“Inferno” is now a video game, with a brawny, armor-clad Dante as its protagonist…The game’s creators say there’s an audience for it. Their research showed that most people had heard of “Inferno” but few knew what it was about. This, they say, gave them license to make a few improvements.
— The New York Times
DOSTOYEVSKY’S “CRIME & PUNISHMENT”: THE VIDEO GAME
TAGLINE: “You can’t make an omelet without breaking heads.”
CHARACTER: You’re Raskolnikov, a student radical in St. Petersburg. Somebody’s stolen your birthright. Somebody’s gonna pay.
MISSION: Fight your way through a nightmarish philosophical struggle that anticipates the rise of Communism. Smash the capitalist class. Raise the consciousness of the lumpenproletariat. Redistribute the wealth—to yourself.
WEAPONS: Marxist dialectics, Napoleonic complex, an axe. You can upgrade your axe to a chainsaw.
POWER-UPS: Drinking, gambling, whoring, finding God.
BOSS DEMON: Your own conscience or doppelganger. Tip: you win by losing. Confess!
HIDDEN LEVEL: The petit-bourgeois class you secretly aspire to.
CHEAT CODE: Ctrl-P unlocks Sofia’s panties.
SOUNDTRACK: “So You Say You Want A Revolution,” by the Beatles,;“Eat The Rich,” by Motörhead; “Careful With That Axe, Eugene,” by Pink Floyd.
RATING: N for Nihilism.
Robert Brenner is a humorist, critic, and ventriloquist. His work has been published in New York Magazine, Open Salon (open.salon.com/blog/robert_brenner), and Happy.