So here’s your Xmas challenge… come up with an idea for a nutcracker video game.
Let’s consider this as a case of multi-platform adaptation. The nutcracker most of us know (and the one I just saw with my daughter on Friday) is some version of the 1890’s Tchaikovsky ballet adapted from Alexandre Dumas pere which was adapted from the 1816 story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by ETA Hoffman.
Now don’t get me wrong but the ballet (now my fourth time in as many years) is like an Nvidia demo relative to the original story. The second half the ballet especially is an intense combination of orientalism and pop culture schmaltz… the most popular template for the classic Pas de Deux? Its Disney without Disney… Icecapades for the high culture set. There’s certainly a mainstreaming of the historical ballet going on in the context of Xmas marketing and girl culture nostalgia but also – what happened to the original story?
Ballet is more than capable of doing something with the original Hoffman, as is film. In fact, New Line is slated to produce a version of the Nutcracker and the Mouse King for 2012 (Robert Zemekis directing… hmmm). I did a brief search and there is no video game as yet… Surely in this new moment of the video game adaptation (see the new Dante’s Inferno) there is room for a Nutcracker. Is there a more obvious ‘AAA’ title to pursue for the current extended market that Wii brought.
Can this game deal with the original story, speak to the popular culture that has grown up around the commercialized ballet, and give some sense of the context of adaptation? Can there by a game mechanic which combines the narrative depth of the Hoffman story with the spectacle if not bodily engagement of the ballet? A ballet RPG using Natal perhaps? Or how about Ballet Hero – team version for the dance of the sugar plum fairies?
Have a nice break all….