One of the immersive qualities of games is their ability to capture our imaginations and stir them up in a world of make-believe. But electronic venues weren't the only outlets that offered this excitement while I was growing up. The Calvin and Hobbes comic was a personal favorite for me. I loved the adventures this pair would go on and the comedic twists by the end of each strip. I collected (and still have) a number of the books from this series. I found a boxed set of the complete collection in hardcover, but I was travelling internationally at the time and the cost of additional baggage on the return trip would have made it a financially unwise purchase. I did, however, make an international friend via the internet over our shared love of Calvin and Hobbes. (Whom I later met in person!)
In a recent moment of nostalgia, I did a web search on Calvin and Hobbes. One of the first things to come up was a cover for a Calvin and Hobbes Nintendo game. WHAT?!?!?! Unfortunately, it was a fan-based mock-up of what a potential game COULD look like. It uses some scenes from actual Nintendo games, but that only helps the modified versions look more authentic. It was really well-done and perhaps someday another fan will build upon this inspired tribute. See Jeff Wysaski's vision here.
There was also a video created by Johan Vinet that shows what the start screen of a potential game could look like.
Crossing over into films, as so many video games do these days, I found a heartwarming short film depicting the later years of Calvin. Be forewarned, if you're the type who cries at happy endings, have the tissues ready!
Of course, Calvin did have that wild side, so I couldn't neglect to mention the Gritty Reboots (Cinesaurus) re-imagined version. This was done as a movie trailer and also depicts a somewhat older Calvin. It explores the darker side of imagination without veering too far from the lovable characters we've come to know.
These aren't the only fan-based tributes, but to list them all would be quite an endeavor. The simple fact that there are numerous Calvin and Hobbes inspired works attests to the creativity it sparked in so many of us. Sadly, it is doubtful that we will ever see any officially commissioned Calvin and Hobbes games or other such media in the future. The creator of the series, Bill Watterson, was against the merchandising of Calvin and Hobbes. In truth, this is probably what helped it keep its pure and innocent form. Yet what it has planted in those of us who have been fans for years has taken root, blossoming into the touches of creativity that helps influence the new ideas and visions we shape now.
So let's continue to create with the pure sense of adventure Calvin and Hobbes evoked in each of us!