Mythology 101: Episode 3

In the second episode we talked about some of the lesser known Greek myths such as Theseus and Thanatos. The focus of episode 2 was to look for lesser know characters and stories of mythology and use them to provide a spark. In episode 3 I want to go in a different direction again, let’s take a look at Australian/Aboriginal mythology, and dig a little deeper.

In Australia there is a culture that has existed for around 50,000 years, the Aborigines are a unique people steeped in Mythology. The stories that they tell today have truly been passed down generation to generation, in their homes, or around their campfires, for thousands and thousands of years. Their stories of mythology are based on what they refer to as Dreamtime, the Dreamtime stories help to explain how things came to be, or provide guidance or morals for the children. Effectively the Mythology is created as a form of education in Aboriginal culture. As those children grow, they become responsible for telling the stories.

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Mythology 101: Episode 2

In the first episode we talked about a couple of the Roman myths, and commonly known characters such as Cupid and Mars. The focus of episode 1 was to look for common stories of mythology and use them to provide a spark or an idea for story or mechanics. In episode 2 I want to go in a different direction, let’s take a look at Greek mythology, and dig a little deeper.

Greek mythology is probably some of the most well known because of the movie industry. Movies such as 300, Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans took some of the most common stories and brought them to the silver screen. Oh, did you think Sam Worthington was the first Perseus?

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Mythology 101

As a Game Designer interested in how stories can be told as part of a game experience,  I have researched a lot into the foundations of stories and how they have influenced games and movies over the years. One of the foundations of that, is those that believe there are only so many stories to tell. 1

  1. Quest
  2. Adventure
  3. Pursuit
  4. Rescue
  5. Escape
  6. Revenge
  7. The Riddle
  8. Rivalry
  9. Underdog
  10. Temptation
  11. Metamorphosis
  12. Transformation
  13. Maturation
  14. Love
  15. Forbidden Love
  16. Sacrifice
  17. Discovery
  18. Wretched Excess
  19. Ascension
  20. Descension

I found the idea that there is only 20 plots, to be interesting and it makes for a fun game when watching a movie or reading a book to see which plot they have chosen. When it comes to Interactive adventures and fantasy though, the bigger influence is not the story that is told, but the source of the story. With TV shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time we are seeing a great resurgence in the classic Fairy Tales and Fables from days gone by. The area that most fascinates me is Mythology, those stories that reach way back to the roots of storytelling, those stories that were passed down generation to generation.

We have all heard stories of Sasquatch and Unicorns, however once you start digging, you start to realize that many of the characters and creatures of today’s games and movies go back centuries. Over the coming episodes of this series, I am going to take a look at some of the common and uncommon mythological beings and creatures that harken back to cultures based all around the world.

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