Using Video Games To Write

Posted April 19, 2011 by elizatilton in Uncategorized / 4 Comments


I’m a gamer. Always have been, always will be. My biggest problem today? Fitting gaming into my busy schedule. Sure I could come home from work, not cook and clean, or write and just spend endless hours getting shot in COD, but what kind of mother/wife would I be? And forget ever getting published.

Since I can’t give up my love for video games, I’ve come up with a solution. Any video game I play has to add value to my writing. What does that mean? I’ll explain. Below are some recent games I’ve played and how I use them as a research tool for writing.

Dragon Age 2: I write fantasy and this game is full out of it. In order to create a believable world you need a ton of lore. While playing I paid attention to the game’s politics, history, and even architecture. This game is also filled with magic and fighting. You get an amazing visual for big battles, spell attacks and fluid weapon movements.

The Sims I have always created sims based off of my favorite characters. It’s fun to see them interact and you’d be surprised at how real they feel. My WIP is a contemporary romance. I had a hard time visualizing the mc’s big fancy house, so I built one in the sims! Now I have a mini model to look back on.

Red Dead Redemption:  My favorite part of this game is riding the horses and hog tying bandits. Now if I need to write a scene where my mc has to lasso something, I know how to do it!

Soul Caliber: I haven’t played this in awhile, but I wanted to list it. If you’re not sure how certain weapons move, or you need to work out a fight scene, this is the game.

And there you have it. It’s not a huge list, but you get the idea. Happy gaming!

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4 responses to “Using Video Games To Write

  1. haha, I love the way you think. I did actually have to give up gaming–namely World of Warcraft–in order to have time to write. I don't miss it terribly, but I do have wild urges to roam Azeroth every now and then.

    Of course, if Kingdom Hearts 3 is ever made and released, my self-imposed exile on gaming will be lifted πŸ˜€

  2. A girl after my own heart πŸ™‚ I found Red Dead Redemption to have superior story to many games, but the mechanics of the horse and thrid person mobility felt cumbersome to me. I ended up playing poker a lot…

    I can see how some games have potential to inspire us as writers. I don't think games get the credit they deserve for being an art form. If you ever heard of the game Shadow of the Colossus, that game was haunting and beautiful. It was absolutely art. I think some people's perception is that gaming is all Halo multiplayer or Mario or spaceships.