Gaming Influences and How They’ve Shaped My Writing

“Life is more fun if you play games.”

Remember those games you used to play in the playground as kids? You know the ones. Acting out The Lion King on the field or running around like you’re on acid to catch your friends. We thought those games were incredible at the time, and when that dreaded bell rang to signal the end of break time, pure disappointment ran through your veins as you all trudged back to class. Those were the days.

When you returned home, that very same feeling of excitement showed it’s face again. You’d rush to your room, switch on your era’s preferred console (mine was the PS1) and decide which characters you’d be adventuring with that evening. I spent a huge part of my childhood playing the Spyro trilogy over and over, each time understanding the story more in-depth than ever before. I’d notice things (the ninth or tenth time round) that I’d never noticed before. As I got older, I understood the jokes between characters, how certain characters landed themselves in the situations they were in and purely appreciated the games for what they were. I was a sucker for a good adventure, and still am to this very day!

If you couldn’t tell, aside from writing, I love games. From video games to board games, there’s something incredible about how we can lose ourselves in a character’s adventure or get our brains working to solve puzzles or gain the most points. Games were simply designed for us to enjoy, and to get even more than that out of playing something is a huge bonus. For me, games have been the main inspiration for my story writing. Playing through different adventures always sets my brain working overtime and gives me a mountain of different ideas to play around with. Throughout my life, there’s been 2 particular games that have stuck with me and helped me develop my imagination and excited me to the core. I owe a huge thanks to these games for sparking my creativity!

Spyro 2: Gateway To Glimmer

Being the very first Spyro game I discovered, Gateway to Glimmer (or Ripto’s Rage) will always have a special place in my heart. Having never played through an adventure game before, this one blew my mind. I’ve taken a lot from this game into how I write today. You have to remember that in the fictional world, anything could and can happen.

  • New abilities and special items –  Spyro develops some insane abilities such as the Super Charge when running over special ramps, or his pretty cool Fireball breath when walking through a power up. Characters can also possess items which can help them or hinder another, such as Ripto’s special sceptre. (Let’s face it, we all wanted a go with that sceptre.) Incorporating different abilities and items can make fictional writing so much more exciting, creating endless possibilities. The main character in my story has a very cool and awesomely unrealistic ability. More on that later…
  • Different worlds and areas – Spyro has some incredible worlds, each with a different theme and set of characters you have to help and work with. What would a story be without a bit of danger?! Defeating the bad guys is the norm for a lot of games out there, but in fictional writing, there is so much more you can do in totally made up worlds.

When I first started writing my story, I had it in my head that everything had to be realistic. No weird magic or funny business that would, (let’s be honest) never happen in a real life situation. This game has given me the message that anything is possible and you can make something come to life if you only use a little imagination.

Life is Strange

Life is Strange was recommended to me one day while I was playing GTA online with my awesome old gaming crew. I decided to check it out one day, downloaded the first episode and was instantly hooked. This game alone made me pick up a pen and a notebook and write pages and pages of notes and ideas! I initially wanted to rewrite the game story to get back into the swing of things, especially since I had plans for a novel instead of a short story. However, after much deliberation, what was the point? Why write something that’s already been done? Instead, Stranger Than Fiction was born…and it’s still no where near finished!

Life is Strange follows the story of Max; a girl with an extraordinary power to rewind time and change her past decisions. (If you’ve not checked it out, do it now!) I soon had the idea of my character’s power – the ability to see and dream events that may or may not be happening in the future. I love how much possibility there is and how much more I’ve yet to explore. My story is still in it’s very early stages, but I’m working harder these days to free up time where I can and concentrate on getting some well needed planning time in. Without this amazing game, I wouldn’t have been pushed to start working on my own little project. (Thanks, LIS!)

Of course, there’s been a long list of games that have made an impact on me over the years, ones that could definitely do with a mention!

The Sims 2 – Who on Earth didn’t like the Sims growing up?! The second of the Sims games allowed me to create scenarios between my characters and build up a story in the process. Even though most of the time it was finding all the different ways you could kill off your enemies, it was always fun!

The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion – As well as having built up hours upon hours of game time on this one, Oblivion’s story will always stick with me for being one of those that is completely engaging, enthralling and complex. Creating a story of this complexity is definitely something that comes with experience (and external knowledge!) Either way, this one has encouraged me to be as detailed as possible and to explore every inch of my characters’ surroundings.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – I was so surprised with how good this game was! I loved the story line and the idea of finding hidden collectables gave me a few ideas for my own material. This game threw a huge spanner in the works, but in a good way! It’s now just a case of getting everything written down and organised when planning my novel, and creating something that works. Not always the easiest task!

Are there any games that have influenced your writing? How have they encouraged you? 🙂

3 Comments Add yours

  1. ChianteG says:

    As a gamer/writer I really resonate with the idea of the influence of games. For me the most influential has been Skyrim! I love the world and the highly detailed history built into the epic quest of being dragonborn. If I could create a world half as immersive as Skyrim I’d be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel the same! Just imagine the work that went into that story line. We can hope!


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