MTV’s Daria may be long gone, but it’s perfect representation of growing up as a teenager in the late 90’s continues to be the most accurate depiction of that time around. The music, the attitude, the fashion and the general disdain for the cool people, younger people and older people -for humanity basically- viewed through the alternative sub-culture that spawned from the post-grunge movement is memorable, nigh on essential, viewing for people of my age. The observations of the character of Daria are dry, cynical and jaded and provide for more than a few hilarious but accurate commentaries on growing up and the world around her. To say I see almost every aspect of my youth at some point in one or more of the episodes that spanned five seasons would not be far off of the truth. Daria is quite simply brilliant.
Which is why it is a damned shame that there isn’t an adventure game based on the show. A point and click adventure game is admittedly not the most creative choice, but it would provide the opportunity for great writing to really evoke the feeling of the show, from the witty observations of ordinary life, objects, social phenomena and the arts, to the dialogue as Daria interacts (and judges) with her peers. And of course it would allow people like me, those on the verge of being old but resisting that fact by living solidly in the past, to relive the days where the alternative sub-culture was almost the defining feature of a generation. Nirvana may have been long gone by the time I was spending my teenage years emulating the attitudes of Trent in Daria, but the spirit of the band certainly prevailed, something that the show captures perfectly and that a video game could nail and immortalise if written properly.
The problem is the late 90’s aren’t fashionable. Yet. Not old enough to be nostalgic or retro, but not modern enough to be relevant to the burgeoning youth video game market. In a world where it’s all about hitting as many demographics as possible to reel in the dough, the late 90’s is an era that we probably just won’t see appearing as a setting in video games very often if at all. Until it’s retro chic, that is.