We live in a world so hyper-saturated with references to references, that it would be foolish to attempt to imply that one’s thoughts arrived in a vacuum; so, I have here a list of some of my inspirations, and one by one I will break them down and feature exactly why and how they have influenced me.
In no particular order, until order is found:
- The Lost Forests – toys, shop (complete with storyteller), and books
My first form of “Transmedia” experience; my memory of the shop is dim, but it was an amazing immersive experience. Puggles: you could experience their world, hear stories about them, and take one home in a bag! I never got one of the toys, but I did one of their books.
- Puddle Lane – tv show and books
Educational, cautionary, I could watch one part of the story and then find another part in the second-hand bookstore!
- Maid Marian and her Merry Men – tv show
Prepared me for what was to become one of my loves, Pantomime! Not only that, but it was a gentle sort of feminism/gender reversal resistant reading, where Marian was the smartest and most sensible, and did everything while silly, cowadly Robin got the credit and reputation.
- Mandurah Castle Fun Park – theme park
Growing up, there was no Disneyland for me. Instead, I had a set of scaled-down castles set around a swimming pool shaped like Australia.
- “Animalia” and “The 11th Hour” by Graeme Base
The detail in the illustrations blew me away. I spent hours looking for hidden secrets and what they meant- it felt far more rewarding than looking for Wally/Waldo!
- “Dinotopia” by James Gurney
I don’t know what came first, my love of Dinosaurs, or my love of Dinotopia. This book made me seriously consider being an illustrator or paleontologist. I loved the fully-fledged world, that spawned novels that were just as engaging.
- “Brave New World,” Aldous Huxley
This book blew my mind in highschool- not only was it intelligent, it didn’t stick with one protagonist the whole way through. Tragic, cautionary, and a world where every part of your life has been re-thought and made sense of.
- “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald
Some people are sh*t. Some books are full of symbolism. I enjoyed unpacking the hidden meanings. I now believe “Tender is the Night” is an even greater book, but Gatsby inspired a love of Fitzgerald’s bittersweet semi-tragedies.
- EVO: The Search for Eden
I’ve never found a platform game quite like this. A beginner’s guide to evolution- survival of the hungriest!
- Ultima 8: Pagan
This is one of the few games that I felt like there truly was a world outside of my Avatar’s. I pretty much wanted to abadon my quest and spend the entire time in Tenebrae, learning all its secrets.
…and more to come when I think of them!