Tom has been home sick with the same virus Huck had a couple of weeks ago. He’s been home for the past couple of days, and, while I enjoy the one-on-one time I’m getting with him while he’s home all day with me, it’s been a challenge to get my usual amount of work done. And, I had plans for tomorrow — big plans.
On Friday, I am supposed to visit Electronic Arts and learn about the new Dante’s Inferno video game they’re developing. I have an appointment to see the lead developer for the project and to ask a few questions. Just today, the company announced that it has a deal with Hollywood to create a movie based on the game [note: not a movie based on the book, but a movie based on the game]. I was really looking forward to the interesting topics that might come up between an antiquarian bookseller and people who create and play games for a living. They have to get their inspiration somewhere, and books are one of the things that inspire them. I’m curious to see whether and where there is common ground. I’m also curious to see whether games like Dante’s Inferno, and one of its predecessors, The Lord of the Rings, expose and encourage the “younger” generation (you know, the generation that people claim never reads) to check out the books on which some games are based, or whether video games are becoming a replacement for books among said “younger” generation.
When Tom came home from school sick on Tuesday, I was sure he’d be all better by Friday, so I didn’t cancel my plans at Electronic Arts. I spent most of yesterday and today playing games with and watching movies with Tom in an effort to keep his boredom at bay. We had fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, too. But as of bedtime tonight, he still has a very slight fever, so he probably won’t go to school tomorrow.
It’s not his fault that he’ll be home, but I’ll be honest and say I was feeling disappointed that I’d have to put my plans to tour EA on hold. I’ve been excited about it for the past few weeks. Then, I talked to my mother. My mother, God bless her, has offered to “take one for the team.” She is going to spend a couple of hours with her germ-filled grandson tomorrow so I don’t have to miss my appointment at EA.
I’ve mentioned before that my mom has always been supportive of my bookselling endeavors. She gave me my first Nicholas Basbanes book and she even reads my blog every day. She’s occasionally taken on my carpooling duties so I can attend book fairs and Rare Book School. But I consider her exposing herself to a nasty virus above and beyond the call of duty, even for grandmothers. I told her it wasn’t necessary, that I could probably re-schedule my plans. “No,” she said. “This is a good opportunity for you and your business. You go. I’ll stay with Tom. A couple of hours isn’t going to make me sick.” Every time I think I want to leave the Bay Area and move to the far-away prairie, it’s things like this that make me stay. There are some days when I could not do what I do without support from family and friends. Tomorrow is one of those days.
So, I’ll be going to Electronic Arts tomorrow to see the game in development, to ask the designers how much of the game is based on the book, which previous illustrated editions of Dante influenced them, and whether they think most books lend themselves well to game development. I’m not an avid video game player, so I imagine I’ll learn a lot, and I promise to report back here as soon as a get a chance.
Thanks, Mom. It means a lot to me.
See you at Electronic Arts!