Lancelot's Hangover
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The videogame equivalent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail has arrived

The Kickstarter for a videogame called Lancelot’s Hangover has gone live today. As a parody of the King Arthur myth of the utmost sophistication—including drunks and rapping bears—it demands a rigorous examination of Arthurian literary history. That means it’s time for a crash course in Arthurian literature—go! King Arthur narratives have gone through a number of unique iterations over the years. Originally a Welsh figure whose brave exploits were described at length in writing and through the oral tradition from around the 7th century until the 11th century, Arthurian stories were popularized by Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum…

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A model for referencing videogames in literature

Generally when literature alludes to other media—Facebook, texting, film, the song “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train—my first reaction is to cringe. At its worst these mentions feel unnatural, lazy—the author’s gawky attempt to connect to the modern world or to an artistic tradition by simply referencing it. But even good media references can be jarring. Haruki Murakami’s thoughtful incorporation of jazz and classical music into his work, for instance, still has a weirdness to it. Perhaps this can be pinned down to degrees of separation from reality. When reading a work of fiction, it is typically odd to see mentions…