I think playing video games can benefit writers and help them learn discipline.
Writers who enjoy video games get to practice self-control. They do not need self-control because video games are an “addictive” drug. Instead they practice their self-control to balance their time spent playing with their time spent writing. They will have to put the controller down and pick up a quill, or a mouse, at some point. But the chance to practice discipline, by itself, is not a great reason for anyone to play games.
Perhaps a more persuasive reason is that video games can inspire writers to start writing. A person who plays video games can draft previews, reviews, news and anything related to games. These writers already know their audience: it is other video game players.
In addition, video game stories could inspire a person to write fiction. The fiction could be a novel based on a game. Or one could pen an original novel with influences from the story or themes of a game.
Working on video games could give writers a chance to do what they love. An established fiction author might pen the story for a blockbuster video game. Or maybe this author could offer some advice to a development team. So video games can inspire and even get writers paid. Is that it?
Video games offer everyone—not only writers—a chance to relax after a hard day with a fun hobby. Whenever you finish a post or piece of fiction, go for a walk and play a game. Use that time to clear your mind, and then tackle a fresh piece of paper or a blank computer page that taunts you.
Of course, writers still need to read and practice their craft. After all, you can’t finish a post when you are fending off waves of zombies with a machine gun. Or perhaps you have superhuman multitasking skills and a gift for writing without thinking. I did not think so.
I cannot guarantee video games will make you a better writer. However, they can inspire you. They can get you paid. They can help you relax, but don’t forget your discipline.