Gaming Writer’s Saturday

1I’ve been a gamer for about as long as I’ve been writing stories. First on Atari XP, then on Intel 386, and finally on stronger PCs and laptops as well as game consoles. Whenever I need to relax a bit and I’m too tired to read, I switch a video game on. Games also help me when I search for inspiration, so it seemed like a good idea to share all the games that support my procrastination … erm, I mean my writing. These can be critically acclaimed and world-wide famous big games, little flash applications or classics only really old people remember.

But since I’m a writer, I’m not always interested in what other gamers want, and many times the games that excite others get as little as “Meh!” from me, and the other way round. So even though I intend to share my overall gaming experience, my final score would focus on the more writerly aspects: whether the game provides immersion, inspiration, helps to relax and if it’s a procrastination risk.

The posts will come up every so often, on a randomly picked Saturday (starting next one). There are few games I can share with you already, but the frequency of the series will highly depend on what I’m playing at the moment and whether I’m playing anything new. Some games are my addiction and I come back to them regularly, while others swallow me for a couple of weeks of somewhat intensive gaming and then I either finish them or take a break to play something else. I also consider myself a casual gamer with very particular taste when it comes to gaming, and these will be reflected my impressions. So if you’re looking for more “professional” reviews, please search the gaming websites.

The games will be judged on the following aspects: story, immersion, inspiration, relaxation factor and procrastination risk, and their values can go from “very low” up to “very high”.

  • Story: how much story is there in the game, how engaging or interesting it is.
  • Immersion: can a writer get lost in the game, feel the world around and experience it.
  • Inspiration: will playing the game help come up with new ideas or offer fresh perspectives on things.
  • Relaxation factor: can one relax playing the game or relieve the every day stress, and can it help to clear the mind before sitting down to write.
  • Procrastination risk: how likely it is for the game to suck the writer in (assuming, of course, they like this type of game in the first place), eating away the precious writing time.

Also, this is not a series to cover the most up-to-date releases and big games (especially that I’m not really excited about many of them). This is something all the gaming websites cover well enough, providing proper gamer reviews. Although I love games like Skyrim (and Morrowind that came years before it) or the Dragon Age series, at the moment I prefer to focus on less known or even forgotten titles, and provide a writer’s perspective on them. I hope that among the titles I’ll cover you’ll find something worth your time, that will bring your procrastination to a whole new level. I mean… will help you relax and get fresh ideas in your head.

And if they don’t, feel free to post your own suggestions in the comments. I’m always looking for new distractions… ekhm… inspirations.

Joanna Maciejewska

Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games. Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English. Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. sjhigbee

    I’m really looking forward to hearing about your gaming experiences:). I’ve lived alongside gamers for chunks of my life – my son was heavily into Planetside during his teens and both he and my daughter – and my small grandson whenever he can get his tiny hands on his mother’s ipad – are all into Clash of Clans. For someone whose online gaming is limited to Solitaire, these games fascinate me and I’m looking forward to following this series.

    What game initially pulled you into the world?

    1. melfka

      I’m not much into online gaming because many players are there for “winning” (and, sadly, compensating their real life shortfalls by showing they’re better than others) and not for playing the game or having fun. These games also require a lot of time to get somewhere (or regular gaming).
      But I still consider myself a gamer since I’ve been playing for over 25 years now, having started with Tetris (and other games on Atari) and played more games that I care to remember :).
      The first game I’ve played was probably Tetris (still love it!). The first games with a story that really grabbed me were (I think) “Might and Magic 4: Clouds of Xeen” and “Fallout 2”, but there’s many, many more.

  2. Anachronist

    Perhaps your blog will make me play something apart from Tetris ;p. I’ve tried, I really have but somehow I am immune to many games. Ok, Final Fantasy was able to interest me a little bit but not enough to get hooked for good. Have you played that btw?

    1. melfka

      I’ve played Final Fantasy IX for a while and I enjoyed it, but there are too many random battles you can’t avoid, so I got a bit tired with it, even though I liked the story. I think some of the story-heavy RPG games might interest you: not the big console titles, but some indie ones, so you might find something for yourself in my series. 🙂

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