I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned how much I used to love games. Not just video games, but board games, card games, on-line RPGs. Oh sure, it all started innocently enough. Candyland with my cousins, Skip-Bo with my aunt, Scrabble with my mom. Then the video games became easier to attain and Nintendo opened a whole new world for my family.
We were always a little behind the rest of the world when it came to the digital age. Computers were too expensive for everyone to have their very own, but once that happened, I found a whole new love: RPGs.
I was in my final year of college when my brother began borrowing my computer to play this really weird game while I was out partying. I had this strange application on my computer and out of curiosity the December of 1999, I opened it. Of course, I instantly shouted for my brother to tell me what it was.
It was called a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon). Yeah, I didn’t understand what that meant, but basically it’s a Dungeon and Dragons on-line game. It was entirely text based, so being able to absorb information and type quickly is paramount. I mean, how else are you supposed to survive a gnoll attack if you don’t quickly start typing out commands?
I was addicted. Immediately. It was a whole new world for me. In about six months, I’d passed my brother up and rose to the highest level in the game. Yes, there were a few (okay several) times I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning playing my character. That was 10 years ago. In that time, my character has killed, died, and then attained immortality. I loved this game so much, I wanted to be a part of its creation and became a “wizard”.
I’m not the most technically savvy person I know, but I have an imagination. Putting those skills to the test on-line in a community where my fellow gamers could see what I came up with, helped me become more confident in my creativity. I haven’t been on the MUD for at least a year, but I can’t forget it. Using what I learned from the “world”, I’ve created my own worlds in my books and my typing improved so much from trying not to die, that I’m pretty darn fast now. This helps me when my mind is clicking away at what feels like light-speed.
It’s strange how something that was merely entertainment became a basis for a writing career I can’t wait to achieve. What in your life has helped you in your writing? What, other than books and movies, has helped you in your world-building?