Daily Thought #39

So recently I’ve been playing a lot of this one indie video game called The Long Dark. It is an Alpha survival game on Stream set in the frozen Canadian wilderness. It feels apocalyptic and slightly frightening as the player scavenges for food, warmth, and shelter, and tries to avoid the multiple wildlife who might attack you.

Playing this game for a while (a game I bought years ago, but only recently came back to playing), I realized I felt inspired to write an apocalyptic novel set in a frozen land. Previously I have mentioned how video games can inspire writers in different ways than movies and books, especially concerning the visual.

But it can also immerse you in a world and, if you are writing about a similar world, it can keep you inspired and intrigued, especially if the game in set in a slightly open world.

The reason I love more open world, slower, strategy games is because they give you a chance to think. In quick-paced action games, there is more emphasis on fighting techniques and less of a relaxing, immersive experience. But in these slower games, I have a chance to simply think, coming up with characters and plot points as I go along (usually jotting them down in a notebook I always have by my side).

So, if you are writing any kind of book, one way to brainstorm and think through your story without getting distracted is finding an open-world game with a similar setting. Here are some games I like when I’m writing certain settings: Kingdom New Lands (medieval fantasy), Don’t Starve (Tim Burtonesque, Alice in Wonderland, fantasy world), This War of Mine (war, apocalypse), Resident Evil Series or Evil Within (horror, though these are a bit more action-oriented), Kholat or The Long Dark (frozen winter wonderland, slightly horror), and the Sherlock Holmes games by Frogwares (Victorian England).

So, do you have games you play to get inspired to write? Is there a certain setting you are trying to find a game for? If so, let me know and I’ll see if I can find a game for you. And do you find video game inspiring to you?

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