Video Games Will Rot Your Brain

7 Aug

I am jealous of video games. When I describe scenery, it takes a page or two, and I have to be sure of avoiding tedious repetition, while telling the reader where everything is. My characters never speak with Patrick Stewart’s voice, unless the reader is exceptionally good at reproducing those sonorous tones. Or has an unhealthy obsession with Captain Jean Luc Picard. Whatever.

And the combat. Do not get me started on combat. I. Hate. Writing. Fight scenes. Who cares how someone swings a blade? Whether they duck and roll or take a hit. Well…everyone. And while I sit at my computer attempting to imagine something I have only really seen in movies (which are never to be believed), any video game worth it’s salt has a dozen combat specialists programming their character’s actions to the last realistic(ish) detail.

So what I propose is this: I shall hire a team of martial arts nerds to script out my action sequences exactly like they would do for a game. And then I will find some down-on-their-luck painter to fill in my landscapes for me. Especially the buildings.

Yes. That’ll make my life sooo much easier.

Except.

There’s something that video games don’t do quite as well (although they’re coming closer). They don’t let us into our character’s head. Sure, we control their actions. We send them on missions, and we know everything they know. But how do they feel when they swing that double-headed axe or blast an imp with their mana?

And that’s what action sequences in books are really about. I mean, I definitely have to mention it if my lead character loses an eye. I do have to plot a battle so that it more or less makes sense. But I have to put the motivations and the stakes before the action. The why counts for more than the how.

But I still want Patrick Stewart to do the voices.

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One Response to “Video Games Will Rot Your Brain”

  1. Tara Fuller September 16, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    Nice post! I like it. 🙂

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