing up while traveling with friends -- a "doing with" plus a becoming. The Three Musketeers; Lord of the Rings; The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Wizard of Oz; Phantom Tollbooth; Never-Ending Story; Watership Down; Star Wars. Maybe Huckleberry Finn; Twenty Thousand Leagues; Robin Hood; King Arthur; Don Quixote. The Bible has a great deal of becoming. Our current crop of computer games has plenty of doing, little doing with, and almost no becoming. SimCity has doing and impersonal becoming, but no travel. Oregon Trail has travel and a feeling of doing with -- in the game and with classmates -- but no becoming. Adventure/dungeon role-playing games have travel and doing -- MUDs even have doing with -- but no becoming. Maybe we could get it all together?

But let's not add travel to just another shoot-em-up game. "Join the Army: travel to exotic distant lands; meet exciting, unusual people and kill them." [Stefan Zeiger , 1/95.] I'm thankful that the Internet lets us meet people without killing them. The graphics of WWW can make that a very rich experience (though we currently get WWW shopping without either a travel metaphor or the companionship of shopping with others.)

Text interfaces offer a different richness, where deep thoughts can be shared or new lands created with just a few keystrokes. But how seldom we dare!