Does Good Writing Matter?

How important is good writing in video games, and why do you think that?

Does well-written code and “fun” gameplay matter more to you than the writing?

Do we have to choose between fun gameplay and good writing, or can we have both?

By writing, I mean the words used in cutscenes, storytelling, dialogue and more. By good, I mean something that stands out, that took some effort and makes the game enjoyable.

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Filed under Video Games: Reader Q&A

Texting with Video Game Characters – Part II

I’m in the plumbing business with Mario and Luigi; it’s my side gig.

***

Me (3:oo pm):

Hey guys, I’m headin round the corner to get some coffee and donuts. You can unpack the tools, but don’t touch anything else until I get back. I gotta check out the problem before we start workin.

Me (3:10 pm):

Did you guys set up the tools? I’m about to head back.

Mario (3:11 pm):

Mama mia!

Me (3:11 pm):

What’s wrong???

Mario (3:12 pm):

Photo of a sink pipe that Mario broke

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of a faucet that Mario and Luigi broke.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me (3:14 pm):

😲 You knuckleheads! Why I oughta… I left you alone for five minutes, told you not to do anything and now this happens. I thought you guys had like over twenty-five years of plumbing experience.

Luigi (3:15 pm):

No, no, no! Mama mia! Ohhh boy.

Me (3:16 pm):

You guys are making us into the Three Stooges here. Let’s hope we don’t wind up in front of a judge.

Mario (3:17 pm):

Wahoo! Let’s-a go!

Luigi (3:17 pm):

Okey dokey!

Me (3:18 pm):

Heyyyy I’m not going to take the fall for this! 😠 You wise guys stay where you are. I’m coming.

Me (3:19 pm):

Oh how I wish I’d never got into this business with you. I should just stick with blogging.

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Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Games I Play

Texting with Video Game Characters

[A security camera’s live feed shows a man snooping around my kitchen and helping himself to some tasty goodies. I recognize the armor.]

Me: Master Chief, you mind telling me what you’re doing inside my fridge?

Chief: Adam, finishing this sandwich.

Me: Nooooooo! That’s my patented peanut butter and jelly stuffed French toast. You know I was looking forward to eating the last delectable morsels of that sandwich. How dare you! I want you out of my sight when I get back to the apartment tonight. Out! Do you hear me??? 😡

Chief: Wake me when you need me. I’ll be taking a long nap.

Me: Ugggh! And leave me to clean up after your peanut butter party. Some hero you are. You save humanity but don’t clean up after yourself. I should have been roomies with the Arbiter. You make me I wish I had never met my video game heroes.

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Filed under Video Games I Play, Video Games I Want

My Only Fear of Death

Is respawning next to this crazy guy with the machine gun. Look at him: he’s just camping out there and mowing down anything that crosses his path. Can I live?

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Filed under Video Game Misc.

Run It in Recovery Mode

Electricity surged through the cold, steel fence and emitted a faint bluish hue. My plan was to hop over said fence, but first I had to cut the power source feeding the fence’s deadly defenses. With the power cut, my character jumped but didn’t get far. I heard a zap sound and the brightness on the screen blinded me for several seconds. My character’s limp body fell to the ground with a thud. He was gone.

I slammed my controller on the coffee table in front of me, and it shook my beer. I watched in horror as the bottle tipped over and spilled its golden liquid all over my console. As a result of the spill, my console started to fry and then smoke billowed out of the top. The screen began to wobble, the picture quality was out of focus and looking at the video game made me feel dizzy as if I was wearing beer goggles.  I sat there, on the couch, and my only thought was, “What is going to happen to the machine?” My face started to turn red and sweat poured down my cheek as I ruminated on this question. To counteract the heat, I poured some of the cold beer on my face and slapped my cheek. I shook my head until it hurt and my eyes opened wide. I could see the light: I knew what I must do to fix the machine.

I “ran” to the back of the console, which was only three feet in front of me, and bruised my knee after nearly tripping over the coffee table. I saw a shiny, red button covered by a glass case on the back of the console. There was white text scribbled on the glass that read, “Run in Recovery Mode.” The glass cover, I noticed, seemed to have a tractor beam: it pulled the index finger on my left hand closer and closer. Yet I had no idea what would happen if I tapped this button.

I stretched out my right hand, intercepted my index finger and pushed it away from its glass-cover trajectory. However, my index finger broke free and continued its initial flight path toward the cover, inching closer and closer to its mysterious target. With my free right hand, I splashed more cold beer on my face and took a swig of the bottle’s final droplets; this steadied my shaking legs. By now, my finger had made contact with the glass. In a flash, I flipped open the cover and tapped the button. Now I had done it.

As I stood in front of the console, I felt what I can only describe as part of myself “breaking away”. I turned around and saw a ghostly version of myself, featuring a pale blue and fuzzy white aura, as it walked in reverse until it both reached and sat down on the couch. The aura’s appearance reminded me of something like the quality one would get from a VHS tape. I looked straight ahead to see the smoke fly back into the console; the beer bottle stand at attention, with its contents refilled; and the sounds of button tapping as the controller flew back into my hands. That’s when things got weird.

Both versions of myself melded together again, then I shot through the ceiling and propelled out of this universe. I flew so fast past countless sparkly planets and nebulae that my head was spinning like a vinyl record. After traveling this way for some time, I stopped seeing planets and only saw bright neon colors and strange abstract patterns. It was a bit like speeding down the Las Vegas strip at speeds that defied one’s imagination . Instead of crashing at a dead-end, I landed in what I can only describe as a soup or lava lamp. Blobs of red lava, against a turmeric hued yellow background, bounced around and gravitated up. I reached the top of whatever structure was holding me back and jumped for freedom. I was free — for the moment.

After jumping out of the structure, I lost all control and hurtled through earth’s atmosphere. The wind was rushing through my hair as I burst through collections of clouds. You know, I slept through the cloud stuff in science class, my head and body somewhere down on the ground, but I can confirm these things are not made of marshmallows. With only the clouds to slow me down and no parachute, I crashed through my roof and landed on my kitchen floor.

Several minute later, I blinked, my eyes opened and I found myself standing near the fridge with a cold beer in my hand. I glanced at the ceiling and saw no damage. I glanced at the console and saw it was in pristine shape. All I can say is think twice before you run recovery mode.

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Filed under Silly Video Game Inspired Fiction

I’m a Man of Many Worlds

I travel to them in the Video Games Nebula rocket ship.

4 Comments

Filed under Video Game Misc.

I’m a Man of Few Words

[Goes to play video games.]

8 Comments

Filed under Video Game Misc.