Video Game Mash-Up "Poetry"

Previously, I've written some poetry about video games (Proteus to be specific), but never considered using the lines from video games to do so. But recently @moshboy proposed that very idea on Twitter: procedurally generating dialogue from iconic video games to create poetry. As my wheels began to turn on the idea, I wondered first what made a game "iconic" and second, how many of those iconic games had great dialogue.

Addressing the latter: video game narratives are far more than the sum of their parts, and dialogue is only the melody in the symphony of stimuli conveying a story. As for the former, iconic is a notion, and notion is subjective. Ergo, any game can be iconic. So, I just went with some personal favorites, and came up with this:


Get over here! (Mortal Kombat)
Stand in the ashes of a trillion dead souls, and asks the ghosts if honor matters.
The silence is your answer. (Mass Effect 3)
Wanting something does not give you the right to have it (Assassins Creed 2)




We all make choices in life, but in the end our choices make us (Bioshock)
What is better? To be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort? (Skyrim) The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world (Half-Life 2)
A hero need not speak. When he is gone, the world will speak for him. (Halo)

images (2).jpeg


Who are you, that do not know your history? (Fallout: New Vegas)
Even in dark times, we cannot relinquish the things that make us human. (Metro 2033)
How many are there in you? Whose hopes and dreams do you encompass?
Could you but see the eyes in your own, the minds in your mind,
You would see how much we share (Half-Life 2)


Art has been encapsulated in every facet of human activity, shaping and shaped by perspective and quality. While I wouldn't be so brazen as to call what I've done art, the very idea of one form of expression driving another is. Nearly all creation is in part inspired by, or in homage of, the creations before it. Derivation is fledgling expression, and expression invites derivation. 

All-in-all, video games have had some spectacular dialogue over the years that is best enjoyed in their original form. But it turns out when you mash a few lines together from games you love, you end up with something resembling poetry. That is of course, if you count three one liners and a vague underlying meaning poetry. 

Thank you for reading! Leave a comment sharing some of your own mash-up poems, and feel free to follow moshboy or myself on twitter.