When I look over my collected bits of Sherlock Holmes culture, there are books, of course. There are records. There are tapes. There are DVDs. There are CDs, both computer and musical. There is original art, reproduction art, sculpted art, and programs from theatrical art. There are toys, dolls, stuffed critters, cards, and board games.
But there is yet to be a video game.
With "Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes," as Amazon calls it, finally nearing a release date next month on September 30, after a year or so of bally-hoo on internet news sources, I am reminded why.
The game itself is $49.99. Not cheap, but not out of the realm of possibility.
But then there's the thing you play it on, running $250 and up, the medium of generations which aren't mine.
Yeah, there's a real "Hey, old man!" kick in the butt for you. A common household device, common in households that probably don't still subscribe to newspapers or cling to landline phones . . . the gaming system. They're really just specialized computers, of course, and "Crimes & Punishments: Sherlock Holmes" is coming out for the PC as well, but there again, a Mac household with no gaming systems as Sherlock Peoria emanates from is just not within the game's target demographic.
Video game releases have become as big as movie releases with the generations (plural, which just gets me at this point) that grew up with them, and in a way, saying video game to this aging blogger is like saying, "Hey, Sherlock Holmes is coming out on telepathic holograms for your cyber-implants!" -- something from a time not my own. On those occasions when I've tried using a gaming controller the end result always ends up looking like Neanderthal man trying to use a keyboard -- lots of random thumping with various body parts.
Someday, I'm sure, a new and superior video game's release will be celebrated at the Baker Street Irregulars' annual Holmes birthday dinner in New York, as the denizens of that future time consider it a valid medium just as print. There may be 221B Cons held in its honor as well, with fans revering the game as much as the well-crafted television production. But for now?
It remains the missing medium in many an older Holmes fan's collection, I'll wager.