Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Video Games

I never thought video games would have a place in my creative writing class, until I saw the unit on the course outline. I was confused and wondered what could we possibly learn about video games in a writing course. Now you must first know that when I think of video games my first thought is Zombies and gun fights… after I stopped to think about it I realized that the realm of video games expands way past shooting monsters and Super Mario, and that even shoot ‘em up games take a lot of creative writing to keep the gamer engaged.
In our last double class we got to play some video games, that is where I found out it is a good thing I decided against majoring in Psychology because I can’t even keep a virtual marriage from falling apart. This particular video game was based on text. The couple were fighting and you played by talking to them. Everything they did depended on their interpretation of what you said to them. I had never heard of such a video game. We also played another text based video game based on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That one I kept losing as well… turns out I’m not very good at video games. It was interesting because you told the game what you wanted to do with words and the game usually replied with a snarky comment and prompted you to try something different. It was oddly addictive.
Then there are the more popular games like Mario and those zombie-shooting type games that I never really thought of as creative writing worthy… until I was forced to think about it. I then realized that those games are all one giant story, kind of like the choose your own adventure stories that everyone I knew used to read back in the fourth grade, only now instead of flipping pages in a book you are choosing commands with a controller.
Writing one of these types of stories would take forever because not only do you need to come up with an interesting story, you need to come up with all the potential angles that the gamer could take. So really you are writing many stories all piled into one with a bunch of graphics to keep people entertained for hours, weeks or years depending on how good they are at the game.
Video games are one of the most creative things and I have learned that they should be in every creative writing course, because when you get right down to it, they are just one really complicated story.


  1. Writing in video games, I find, is akin to screenplays and novelization. The merit has finally been recognized as nominations for what used to be exclusively literary works, have been placed on video games.

    Interactive Media, it's more than visual and auditory stimulation. And with every year it gets more physical.

  2. Hey lady. Time to update! Kenton told the Ad majors that all blogs that haven't been updated in the last few months are going off the blogroll. Tell me something new and interesting!