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Writing Lessons of a Gamer

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m an aspiring game designer turned writer and author. I’ve been studying how to conceive, plan, and write video games long before I even put a thought toward drafting any book - or blog for that matter. Still, even after becoming a writer, the gamer part of me thrives. I love playing games. I love reviewing games, and who knows? Maybe someday something I write will one day become a great game. However, regardless if God has game designing in my future or not, my experiences playing and studying video games have taught me quite a few things about what it takes to write a great story. Some tips you might have heard before. Some you might have not, but there are plenty of skills I mainly learned while adventuring through the digital space.

1. Build the Experience

Gaming and reading are opposite entertainments in some respects. One requires active interaction. The other requires passive attention, yet delivering an experience is something they both share in common. One of the most substantial lessons every game designer learns is how to focus their game’s intended experience. Whether it’s to give players the sensations of flight or strength, everything from the onscreen visuals to the controller itself must compliment and reinforce the experience. Video games, like our planet, is made up of four elements: story, aesthetics, mechanics, and gameplay. Each part (if done well) feeds and strengthens the others - especially when they share the same experience goal. Similarly, I found that books also comprise of four elements: plot, characters, style, and presentation. Plot forms its body. Characters give it life. Style is how it flows, and presentation is the book in tangible form. If one element is lacking or conflicts the others it weakens the book, but if they mesh together towards the story’s ultimate message, I