The landscape is breathtaking, dark and foreboding, a harvest moon sits over ragged cliffs reflecting in icy, still seas.

A tinkling piano and mournful cello tells you this is no holiday. As you wander over this uninhabited island a stranger reads fragments of a letter to a woman who could be his wife and is certainly dead.

Occasionally you glimpse a figure up ahead but can never reach her. Could it be the spirit of the dead woman?

One thing seems certain. If you start on this journey you’re likely to be obsessed with unlocking the mystery at its conclusion. Thousands and thousands of people around the world have been.

I’m guessing, like me until recently, you have never heard of Dear Esther.

It is the title of the above narrative. It’s not a best-selling novel or even a moody award-winning Scandi crime TV series.

It’s actually a game. At this point you might even be thinking why would I want to read about something that mainly involves pimply youths with sallow complexions in back bedrooms who should get out more?

It’s that word game isn’t it?

But if I also told you the aforementioned soundtrack is to have a live performance on October 14 at prestigious arts venue the Barbican in London perhaps like me you might start to take a bit of notice.

Oh and one other thing. The people who have produced Dear Esther are based in Brighton. And they are multi Bafta award winners too.

The Chinese Room, which has offices on Preston Road, is the company and I came across them in my role as chairman of the judges for the Brighton and Hove Business Awards (Bahbas) during our lengthy meetings to decide winners.

How could a company in Brighton which had won Baftas exist and yet, on the surface, few had heard of it?

The company duly won the Creative Industries Award to add to its groaning shelf of prizes.

Dan Pinchbeck, a former professor, created the company out of a university research project. Dear Esther was the original game. This week a remastered deluxe version was launched to predictable howls of approval.

From the start the storytelling was crucial, these would be no shoot-em-up games, as was the sense of poetry in the visuals with Jessica Curry’s music crucial for tone. It is Jessica, also in charge of game development, who will be performing at the Barbican next month.

Along with the Academy recognition, that’s about all the proof you need of how the gaming industry has stormed the bastions of art.

The Chinese Room is just one of a number of digital companies in the city working largely under the radar, certainly not part of the traditional business establishment, but who are turning over about £1 billion of revenue every year.

I say under the radar. These guys are clearly attuned to their own networks and markets but that doesn’t really involve attending any of the many business lunches the city holds every month.

While most of us recognise many of our leading businesses and could probably name a few chiefs how many know who the other Chinese Rooms and digital achievers are that exist among us?

I think there’s a real challenge here for our leaders to involve this industry much more in city life, hold it to the bosom so to speak, inviting it to support and help finance social initiatives, use its creativity for the greater good.

It won’t be easy, I suspect as a rule it prefers to keep its head down, preserve the mystery, but the dividends might be very high.

The Argus: HG Wells

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s.........

This opening line to one of the great novels of English literature still sends a tingle up my spine despite being almost ruined for me by Richard Burton’s narrative on Jeff Wayne’s excruciating musical version of the same.

HG Wells’ War of the Worlds is of course a classic although the writer was snobbily dismissed as a science fiction hack.

He was nothing of the sort and it is right this week that we acknowledge the 150th anniversary of his birth.

And to think that Wells, who was brought up in Sussex, might even have modelled the terrifying Martian tripods from the aforementioned novel on the original structure of the Volks railway.