With the 25th anniversary of computer puzzle game Myst coming in September, developer Cyan has teased on Twitter that the company has something planned. Just what, however, is still a matter of furious online discussion.

Cyan published a series of tweets Mar. 7 that signalled, “Perhaps the ending has not yet been written…” Fans have been wondering what the developer can mean—especially since Cyan posted an image of an old book with the game’s title and a sticky note with the number “25” underlined.

Infused with a love of Christian allegorical storytelling a la C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Myst immerses players in a fictional world. A blockbuster that accelerated the popularity of PC games, Myst was the best-selling PC game until The Sims outpaced it in 2002. Over the years, multiple remakes and sequels of Myst have been released, plus spin-off games and novels.

The game was created by brothers Robyn and Rand Miller. In interviews, the brothers spoke spoke openly about their Christian faith.

From a 1997 article in Wired:

Robyn expressed impatience with his co-religionists, at those in the small fundamentalist community in Spokane of which he was a member. “I find a resistance to art and science. It’s very annoying. It’s very blind. That’s not in the Bible, not in any Bible that I’ve read. In other ages, Christians were at the forefront of science, the forefront of art. Now every one is so ‘Oh no no no, why are you doing that?'”

In a 2001 interview, Rand told Cornerstone magazine:

I have had some incredible opportunities to share my faith—if not in the games themselves, then in the interviews that have come about as a result of the success of Myst. And that alone has been really cool because it’s not like you have to force-feed anyone. They come and ask you what you believe and where all this stuff comes from. And the people who ask are longing for an answer.

In a 2007 interview with Adventure Classic Gaming, Rand talked about the challenges of working in an artform that doesn’t necessarily allow overt expression of faith.

Robyn and I went into the Myst design and production with the best of intentions. We believed that real art has an aspect to it that somehow attempts to communicate truth. It’s not about a hammer or doctrine, it’s about truth and a whisper – for those with ears to hear. We’ve both been surprised through the years where those inspirational whispers have come from. With that said, the rigors of production and reality of budgets tend to dampen the best of intentions. And so Myst has bits of underlying spiritual and philosophical ideas, but any kind of truth that might have been whispered is pretty quiet. So Robyn and I looked at it as practice and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the interactive medium – whether it could be art. Those discussions continue.

As for what Cyan will do for Myst‘s anniversary, there are theories floating around on a number of sites, including PC World, TechCrunch, and Christian Today. But until the company pulls back curtain, their plans remain a mystery…


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