How gameing can help with writing (sometimes)


I posted a few weeks ago that I was in fact a Gamer Girl. I’m not hard core and I’m not ‘leet. But yea, I do enjoy playing games on the computer and consoles.

Between myself, my boys and my fiance, there’s quite a variety of games that get played on a regular basis. My youngest loves racing games. My fiance plays a lot of shoot’m ups and more sifi orientated games. My oldest likes adventure quests. Me, I like tower defense and puzzle games.

One thing that I’ve realized is games are like opening a box to a specific scene in a book.

Say you have a car chase coming up in your manuscript.  You would like to compare how a muscle car from the 70s compares to a small modern “rice burner.”  Grab a partner, turn on the console and select your cars. Generally, the muscle car power through straight stretches, while the rice burner will hug the corners. But if you modify the cars you might get a closer race than you dreamed.

This is research, believe it or not.  I don’t have a muscle car or a rice burner. Nor do I have the money to pay for the tickets that would probably ensue if I raced through town–let alone car repairs or mechanical work.  This isn’t real world hands on experience, but it is a basis for ideas and analysis.

Another example is in battles. I play League of Legends (LOL) a few times a week.  In this game characters defend their tower while trying to capture the opposing teams tower. Simple right? Not always.

This game always intrigues me because you never know what kind of players you are going to play with let alone play against. * You get first hand experience (or frustration) with inexperienced players, new characters, wrong builds/runes/skills and people of every sort of temperament.

In the real world you can’t sling magic, shoot people or cut them up with big knives/claws/teeth, without getting into a lot of trouble. In a game, you can. *insert evil grin* In solo runs I get ideas on how to counter a ranged character with a melee or how to effectively run an ambush situation. I also see how important it is to work together as a team in larger fights and how 1 person can change the tide of battle.

But LOL is at max a 5v5 game. What if I want a fight on a larger scale? Well, at one time I played World of Warcraft. Some of the dungeons had a cap of 25 and I know I ran raids with nearly 50 people in the group a few times. Yes it was chaotic with so many things going on at one time but is a real time fight going to be any different? Not for the character I’m writing.

What if i want more than 50, what if I want to see what happens when hundreds or thousands of characters meet on the battlefield?  Fellow writers, let me introduce you to EVE Online. This is where two opposing factions can face off and decide the sovereignty of an area. Yes you can literally have thousands online, fighting at one time. And except for the time dilation, it is an awesome sight to see the darkness of space lit up with the flares of exploding ships.

I can’t begin to count how many ideas I have just based on my experiences with gaming.  The people I play with inspire me, the situations help me puzzle out action scenes and yea sometimes even the plot lines will spark an idea.

So if I ever say I’m gaming, I’m not always wasting time. I’m doing important writer stuff. 😉

Thanks for reading

*note I like playing random but do play with friends when I can.

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