Posted By: wraggster
That Mystís creators bothered to make up a pretend language is worth celebrating.
Remember the weird language used by the Díni people in the Myst series? It was a thing of beauty, and added an interesting layer to the game. Those are not the main reasons why I liked it, though. What I really liked was knowing that the developers had bothered to create it, and had done so with a depth and commitment that frankly made them heroic. But I am a sucker for that sort of thing. Iím the kid who reckoned the best thing about the Star Wars films was the languages. Heck, they even needed subtitles. Swoon! So naturally I imagine the Myst guys had a similar mindset to me and loved the challenge of making up their language as well.Sure, there are other games with made-up languages in them. Jade Empire on Xbox had one. Even Ė if my ancient memory can be relied upon Ė the Ultima series had monsters and gargoyles talking a gibberish dialect. Of course, games that pull this trick donít usually require the player to actually learn these languages (although it can help). The reason I think theyíre there is to create a distance between those who understand them and those who canít Ė namely, you.When you play a game, youíre so immersed in the world that itís hard for any element to seem weird. It takes minutes to get used to the game physics, the abilities of the character or vehicle you control, and the effects you can wreak upon those around you. Itís possible to become very comfortable with a game world very quickly. And thatís a good thing. But sometimes you just need to say to the player, ďThese guys over here are just not like you. Theyíre not meant to be understood. Not by you right now, at least. Thatís why they talk like that.ĒSo I love weird languages in games, and I say this as someone whoís spent a vast amount of time playing games that use nothing but the impenetrable and baffling language of Japanese. But itís not just weird languages. Itís weirdness in games itself. And it has always been with us. I need only say two words: Jeff Minter.