Why Isn’t This a Game Yet? Ender’s Game

“Why Isn’t This a Game Yet?” is a series that combines two of my favorite things: video games and great books. I have loved to read even longer than I’ve enjoyed gaming, and while I am not usually interested in novelizations of games, there are many books that I wish were turned into games. In this series, I will share some of these books, and (sometimes with mild spoilers) explain why I think this book would make such a great game.

If I could take one book with me to a desert island, it would have to be Ender’s Game. Orson Scott Card’s science fiction classic is probably the best book I have ever read, and for that reason alone it would make a great video game. Previously in this series, I have featured novels and series’ that seem like obvious fits for video games. Ender’s Game is not quite as great a fit for a video game, but the book is just so dang good it just has to be turned into a game. I just heard that there was going to be an Ender’s Game movie coming out next year, so why not a game.

Ender’s Game follows the story of boy prodigy Ender Wiggin who is taken from his family at a young age to train on a space station called the Battle School, a place where Ender will be trained to fight aliens called Buggers off in deep space who are threatening the human race. Yet unlike his peers at Battle School, Ender is being carefully watched, and he is being groomed to become much more than a grunt on the field.

The story of Ender’s Game is very focused on Ender, but the best parts of the novel describe Ender’s experiences in the intensely competitive Battle School, especially the zero-gravity, team-based war simulation that dominates the day of every member of the battle school. If any part of Ender’s Game could become a video game, it would probably be this experience in the Battle School, and would almost be a cross between a sports game and an action game, as these war games at the battle school are treated very much like a sport in the novel, with leaderboards and statistics galore.

One thing is for sure, Ender’s Game is a great novel that everyone should read, even if they do not like science fiction. But would it make a good video game? I think it would, the game may just not be as large scale as other games on the market; it could maybe be a downloadable title. Who knows? I just hope that someday, I will actually be able to answer that question, as I blast my opponents out of the air in a zero-gravity war simulation (admit it, that just sounds cool).