Few games from my formative years left a psychological footprint equal to Myst. Plenty of Zelda and Mario, later Final Fantasy, but Myst, its sequel, Riven, and the three accompanying novels (particularly The Book of Ti’ana) loom larger than any of those console giants. It may have been because of the emphasis on exploration and storytelling—there was in fact little else to the games besides these things. Or it might have been the incredible (for the time) music and sound. Whatever it was, much of my early thinking about books and the future of videogames began with that lonely island, with one spire of a tree lancing up into the sky, and a half sunken ship floating next to the dock where I awakened.
If you had a similar background with the Myst games, Emily Yoshida’s Grantland article is worth giving up a bit of your morning to read. I’m glad I did.