Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Am The Dragon, I Am The Drug : David Bowie

Although this blog is about MMORPGs I do, naturally, have a number of other interests in life, many of which predate gaming and even stand above it in my personal hierarchy of needs. I sometimes give that away as I attempt to shoehorn a reference to movies or books or comics into some post where it scarcely fits, trying and often failing to carry it off without wrecking the flow.

When I first started Inventory Full I even had the idea of including a link to a song or video in every post. I managed it for a while but it felt awkward and before long I rowed back to slipping in links here and there, whenever they'd fit. It's an eternal trial to me that Blogger doesn't allow links in post titles.

I'd love to do more. I often think of starting a second blog to cover all the things that interest me that aren't appropriate here.

Accordingly, it's difficult to come up with an MMO hook on which to hang a response to the strangely disturbing news of the death of David Bowie. I could, I should, I will link to Bhelghast, the first and so far the only blogger in my Feedly to have given vent to his feelings on this untimely, unexpected event. Will more follow? Is there even a hinterland here?

Well, of course there is. It's not just that Bowie was at one time so ahead of the curve when it came to all things digital that he even had his own ISP, Bowie.net , which launched in 1998. Someone probably played EverQuest on dial-up using that. I wish it had been me.

No, we can do better than that. David Bowie, fingers in every fresh new media pie, wrote and starred in his own video game, long forgotten. It was "Omikron", primarlily for the Sega Dreamcast but also for the PC, released, again in 1998, to a largely disinterested world. And what's more I own a copy.

To be accurate, Mrs Bhagpuss owns a copy. I bought it for her for Christmas that year. It was the year before we began playing EverQuest, when we were still running through offline RPGs like Return To Krondor and Might and Magic VII faster than game developers could pump them out, and since Mrs Bhagpuss is a huge Bowie fan it seemed like the perfect gift.

It wasn't, as things turned out. Not like when, a couple of years back, for her birthday and at her request, I bought her almost all Bowie's albums on CD. The video game, however, which we knew by its UK PC release title "The Nomad Soul", despite being a surprise, didn't get anything like the response, let alone the use, the CDs did.

In fact I don't believe Mrs Bhagpuss ever played it at all. I vaguely remember installing it and giving it a quick go but for whatever reason it didn't grab my attention either. I don't think I ever gave it a second try.

So, I never heard this song, or not in this version. I certainly never saw this "performance". I wish I had. It's stunning. And imagine the impact, coming across it embedded in a video game.

It's just a terrible, terrible shame the only reason I'm seeing it now is because its creator is no longer here, no longer around to create more magnificent moments like this, another of the long list of ideas that no-one other than David Bowie would ever thought of or, if they had, would never have carried off half so well.

I'll close with a couple of lines from my favorite ever Bowie song, one I can barely listen to at the best of times, it's so ineffably sad. 

"I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to do
So I'll just write some love to you

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