Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inspirational Video Games I Have Known

Writers need to read.  Professionals in every field learn from their peers, and writers are no exception.  There's no other way to understand what others can accomplish with language and voice, and if you don't gain that understanding, you run the risk of having your own words molder.

Reading is great, but it's not the only avenue to learn more about the possibilities of storytelling.  I have had my mind broadened by more than a few movies; somewhat more controversially (for my parents at least - HI MOM AND DAD), I can say that the same is true of more than a few video games.

I'll list a few here without going into detail about any of them; hopefully I'll get a chance to do that in a future blog post:
  • Silent Hill 2
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 (seriously guys, it's really good)
And the latest video game whose release inspired me to start my Final Fantasy story retrospectives: Final Fantasy Type-0.  I finished this game at the lively hour of 4am last night (I guess technically  that should be "this morning") and then spent the next hour unable to sleep as I marveled at what the game accomplished with its story.  Sure, objectively speaking the larger-scale story was both convoluted and nonsensical; but the personal journeys of the twelve cadets was...

... I'll stop there before I write out my retrospective two months ahead of schedule.  It's not the point of this rambling anyway.  My point is this: I finished Final Fantasy Type-0 and was immediately inspired to try and put some of the emotions I felt into a story of my own.  I won't go into details as to how, but suffice it to say that the story I'm working on about my daughter's stuffed animals now has a much needed injection of drama and stakes.

I'll end this by saying that movies and video games cannot be substituted wholesale for books; things like style and pacing and imagery and a host of other writerly considerations can only be learned through the written word.  But I will say that a story is a story no matter how it is told.

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