Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell

I haven’t owned a video gaming system since my parents got my brother and me the original Nintendo. But I’ve seen the commercials for “Dante’s Inferno” a number of times now, and I confess I’m captivated. Not that I intend to buy it. The real Dante’s Inferno is one of the great works of world literature, and still defines much of our visual mythology of hell. (This despite the fact that, for Dante, hell was freezing cold rather than burning hot.) To make it into a video game, though, some changes were evidently in order. As the New York Times review (yes, they review video games) puts it: “Dante is no longer a reedy, introspective poet but a knight who returns home from the Crusades to find that his beloved Beatrice has been brutally murdered. Her innocent soul has been taken captive…

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Dante’s Inferno and the simulacrum of hell


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