Twilight: Full MMOn
There’s a rumour going around, repeated on some news sites, that a Twilight MMO (massively multiplayer online game) is in development. Yes, a game in which you can immerse yourself in the thrilling setting of Forks, Washington, hailed as the logging capital of the world. At last, a game where kids can escape the dull trudge of small town life and all the petty stresses of high school by pretending to be high school students in a small town.
Oh, but with the addition of womb-nibbling throbbing Mormon psycho sparkle vampires. And teenage dogboys with great abs.
Exciting as this sounds, it seems that the story is a bit of a fraud. A game is being developed - but not by anyone with the rights to develop the game.
If you go to TwilightTheVideoGame.com and click ‘enter’ (because there was always a possibility you might go to a website and not want to enter), you will be treated to a tremorous school flute recital that you cannot switch off, and some happy spew about how Twilight The Video Game will “allow players to immerse themselves into a depper form of storytelling and adventure”.
The inappropriate abs of a 17-year-old.
Click on ‘Meet the Staff’, and you can read about Brandon, Bethany, Maile and Beth (all in the third person) and Steve, Gretchen and Christine (all in the first person). Apparently Steve is a “fierce friend” and was adopted as a baby; Bethany shows and grooms dogs; Maile designs packaging for snack foods (hey, I love snack foods); and Brandon regularly earns his place on the Dean’s list (which I assume is a good thing, but it sounds like ‘the naughty step’ to me). Click on the News page and you get… nothing! Click on the Links page and you get… the thrilling realisation that people still make websites with Links pages! Oh, GeoCities, how we miss you.
The stink of fancruft lingers over everything. There is no mention anywhere that author Stephanie Meyer or license-holders Summit Entertaiment are involved in any way. Further investigation reveals that this is a fan project that the creators intend to hand over to Summit for free, on the assumption that Summit will lap it up rather than, say, shut it down with a leaden and humourless cease-and-desist.
Defer your virtual gratification at Forks’ Tillicum Park.
As far as I know, it is the first fan-fiction video game. That in itself is slightly exciting - game-making technology is now so cheap and freely available that people actually can do this stuff in their garage, and while it may not be great today (I’m assuming), it could be great tomorrow. It is the continued democratisation of media. Hurray! And it’s being wasted on Twilight. Boo!
That said, I wish Brandon, Bethany et al luck with their endeavour. Working on the game will probably be a good learning experience for them all, and if they do succeed, well, think of the fun we can all have with a Twilight MMO. I expect the folks at 4chan will be first in line to get accounts.
And yes, the park in Forks, Washington, really is called ‘Tillicum Park’. No, no-one else seems to have noticed how hilarious this is.