chapter  19
17 Pages

Blocks and Buildings: Virtual Tangibility in Video Game Secondary Worlds

ByKevin Schut

One of Tolkien’s most memorable lines in “On Fairy Stories”, an essay bursting with remarkable statements, comes when he’s complaining about the limitations of stories meant for stage: “if you prefer Drama to Literature (as many literary critics plainly do) … you are apt to misunderstand pure story-making, and to constrain it to the limitations of stage-plays. You are, for instance, likely to prefer characters, even the basest and dullest, to things. Very little about trees as trees can be got into a play” (emphasis added).1 This line is notable for any number of reasons, not the least of which is Tolkien’s perennial arboreal fascination.