I haven’t really tried this in writing, but I’ve done it with art a few times. I am, of course, talking about converting something from one genre into another genre. But, I’m not really talking about genres which are used in the same format (eg: turning a romance story into a thriller story etc..)- I’m talking about trying to convert things from genres which only exist in particular formats.
In particular, I’m talking about computer and video games.
After all, being a totally interactive art form – it’s a lot harder to convert certain videogame genres into other formats (eg: prose fiction, art etc…). Some video game genres can be easily converted into fiction – for example, the adventure game genre pretty much started out as a digital version of those “Choose Your Own Adventure”/”Fighting Fantasy” gamebooks that were popular in the 80s and 90s.
But, of course, there are plenty of other genres which are a lot more difficult to convert into different formats. The First-Person Shooter genre springs to mind for starters. Yes, it’s possible to draw a picture of what a FPS game looks like:
But, at the same time, it isn’t really the same as actually making or playing a FPS game- whilst it captures what a FPS game looks like, it doesn’t really capture what a FPS game feels like when you’re actually playing it.
It’s also possible, I guess, to write stories based on the storyline of FPS games (well, what little storyline many of them have – although, saying that, too much story can get in the way of the gameplay in FPS games).
And, this, I think is the only way to convert videogames into other formats – after all, S.D.Perry wrote some absolutely amazing novels based on the “Resident Evil” games, not to mention that several videogames have probably been converted into comics too. It seems like the only thing which non-programmers can do if they want to create something videogame-like is to take a videogame-style story and use that.
The less said about videogame-based movies or videogames based on movies (except “Goldeneye”), the better…..
But, in a well-designed game at least, the gameplay is part of the story and there are many possible paths which the player can take through the game. Therefore, unless you write a “Choose Your Own Adventure” -style story, you can’t really convert the whole game into prose fiction.
Even then, the experience of constantly turning to different pages of a book or constantly scrolling to various parts of an e-book is extremely different experience to actually playing a game.
So, apart from using the story behind a game, I guess that videogames are unfortunately pretty much untranslatable into other formats.
Sorry for such a short article, but I hope it was useful (or at least thought-provoking 🙂 )