Home » Games » Is it Gaming, or is it Storytelling?

Is it Gaming, or is it Storytelling?

Yesterday I mentioned that I was thinking of a character that I’d created for a role playing game, and that I’d written a few chapters around them, sort of gave them a history.  I also made a comment sort of like, “Oh, I don’t do fan fiction.”

Except for that time when I sort of did.

Allow me to explain:

Back in the dark, dim days of the early 1990’s, I used to do a lot of gaming.  In fact, I pretty much gamed non-stop from about 1989 until 2003, or there about.  Yes, there was a little bit of gaming going on from 2005 to 2010, but not like I’d done in the prior decade.

I not only gamed, but I ran them.  I was The Gamemaster, and for a few years my games of choice were MechWarrior, and Cyberpunk.  MechWarrior was your “Giant Mechanical Things You Pilot so You Can Blow Shit to Hell!” game, and we had a blast with it because people loved blowing shit up.  Save when the shit being blown up was your mech–the gigantic robot-like thing your character piloted–then it wasn’t so much fun.  For the most part, however, it was a great game, and I put in a lot of time changing the “known history” of the game, just to put a twist on the game, and so people wouldn’t be going, “Oh, I know what happens next!”

The other game was Cyberpunk.  Now, if you want to know about that, read The Sprawl Trilogy, by William Gibson, and you’ll know a little about the game.  People were cybered up, hook into The Net, and loaded down with armor, guns, and drugs–and not always in that order.  Well, my players, the armor and guns always came first, and if you weren’t careful, you might take a shotgun blast to the face–or worse, Full Auto To THE HEAD!  People were killed just going to the ATM, and not always because they were a target.

Again, there was a lot of fun to be had, and I ran one particular game for about two and a half years of weekends.  I finally brought the game to a close, ended up killing a few player characters, and gave everyone–well, almost everyone–a good resolution.

However . . .

When I was in my writer’s group, I needed something to write about.  And lo and behold:  I came up with a set of character who existed in the world laid out within the game, and its supplements.  And, once–yeah, I wrote a story for them.  Said physical story is now lost to the ages, because it ended up on a hard drive I didn’t back up, and I never recovered, but it’s still in my head, and if I ever wanted to rewrite it, I could.  If memory serves me correctly, the story was probably thirty to thirty-five thousand words long, but it could have been longer.  To be honest, I just don’t remember.

But to show you how nutty I was, I not only wrote that story, but I figured out a whole HBO-type TV series for the characters, one that was about thirteen to fifteen episodes a season, with a full eight seasons planed.  No, really, that’s how I was rolling back in the early 1990’s.  I even had titles for some of the stories:  the first one would have been, “The Great American Nightmare,” and the last three would have been based upon the titles of famous movies.

Ah, another of those crazy ideas that never went anywhere.

So let that be a lesson to you:  no matter how crazy your ideas may be, act on them.

Because what’s worse than never having them come true?

5 thoughts on “Is it Gaming, or is it Storytelling?

  1. at my writer’s workshop this past summer all were lamenting the drop in readers to write for – they felt too many ‘potential’ readers were caught up in gaming – I suggested that games needs writers too – it was like a light had gone on in dark room for all of them.

    • At one time, there were a LOT of novels being written for the MechWarrior Universe. Michael Stackpole was one of the better known writers for that game. There were also quite a few novels done for both Shadowrun and White Wolf’s Vampire game. The games are there, and there are stories to be written.

  2. There’s so many ways to look at what we do in virtual worlds. I’ve locked in on the idea that each time I enter my virtual world I’m starring in my own movie. I’m beginning to believe that everyone has their own idea about this kind of thing.

I Want to be Part of the Craziness! Let Me Say This:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.