Writers and…video games?

360I am a writer, both by trade and by passion. In my spare time, I read, I play with my dogs and cat, I garden, and among other things, I play video games.

Perusing through other blogs about writing, I have realized that many of my fellow writers also play video games, whether female or male. It seems to be yet another thing that links us together. I started to wonder why, as writers, many of us seem to enjoy immersing ourselves in a fictional reality.

Is it because it is as close as we can get to actually living in a story? Is it because when we write, we see our own writing just as clearly as we see our own lives? Or is it just because, as time goes on, video games are becoming more and more popular and almost everyone plays them?

I think that it is one of the first two. As someone who works with words, I tend to see things differently than others. When it’s raining, it is never simply raining to me. I narrate the rain in my head: the rain, cold and smooth, hurls itself at the parched soil, bringing with it the life that wakes the earth. With video games, stories come to life in the most remarkable way.

Video games allow you to become a part of a story that, unfortunately, would most-likely not take place in your everyday existence. I mean, it would be really amazing if I were to wake up one day and find myself on a cart with Ulfric Stormcloak, but that’s probably not going to happen.

Then, in some RPGs such as Dragon Age, Fable, Mass Effect, The Witcher, etc., you are given the opportunity to exercise your ability to choose. What you decide has an impact on the way that the games plays out. Of course, some games more than others. When I am faced with a decision in a video game, I take it very seriously. I take a lot of time to think about which choice I will make and what it will do to the outcome of the game. Sometimes I will even save before I choose, and then watch how it comes to pass. If I don’t like to outcome, I reload and choose the opposite.

It’s amazing to think that we can create a character that looks like us (or not) and become part of a fictional world. We control the movements, we control the progress, we are an integral part of a virtual story arc. How’s amazing is that?

Not to mention that some games even offer fighting companions, family, love interests, and pets. And the ones where you get to purchase, renovate, and rent out homes (that are customizable to a point) are pretty interesting as well.

This connection between the creative and vast imagination to the world of video games is closer, I think, than most realize or ponder. Games help me to imagination the fictional aspects of my stories in a whole new way, from the characters to the places.

Are you a writer and a gamer? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them! Or, just tell me what you’re currently playing. I am in the middle of Castlevania 2, and I just started Dark Souls 2 (I have already died 6 times).